Pregnancy is one thing but the stardom rosy glow is not about the skin of every pregnant woman. Although a very few are lucky enough to experience bright and radiant-looking skin as one of the symptoms of pregnancy, the majority of the pregnant women have to put up with dark splotches, bumps, rashes, masks and other skin conditions. What are these common skin problems caused due to skin changes during pregnancy and what are the pregnancy skin care routine you might need to follow? Here is everything you need to know.
Table of Contents
Physiological Alterations During Pregnancy
Just like the increase in the size of your belly is unavoidable, the changes in the hormones is inescapable too. These changes in the hormone levels could cause physiological changes such as skin changes during pregnancy, hair and nails. A few of those changes are:
‣ Linear Nigra: Darkening of a vertical line down the middle of the abdomen
‣ Darkening of areola, nipple
‣ Palmar erythema: Reddening of palms
‣ Varicose veins
‣ Stretch marks
‣ Skin tags
‣ Hyperhidrosis: Increased sweating
Common Pregnancy Skin Problems
Skin changes during pregnancy are extensively experienced by women - for some, it is the added glow to the skin and for most of us, it is the pimples, pregnancy skin rash, pregnancy pigmentation and more. Let's discuss those common skin changes during pregnancy and its symptoms.
Increased pregnancy pigmentation due to an increase in melanin content is known as the hyperpigmentation. It is characterized by dark spots on the face during pregnancy and patches on the skin. These pregnancy dark spots on the face during pregnancy and the brown patches on the cheeks, nose and forehead is also known as the mask of pregnancy. Ideally, it should resolve by itself after the delivery.
Stretch marks are the thick and thin friends of the pregnancy. While a few skin changes during pregnancy could be avoided, it is difficult to avoid this kind of pregnancy skin problems. Stretchmarks are developed across abdomen, buttocks, breasts and thighs causing itchy belly during pregnancy with no exception to the skin of the entire body. Dry skin during pregnancy could worsen the stretch marks while keeping your skin well hydrated and moisturized during pregnancy could help the stretch marks to fade.
Pregnancy could give birth to various face skin problems and acne is one among those. The pimples on the face during early pregnancy are mostly inevitable. For women who don’t have acne issues, might start developing the pimples on the face. The treatments for acne include prescription and non-prescription options. But before opting for any of the treatments it is best to consult your healthcare provider.
The formation and development of skin tag during pregnancy is common. They typically appear on neck, chest, groin and under the breasts. They are not painful and nothing to worry about as they are not malignant.
Vein changes/Spider veins:
Spider veins are the small veins which most commonly appear on the face, neck and arms. The prominent visibility of these veins is due to the pregnancy-induced hormonal changes and increased blood volume.
Varicose veins are also a type of these veins. But these are rather painful, enlarged veins caused due to increased weight and uterine pressure.
Itchy Rashes During Pregnancy
Itchy skin during pregnancy is extensively experienced by women. The causes of body itching during pregnancy are various. A few of them are scabies, atopic eczema, contact irritant dermatitis, etc.
Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy:
It is a pregnancy-induced liver condition that occurs in the second or third trimester. It causes unexplained itching during pregnancy due to the obstruction in the normal flow of bile to the gallbladder. The prominent cholestasis symptoms include severe body itching during pregnancy without any rashes. The itching could be severe on the hands, feet or trunk and make the life miserable for the pregnant woman. This could cause body itching during pregnancy at night making it difficult for pregnant women to get a good night sleep. Cholestasis of pregnancy might often be accompanied by jaundice. Cholestasis Symptoms could be generally resolved within the first few weeks after the birth of the baby.
Prurigo gestationis of pregnancy is scattered itchy skin during pregnancy. It could be caused at any stage of pregnancy. The symptoms of prurigo gestationis include insect bites-like tiny, itchy bumps. These are caused mainly due to the changes in the immune system. This kind of skin problems could be managed with emollients and topical steroids. But this condition might take several months to resolve and often extending beyond the delivery date.
Pruritic Urticated Papules and Plaques of Pregnancy:
PUPPP or Pruritic Urticated Papules and Plaques of Pregnancy is also known as Nurse's late-onset prurigo, Polymorphic Eruption of Pregnancy (PEP), toxic erythema of pregnancy, Bourne’s toxemic rash, a toxemic rash of pregnancy. PUPPP is the hive-like and extremely itchy bumps which usually appear on the stomach during pregnancy. This pregnancy rash onsets in the 3rd trimester of pregnancy and usually gets cured by itself after delivery. It is one of the prominent causes for the itchy belly during pregnancy. Although itchy belly during pregnancy could cause extreme discomfort to the mother, it doesn’t pose any harm to the baby. Emollients, medium potency topical steroids and sedative antihistamines could provide relief from the symptoms.
Pemphigoid gestationis is a very rare pregnancy skin condition which is characterised by itchy pregnancy rash developing into blisters. It occurs due to the circulation of Immunoglobulin Type G (IgG) autoantibodies. It is one among the 2nd and 3rd-trimester pregnancy skin problems. Unlike other skin rashes during pregnancy, this type of skin problems might worsen postpartum, recur with menstruation and in further pregnancies. The method of disease detection is through the skin biopsy and it is generally treated by oral corticosteroids.
Skincare During Pregnancy
With the changing shape and size of your body, cravings keeping you up all night, skincare routine might seem like something that would deserve no time. But if you give a little extra time and offer a little extra care to your skin, pregnancy roller coaster ride could ease down a bit. So, what are the skincare routine your skin needs during pregnancy? Here it is.
Cleanse your skin well:
Whether your skin is glowing or you are having the issue of teenager’s pimply face, cleanse your skin well. This skin care during pregnancy could keep the pores open, your skin dust-free.
Be extra sun safe:
The skin would be extra sensitive during pregnancy due to the changes in the hormonal level. For the same reason, it becomes inevitable to have a routine for skin care during pregnancy. To save yourself from the sharp rays of the sun, apply sunscreen. Taking extra care and applying lotion for itchy skin during pregnancy could help you get healthy and glowing skin.
Stretching skin problems can’t be avoided. But you could assist your skin and reduce the fierceness of the potential stretch marks by investing in a good body-oil. Apply it daily to let it reduce your skin problems.
Increase water intake:
Dry skin during pregnancy is a common problem the majority of pregnant women face. Increasing your water intake can provide the hydration from within. Along with that, it is a perfect pregnancy skin care element which flushes out your system and keeps your skin clear and glowing.
Don’t over exfoliate:
Your skin is sensitive and that is the exact reason why it gives in for so many skin problems. Your skin can scar away during pregnancy if you over exfoliate. So, take extra care and be gentle.
Skin problems while pregnant are ineluctable. Although a few people experience the natural glow during pregnancy, for most us the glowing skin is a sweet result of proper skin care during pregnancy. So, while the hormones play their role in developing pregnancy rash, skin problems, itchy belly during pregnancy, you do your bit to keep those skin problems at bay and have an itch-free, irritation-free pregnancy!
DISCLAIMER: This article has been written for informative purposes only. Please do consult your doctor if you have any health issues and seek their advice. A direct and specific evaluation from your doctor is much more valuable than anything you would find on the Internet.