6 Ways Your Skin Changes During Pregnancy
Allison Bush | June 6, 2013
The hormonal changes that take place inside a woman’s body during pregnancy may often show their effects on the skin (Think back to puberty.). Here are six ways pregnancy may change your skin and what you can do about it.
If you had a problem with acne prior to pregnancy, it may become more irritated during pregnancy. The extra hormones in your body cause your glands to secrete more oil, which can cause breakouts.
Steer clear of any medicated astringents as they may contain acne medicine that may not be recommended for pregnant women. After cleansing your face, be sure to use an oil-free moisturizer.
Pregnancy glow is a real thing. When you are pregnant your body produces 50 percent more blood, which results in more blood circulation through your body. This increase in circulation causes your face to be brighter. Also, your body produces hormones that cause your oil glands to work in overdrive, leaving your face shiny.
Almost 90% of pregnant women will experience stretch marks. Stretch marks appear as pinkish or reddish streaks running down your abdomen and/or breasts.
Although not medically proven, exercise and using lotions that contain vitamin E and alpha hydroxy acids have been said to help prevent stretch marks. Stretch marks usually fade to barely noticeable lines after pregnancy.
Also referred to as the “mask of pregnancy,” melasma causes dark splotchy spots to appear on your face, mostly on your forehead and cheeks. This occurs with the increase in hormones, and about 50% of pregnant women experience some form of it.
To prevent this change in pigmentation, be sure to wear a sunscreen with at least SPF 15 whenever you’re out in the sun.
Varicose and spider veins
Varicose veins are bulky bluish veins that usually appear on the legs during pregnancy. This happens because your body is compensating for the extra blood flow that is going to your baby.
To prevent this, avoid standing for long periods of time, walk as much as possible, wear support stockings, and make sure you’re getting enough vitamin C.
Skin tags are very small, loose growths of skin that usually appear under your arms or breasts. They are caused by hyperactive growth of a superficial layer of skin (During pregnancy, this is caused by hormonal changes).
If these don’t disappear after you give birth, you can have them removed by a dermatologist, but don’t try to get rid of them while you’re pregnant.