9 Unexpected Ways Your Skin Changes During Pregnancy

As your body goes through many changes during pregnancy, so does your skin. Here are some changes that you may notice.

You may notice things on your body that were not there before, or you may feel like a teenager again with all the oil and pimples.  Whatever it is that you discover, realize that it is normal during pregnancy.

Earlier on, you may notice skin changes during pregnancy, such as stretch marks, pregnancy mask (Melasma), pregnancy glow, pimples, and skin tags.  While many of these changes can be alarming, they will usually disappear after you give birth. Here are some other skin changes that you may notice during pregnancy.

#Pregnancy Glow

One of the first changes you may experience is sometimes called a pregnancy glow.  Others may notice it first, and it could be what tips them off to your pregnancy.  It results from increased blood circulation and oil production and will leave your face looking shiny and rosy.  You can use special cleansers to help reduce oil, but some women like to keep enjoying the glow.

#The Mask of Pregnancy (Melasma)

Sometimes referred to as Melasma, a pregnancy mask typically shows up as a dark spot on your forehead, cheeks, chin, nose, and upper lip and is made worse by the sun.  This is caused by hormones and can be minimized by always wearing sunscreen while outdoors. Eating a well-balanced pregnancy diet full of oranges, green leafy vegetables, whole-grain cereal, and whole wheat bread also helps minimize Melasma by eliminating folate deficiency.

#Stretch Marks

Stretch marks are quite common during pregnancy as your stomach starts to expand to accommodate a growing baby.  You may also notice them on your breasts, hips, and thighs, which is completely normal due to an increase in fat in these areas.  You can try special lotions to help prevent stretch marks, but keep in mind that these marks will eventually fade with time.

#Increased Pimples, Oil & Acne

Again, due to the increase in hormones, there is an increase in oil production.  If you have problems with acne initially, you may notice that it becomes even worse over time.  You may find pimples on your face, chest, back, or buttocks.  You can try oil reducing cleansers, but be careful to look at the ingredients to ensure you don't use anything unsafe during pregnancy.

#Skin Tags

These are small little pieces of skin that start growing due to a response to hormones. You will notice them mostly on your armpits and chest.  If they do not disappear by themselves after pregnancy, you can have them removed in a doctor's office.

#Itchy Abdomen

An itchy abdomen can have a few different causes.  Typically, it is caused by the skin's stretching and tightness and can be relieved with lotion or calamine lotion.  If you notice bumps accompanying the itchiness, you may have Pruritic Urticarial Papules and Plaques of Pregnancy (sometimes referred to as PUPPP).  

This is an intensely itchy condition, and you will likely need a prescription to get relief. You may have a condition called cholestasis caused by improper liver function, which needs to be treated. If you experience extreme itching late in pregnancy, you should contact your healthcare provider.

#Varicose Veins

These are blue veins that will stand out from the skin and usually appear in the legs and feet. They are sometimes uncomfortable or painful and again are the result of increased blood flow. To prevent or reduce them, try not to stand for long periods, keep your feet up when you sit, take short walks to increase circulation, and consider taking vitamin C. Also, wear hi-stretch maternity leggings to minimize the discomfort.

#Linea Nigra

Linea Nigra is a dark vertical line running down the middle of your abdomen.  It is believed to be caused by the increased hormones in your body and usually occurs during the second trimester. You may also notice a darkening of the inside of your belly button.  There is nothing you can do to prevent it, but it will disappear shortly after giving birth.

#Spider Veins

These look like small little reddish or purplish blood vessels, and you will notice them on the backs of your legs, on your face, or your arms. These are caused by the increased volume of blood in the body and do not hurt. They will usually go away on their own.

Final Words

Don't panic if you notice your skin changing during pregnancy. Instead, remember that it is a natural response to all of the changes occurring in your body. Although there are many skin changes during pregnancy, most of them are not severe or bothersome.  Keep in mind that most of these conditions will reverse themself after you give birth. Try some of the remedies and wear stretchable and comfy maternity clothes to ease the discomfort. If you still cannot get relief, speak to your health care provider.

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