The following changes in skin may occur during pregnancy:
- Stretch marks
- Skin colour may show changes
- Broken veins
- Sensitive skin
- Itchy skin
The main skin changes during pregnancy are due to hormonal changes and body changes (like stretching of abdomen) to accommodate the baby. The mother’s changes in immune system may also contribute. A few changes like stretch marks might be hereditary.
Pimples occur due to the extra production of sebum (the oil that lubricates skin). Extra sebum tends to block pores, resulting in pimples.
Most of these changes disappear completely a few weeks after the baby is born. These skin changes are generally not a problem, and should not cause any undue worry.
Skin tends to become extra sensitive during pregnancy due to the stretching and hormonal changes mentioned above. Skin sensitivity to soaps, detergents and other cosmetics also increases during this time. Stretch marks might also appear as the skin expands to accommodate the baby.
Applying oil and sunscreen might help the skin adjust during pregnancy. Also, drinking a lot of water should help. This helps the skin remain hydrated. Eating a healthy diet rich in nutrients also helps.
When should I go to a doctor?
One should look out for the following conditions:
- Inflamed skin
- Rashes in skin
- Irritation and itchiness in skin
- Changes in colour or size of a mole
In addition to the above, if you experience the below mentioned conditions / symptoms; you should bring them to the notice of your doctor immediately.
Brown patches on the forehead, cheeks, and neck of the mother is called melasma (also known as chloasma) It is caused due to the production of extra melanin (the tanning hormone) to protect skin against UV light. Use of sunscreen during pregnancy will help.
There can be the appearance of a vertical line down the middle of the mother’s belly. It generally appears in the second trimester. It is generally caused due to the stretch of the abdominal muscles.
Skin in a woman’s thighs and under her breasts might become red, inflamed and blistered. This is called intertrigo. The following steps help minimize the effect of the same:
- Usage of talc to keep the area dry
- Wearing loose cotton clothes
It is also good to see the doctor as this may lead to further complications such as a fungal infection.
Skin changes during pregnancy are quite common and good personal hygiene and noting the symptoms goes a long way in keeping your skin radiant and glowing.