The Different Ways Pregnancy Can Change Your Skin | Biodermis

The Different Ways Pregnancy Can Change Your Skin |

Pregnancy is naturally a time when a woman experiences many changes in her body. These changes are mostly due to rapid weight gain from the developing fetus and from an influx of many different kinds of hormones. While these changes are all part of a normal pregnancy, many of the side effects can be drastic and unwanted. Aside from changes in mood, dietary cravings, and weight, women will likely experience a number of differences in their skin. From acne and the onset of veins to stretch marks and pigmentation, a lot of things can happen to the skin during pregnancy.

Continue reading to learn more about the skin changes due to pregnancy and if there is anything that can be done to lessen the symptoms.
Common skin conditions during pregnancy
Acne is a common problem for women during pregnancy. Even if you never struggled with acne as a teenager, as many as half of all women report acne breakouts during the first trimester of their pregnancy. This is because of the surge hormone levels in the woman’s body during this period. High hormone levels are usually associated with an increased production of natural oils (sebum) on the surface of the skin. It’s important to note that prescription medications to treat acne are not recommended during pregnancy, as they can cause harm to your baby. The best course of action to treat pregnancy acne is to keep your skin clean, use moisturizers, and change your bed sheets every other week.

Stretch marks
Stretch marks, also known as striae, are often an unavoidable part of pregnancy that many women don’t look forward to. Stretch marks are the result of rapid stretching of the skin caused by weight gain and the growing fetus in the woman’s belly. When the skin stretches too quickly, elastin fibers under the surface of the skin tear and break. This results in stretch marks that usually affect areas that experience the most weight gain—the breasts and abdomen. Many different types of creams and oils are sold to help prevent stretch marks, but there’s little evidence that they really work. However, many patients have had success using medical-grade topical silicone to help fade and reduce the appearance of their stretch marks.

Vericose veins
Vericose veins are enlarged veins that can appear as gnarled, red and purple lines that commonly appear in the legs and feet. During pregnancy, blood volume increases while the areas from your legs to your pelvis receive less blood flow. This can put added pressure on the veins in these areas, causing them to enlarge and appear on the surface of the skin. The onset of varicose veins during pregnancy can be hereditary, meaning if your mother had them, you are likely to get them too. Luckily, these veins typically begin to fade 3-12 months after giving birth.

Pigmentation change
Pigmentation refers to the color of the skin. During pregnancy, some women may experience pigmentation change in some parts of their body, most notably the forehead, cheeks, and neck. This is also known as melasma or “mask of pregnancy.” Melasma is caused by an increase in the production of melanin, the tanning pigment that protects your skin against ultraviolet (UV) light from the Sun. The likely causes of these pigmentation changes include genetics and hormone production during pregnancy. Refraining from extended hours in direct sunlight and wearing sunscreen can help prevent the development of dark spots around the areas of the face and neck.

What to think about these changes
It’s normal, as a soon-to-be-mother, to be worried about what your body is going to look like as a result of pregnancy. Just know that many of these changes are natural, and it’s something most pregnant women have to go through. Luckily, many of the skin changes that come with pregnancy aren’t permanent. Some problems, like acne, varicose veins, and pigmentation can go away on their own post-partum. If some skin-related conditions don’t go away after pregnancy, you may need to consult with a dermatologist or plastic surgeon to see what procedures are available. If you had a C-section delivery, you can use medical grade silicone gel strips to reduce the scarring associated with this procedure type.

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