During pregnancy, the expectant’s body goes through many physical changes. The skin is also prone to these pregnancy effects. Women commonly experience changes in the appearance of the skin during pregnancy, like dark spots on the breasts, nipples and inner thighs, melasma, linea nigra, stretch marks, acne, spider veins and varicose veins. Many of these conditions are considered normal during pregnancy and are due to hormonal changes.
Some facts on skin conditions during pregnancy
- Due to increase in levels of melanin, dark spots and patches can develop.
- Melasma occurs, which is a form of hyperpigmentation, and also known as the mask of pregnancy.
- Stretch marks mostly appears by the third trimester, and some never fade ever.
- Even those with clear skin can develop acne while pregnant.
- Varicose veins can develop, and they often resolve after delivery.
Skin disorders during pregnancy
Skin disorders while pregnant is harmless, but its experience can be annoying.
Hyperpigmentation- It is the appearance of dark spots or patches on the skin, caused by an increase in naturally occurring melanin and can persist for several years.
Stretch marks- Expectant women are all too familiar with the presence of stretch marks. Often, they will develop stretch marks across the abdomen, buttocks, breasts or thighs. Although those marks often fade, but never completely resolve. Postpartum treatment of these marks is frequently ineffective, although laser and prescription creams can be considered useful.
Skin tags- Occurrence of skin tags during pregnancy is common, and these lesions generally appear on the neck, chest, back, groin, and under the breasts. Skin tags are nothing to worry about and are not malignant.
Acne- Acne may develop or worsen during pregnancy. There are many ways to treat acne, like prescription and non-prescription options that should be discussed with own healthcare provider before use. It is important to remember general skin care for pregnancy including regular hygienic practices, like washing one’s face with lukewarm water and a mild cleanser twice a day, keeping hair from touching face, shampooing daily, avoiding picking at pimples and use of oil-free cosmetics.
Things to consider
In addition to common skin disorders, there are some less common ones which may occur during pregnancy. Those are:
Pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy (PUPPP) – Itchy rashes are common while pregnant. PUPPPs or pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy, is the most common pregnancy rash. These itchy, red patches appears around stretch marks – usually toward the end of third trimester when women’s belly is stretched the most – and it can spread to the arms, legs, and buttocks.
Prurigo of pregnancy – It’s a Tiny, itchy bumps that look like insect bites. Usually starts with a few bumps and may increases each day.
Pemphigoid gestationis – Blisters spring up on the abdomen and can spread to large parts of the body. This could slightly increase risk of complications, such as preterm birth.
Intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (ICP) – It’s a liver condition which causes severe itching without a rash. This could increase also risk of preterm birth or other problems.
If a woman is pregnant and have any rash, spots, or markings on her body that concern her, she must call her doctor asking for advice and treatment of skin disorders in pregnancy.