Pregnancy brings a lot of changes in a woman’s life of which some are temporary while others stay on forever. Read all about skin changes during pregnancy in the following article.
Think of stretch marks as pregnancy service stripes. ~ Joyce Armor
Like I said, pregnancy is nothing but the induction period for changes that are about to come in a woman’s life, of which the most significant and taxing ones would be staying on for a good part of her life! While almost all the physical changes will disappear sometime after childbirth, three changes that will continue to be an inseparable part of the woman’s entity would be – 1) her offspring will always be her little baby, no matter how old he/she grows up in age; 2) she’ll always be paranoid over her offspring’s safety and welfare no matter where he/she is and irrespective of the fact that he/she is now a parent himself/herself;
3) last but not the least, she’ll never believe that her offspring is healthy enough or gets to eat properly even if the latter weighs well over 200 pounds! You see, once a woman gets pregnant and delivers the baby, she becomes an altogether different species of humanity – a parent! Unless you’re a parent yourself, you will never understand the concerns and considerations that go behind those seemingly eccentric, sometimes socially embarrassing (setting your hair right in public or insisting on holding your hand when crossing the road even when you’re well into your teens), actions and routines that you wish she’d stop practicing.
Anyway, speaking about the physical changes during pregnancy which are mostly temporary, certain skin changes are quite common. They appear during those nine months of biological investment, mostly around the third month, and usually disappear within about a year of giving birth. While some of these signs and changes disappear on their own, a few of them require special attention and some extra efforts on your part. Let’s take a look at some such dermal conditions that mark your skin during pregnancy.
Common Skin Conditions During Pregnancy
Pregnancy is a time in a woman’s life when the hormones inside her body undergo radical changes in terms of their quantity and cycles. It is common for these internal hormonal shifts to manifest as various dermal conditions which cease as the hormones and their cyclic patterns are restored to their pre-pregnancy conditions. That is why, most skin changes during pregnancy gradually disappear on their own after a woman has given birth. Here are some common skin conditions that a pregnant woman is likely to encounter:-
Skin Color Changes
Changes in the texture and pigmentation of the facial skin during pregnancy are the most visible and common external signs of internal hormonal shifts. Melasma, also known as the mask of pregnancy is one such condition wherein the facial skin becomes marked with dark, hyperpigmented blotches, especially on the forehead and cheeks. This is often a cause for great concern for beauty conscious women. These blotches occur due to the increased sensitivity of the skin to sunlight during pregnancy. Wearing a good sunscreen for all outdoor activities helps in keeping hyperpigmentation in check.
Also, applying a lemon juice-honey mask thrice a week helps reduce the intensity of the pigmentation. Another type of skin color change during pregnancy is the pinkish glow that you get complimented on when you’re well past the eighth week of your pregnancy. You see, all those raging hormones during pregnancy make your skin softer and increase its moisture retaining capacity. This gives your skin a pumped up, smoothened look and feel. This is, perhaps, the best, most positive skin change that pregnancy brings along!
Dry Patches, Rashes and Skin Eruptions
An abnormally increased frequency and intensity of acne and pimple breakout as well as the appearance of frequent heat rashes is common during pregnancy. The culprits are the same – hormones! The same culprits cause the skin to get dry and scaly skin patches at various regions which may or may not be itchy. The acne and pimple breakouts usually happen at regions that have the maximum concentration of sebaceous glands and get oily the most.
Marks Around the Abdominal Region
Stretch marks are the most distressing of all skin changes caused by pregnancy as they stay on for a long time after childbirth, sometimes for the rest of the life! These marks occur as a result of the abdominal skin getting stretched in response to the increased size of the uterus (for accommodating the growing fetus) considerably and staying that way for several months. These marks can be avoided or the intensity of their visibility can be reduced by regular exercising and applying lotions or creams containing vitamin E regularly since the beginning of the third month of pregnancy.
Another abdominal mark that appears in some women during pregnancy is the linea nigra which is nothing but a darkened version of the linea alba – the faint, whitish line that traces a straight path from the navel to the mid-point of the pubic bone. The darkening of this line usually occurs somewhere between the fourth and the sixth month of pregnancy.
Other Skin Changes
Reddening of palms and soles, usually accompanied by itchiness in those areas, is a common occurrence during pregnancy. Appearance of spider veins on the face and legs is also very common during pregnancy and is usually nothing to worry about. They disappear soon after childbirth and can be easily camouflaged by using appropriate cosmetic products. Chafing along upper thighs, on the underarms or beneath the breasts is common as a woman tends to perspire more during pregnancy than when she’s not carrying a child. Keeping these areas clean and dry is the best way to manage the discomfort as well as to avoid the appearance of skin tags.
Most women complain of itchiness all over their bodies during pregnancy even when there is no other accompanying skin condition such as rashes or acne. Due to the increased hormonal levels in the body during pregnancy, the skin becomes extremely sensitive to external stimuli such as heat, light, touch, etc. This makes it prone to irritations and outbreaks on the slightest instance.
Also, during pregnancy, a woman experiences heightened emotional states which mean that even the slightest reason can get her all worked out and stressed up. This also leads to an increase in the appearance of acne, pimples, skin discoloration and eczema-like skin conditions which are, as proved by numerous studies, most likely to occur when certain hormones are released during episodes of emotional stress.