Are you pregnant and concerned about the changes your skin is going through? It’s natural to have questions about what’s happening to your body. Here we’ll discuss the most common skin changes during pregnancy, so you can be prepared.
Keep in mind that every woman experiences pregnancy differently, so some of these changes may not apply to you. But if you’re curious about what might happen, read on!
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Why are pregnant women having skin and hair changes?
The answer is simple, yet so complicated and unique to every pregnant woman. It’s because of pregnancy hormones that are increasing during pregnancy. The extra estrogen in your system can lead to a number of changes.
Pregnancy can absolutely change the texture of your skin! Some women report their skin feeling softer and smoother, while others may find that their skin is drier than usual which is why is important to have pregnancy-safe skincare!
Skin changes during pregnancy
Stretch marks are a very common skin change during pregnancy, especially in the later months. They’re caused by the skin stretching as the baby grows. Many women get them on their abdomen, but they can also appear on the breasts, thighs, hips, and buttocks.
Stretch marks are not dangerous, but some women may find them to be unsightly. There are a number of treatments available to help minimize the appearance of stretch marks, including creams, gels, and even laser therapy.
If you’re concerned about stretch marks, talk to your doctor or dermatologist. They can recommend the best course of treatment for you.
How to treat stretch marks?
You can’t prevent stretch marks, but you can help keep your skin moisturized and hydrated. This may help to lessen the appearance of stretch marks after pregnancy. Be sure to moisturize your skin regularly, especially in areas where you are prone to stretch marks.
Itching is another common skin change during pregnancy. It’s most often seen on the belly as the skin stretches, but it can occur anywhere on the body. Itching can be uncomfortable and even painful at times.
Actually, itchy skin is one of the most common skin changes during pregnancy. And that is quite usual because your skin and your body is getting bigger.
How to treat itchy skin?
To help relieve itching, try taking a cool bath or shower. You can also apply a moisturizer to your skin to help soothe the itchiness. If the itchiness is severe, you can talk to your doctor about medications that may help.
During pregnancy, you may notice areas of your skin getting darker. This is called hyperpigmentation. It’s caused by an increase in melanin production, the pigment that gives your skin its color.
Hyperpigmentation is most commonly seen in the form of a line that runs from your belly button to your pubic bone. This dark line is called the linea nigra. You may also notice dark patches on your face, which are called melasma or chloasma.
How to treat melasma and linea nigra?
While hyperpigmentation is harmless, it can be a nuisance. To help lighten the dark areas, try using a brightening cream or serum containing ingredients like vitamin C, kojic acid, or niacinamide. You can also try using a physical sunscreen with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide to protect the skin from further darkening.
Hormonal changes during pregnancy can also lead to breakouts. If you’re prone to acne, you may notice more blemishes during pregnancy. Also, if you’ve never had acne before, you may also experience breakouts for the first time.
How to treat acne?
To help control pregnancy acne, start by washing your face twice a day with a gentle cleanser. Be sure to remove all makeup before going to bed. You can also try using an over-the-counter acne treatment that contains benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid.
To help manage breakouts, use a gentle cleanser and avoid scrubbing your skin too harshly. If your acne is severe, you may need to see a dermatologist for prescription medication.
Spider veins are small, red, or blue veins that can appear on the surface of the skin. They’re most commonly seen on the face, chest, and legs. During pregnancy, spider veins can be caused by increased blood flow to the area.
How to treat spider veins?
There is no prevention for spider veins, but you can help reduce their appearance. To help lessen the visibility of spider veins, try wearing compression stockings. Some pregnant women are also using a self-tanner to camouflage their veins.
Luckily, spider veins usually disappear after pregnancy. If they don’t, there are treatments that can help reduce their appearance. These include laser therapy and sclerotherapy.
Varicose veins are larger, bluish-purple veins that can often be seen on the legs and feet. They’re caused by the increased blood flow and pressure on the veins during pregnancy. Varicose veins also can appear on your vulva and in your vagina and rectum (usually called hemorrhoids). They can be painful and uncomfortable.
How to treat varicose veins?
To help relieve the pain and discomfort of varicose veins, try wearing compression stockings. You can also try elevating your legs when possible. If the pain is severe, you can talk to your doctor about medications that may help.
Varicose veins usually improve after pregnancy, but may not disappear completely. If they don’t, there are treatments that can help reduce their appearance.
Some uncommon skin changes during pregnancy
Prurigo during pregnancy
Prurigo is a skin condition that can cause itchy, red bumps on the skin. It’s most commonly seen on the belly but can also appear on the breasts, thighs, and arms. The bumps are usually about the size of a dime or nickel.
Prurigo during pregnancy is thought to be caused by the increased levels of hormones during pregnancy. It’s more common in women who have a history of allergies or eczema.
How to treat prurigo during pregnancy?
To help relieve the itch, try using a calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream. You can also take an oral antihistamine like diphones or cetirizine. If the itch is severe, you may need a prescription-strength corticosteroid cream.
Prurigo of pregnancy usually improves after pregnancy but may not disappear completely.
Intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy
Intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (ICP) is a liver condition that can occur during pregnancy. It’s caused by the build-up of bile acids in the liver. This can lead to itching, jaundice, and fatigue. ICP is more common in women who have a history of liver disease or who are carrying twins or triplets.
How to treat intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy?
There is no cure for ICP, but the symptoms can be managed. To help relieve the itch, try using a calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream. You can also take an oral antihistamine like diphones or cetirizine. If the itch is severe, you may need a prescription-strength corticosteroid cream.
Intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy usually goes away after delivery but can recur in future pregnancies. But, before you start doing anything about this condition, contact your doctor first.
Hair changes during pregnancy
Not only you’ll notice skin changes during pregnancy, but you may notice changes in your hair, as well. Your hair may be fuller and thicker. You may also have more hair on your head. These changes are (again) due to pregnancy hormones.
Hair loss is a common complaint during pregnancy, especially in the first trimester. Later, in the second and third trimesters, hair loss may occur due to increased hair growth.
How to treat hair loss?
There is no prevention for hair loss, but there are treatments that can help. To help with hair loss, try using a volumizing shampoo and conditioner. You can also try using a leave-in conditioner or serum (maybe you should try coconut oil for your hair). If your hair loss is severe, you may need to see a dermatologist for prescription medication.
In a lot of pregnant women, you may notice an increase in hair growth. Again, thanks to those pregnancy hormones! If you are one of those ladies, well… Lucky you!
Also, be ready to lose your hair glow after you give birth. Namely, in the first few months postpartum, many women experience hair shedding. This is called telogen effluvium and it’s completely normal.
What is pregnancy glow?
The “pregnancy glow” is a term often used to describe the radiant skin that some women have during pregnancy. Despite all skin changes, stretch marks, itchy skin, dry skin, and all other skin problems, pregnant women are really glowing!
While the exact cause of this is unknown, it is thought to be due to increased blood flow and the production of estrogen and progesterone. Whatever the cause, it is a beautiful thing! And whenever you feel like you are not pretty enough, just remember that you and your body are walking miracles.