During pregnancy the skin of the expecting mother changes in different ways. An increased amount of hormones in the body coupled with higher blood flow to the skin introduces various skin problems in pregnant women. The good thing about these skin problems is that, they usually go away on their own and mostly without any special treatment, after the delivery of the child, as the hormonal levels of the body start to reach the previous balanced state.
So, if you are pregnant and the only change in your skin condition you are expecting is a natural rosy glow, you might be actually disheartened. There are only a minimum amount of lucky ladies who experience only positive changes in their skin condition during pregnancy. Most of the women, on the other hand, experiences skin problems that they might not ever had before or had years back. In this article, we will discuss about the common skin problems during pregnancy.
No matter how minor or serious your skin problems look like during pregnancy, it is always advised to inform your doctor about it and never take any medication or even use a topical ointment for treating these skin problems without asking your gynecologist. If your skin problems are serious, your doctor might suggest you with the best remedies that can control the problem before it goes away on its own after the delivery of the baby.
The most common skin problems faced by expecting mothers during pregnancy include,
Acne is a very common skin problem experienced by expecting mothers. If you had acne during your teen age, there is high chance that you will get them back during your pregnancy. However, if you never had acne before, do not think you are on the safe side. Women, who have never suffered with the problem of acne in their life, might start developing severe acne during pregnancy.
Acne breakouts during pregnancy are solely caused by the changing hormonal levels in the body and you might not be able to get rid of them completely, no matter what you do, until the birth of your baby. In such cases, the best option is to follow a safe and simple anti-acne skin care regime to make sure that the condition does not exaggerate and do never prick the acne. After the pregnancy is over, the acne will reduce on its own but if you harm your skin trying to squeeze acne, the resulting scar might stay on your skin forever.
Psoriasis is a skin condition that might be exaggerated due to pregnancy. If you had the problem of psoriasis before, you are more like to get it during your pregnancy. Psoriasis cannot be cured but it can be treated and controlled to a great extent. However, during pregnancy, it might not be possible to opt for the medicines to treat the skin problem, so you might need to settle for home remedies and some minimal treatments according to the suggestion of your doctor. If you did not have psoriasis before, then too you might develop this problem during pregnancy but your chance is much lower.
Skin dryness coupled with Itchiness
Many pregnant women find the problem of skin dryness and itchiness going out of control. The changed levels of hormones in the body can make the skin drier and the increased sensitivity of the skin makes the dry skin feel even more itchy. Usually this problem becomes more prominent on the skin of the body rather than on the face. The best way to treat skin dryness and itchiness during pregnancy is to use essential oil added bathing salt during shower and applying Aloe Vera gel as a moisturizer on the body repeatedly to make sure that your skin does not get very dry.
Hyperpigmentation or darkening of the skin is another common skin problem that pregnant women face. The color of the skin is regulated by the amount of the melanin pigment on the skin. Pregnancy often triggers the rate of melanin synthesis which naturally results into hyperpigmentation and skin darkening. Often the darkening is even on the skin, however, at times it might result into patches of darker skin on different areas. This condition cannot be treated during pregnancy, but after delivery, once the rate of melanin synthesis in the body comes down to its normal level, the problem will get sorted out on its own. If not, you may opt for skin lightening treatments.
Pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy (PUPPP)
This one is a serious skin problem that develops particularly during pregnancy and is cured on its own after the term is over. This outbreak appears like red bumps on the skin and can cause itching, burning or even stinging sensation that might be difficult to tolerate. These lesions can appear in different areas and can be of different sizes.
When these lesions are formed together and cover a bigger area, such as, an area of the size of a diner plate, they are called plaques. They more commonly appear in buttocks, legs, arms and abdomen during pregnancy. Apart from using antihistamine lotions and using cold compress on the area, there are no better treatments that you can follow for this skin condition during pregnancy.
This is a type of hyperpigmentation on the skin that appears in the form of black patches on the face. This condition is so common in pregnant women that it is often called “the mask of pregnancy”. It looks like brown patches on the forehead, cheeks or chin. The patchy appearance is a characteristic feature of this skin condition and it generally does not cover the whole of the face. The condition might go off on its own after delivery or you might need to opt for skin lightening treatments.
If your skin is stretched, it is sure to have stretch marks. Stretch marks are common during pregnancy, particularly in the abdominal area due to the rapid growth of the fetus. If you have gained lots of weight during pregnancy, you might get the stretch marks in other areas of your body as well. Stretch marks appear as lines of scar and are often purple or red in color at the beginning. Stretch marks might reduce over time after pregnancy when the right care of the skin of the area is taken.
Pregnancy also increases the sensitivity of your skin to the sun rays extensively. Pregnant women are much more prone to get sun tan and even sunburn. So, during pregnancy, it is always a better choice to stay indoors instead of going out and basking in the sun rays. Even minimum sun exposure during pregnancy might harm the skin and even cause damage. Always use sunscreen lotion with high SPF during day time when you are pregnant, even if you are staying indoors. This will work as a protective layer on your skin from the sun and heat, keeping you safe from the extreme sun-sensitivity.
Spider angioma is not a very common skin problem seen amongst pregnant women but it can certainly appear during pregnancy. Spider angiomas are characterized by a collection of dilated blood vessels radiating from a central point. It is presumed that changes in the hormonal levels of the body is the trigger point for these angiomas and hence pregnant women can develop this skin problem on their face, abdomen, chest or hands. If you have got angiomas during pregnancy, most unexpectedly it will go off on its own after the delivery.
A small extra mass of tissue hanging from the skin with a connecting stalk is called a skin tag. They are most common near the neck region but can also appear in other areas. If you have skin tags, it is most expected that you will experience increase in the number and size of these skin tags during pregnancy. On the other hand, if you do not have skin tags, then too, new skin tags may start appearing on the skin during pregnancy. However, these are generally benign and does not cause any itchiness or pain unless something it rubbed against them or they are pulled off.
It is believed that the increased level of blood flow in the skin is the reason behind the appearance of skin tags during pregnancy. After delivery, the skin tags might or might not fall off on their own. However, if the number is high, they can be easily removed through minor laser procedures.
During pregnancy, the skin becomes highly sensitive and it is more common to develop different types of skin rashes during this time. Starting from prickly heat rashes to rashes from a minor allergy, everything might take more time to heal or might not heal completely during pregnancy. So, it is best to make sure that you do not get those rashes at the first place. If you get those rashes, start taking care of them from the very beginning so that they are controlled quickly. Simple home remedies, changes in your clothing and eating habits can be helpful to reduce the itchiness and uncomfortableness of these rashes considerably.