A whole lot of skin changes happen during pregnancy;
some women bloom while others fret over their lot.
The fretful lots have to deal with more grease, sweat
and pigment in their skin. With blood flowing closer
to the skin, you will feel warmer; skin appears shinier
with the increased oil secretions. More fat means
more cellulite on thigh and bum areas. Every woman
has her own experience during this time; some feel
their skin never looked better and yet others are
plagued by numerous skin problems. Most skin changes
are transient but some changes are here to stay.
Pigmentation changes more obvious
on dark skin, these changes are caused by melanocyte-stimulating
hormone which acts on the skin cells. Freckles,
moles and the areola of the breasts darken; so does
the inside of your thighs, armpits, eye areas and
genitalia. A dark line that separates your abdominal
muscles and runs down the center of your stomach
makes its appearance around week 14 and sometimes
a little later; it is very common in most pregnant
women. This line along with the areola usually remains
dark for a while but will fade with time eventually.
Chloasma is also called the mask
of pregnancy; it resembles brown patches on the
bridge of the nose, cheeks and neck. The patches
are dark on light skin and light on dark toned skin.
The only way to camouflage it is with the use of
cosmetics; don't attempt bleaching. This again is
temporary and goes away after few months of delivery.
Folic acid deficiency is associated with discoloration
of skin; sun exposure worsens things as you are
more prone to tanning during pregnancy and the patches
only intensify under sun rays. Use suitable protection
like a 15+ sunscreen cream.
These threadlike, red lines usually appear on the
cheeks. They are broken blood vessels caused by
rapid dilation and constriction of the blood vessels
when circulation increases. The blue lines that
you notice on the breasts and the tummy area are
caused by the extra blood you are now carrying.
These go away once your baby arrives. In situations
where the veins are severe, you may need surgical
These are little extra bits of skin growths that develop
in areas where there is friction; bra lines under
your breasts, under arm areas are some examples. Small
areas of skin become overactive causing these growths.
Some women lose them naturally after delivery while
others may have to visit a dermatologist for assistance.
Rashes and spots:
Heat rashes can be caused by the combined activities
of increased circulation, increased body temperature,
perspiration and skin friction. Rashes usually are
itchy. Dressing in cotton loose clothing helps; avoid
harsh soaps and cleansers. These spots may also appear
on the face, arms, torso, palms and soles of feet.
Medications for acne and psoriasis can be dangerous
to the fetus due to its potency; check with your doctor
on alternative care. Conditions like these usually
make an exit soon enough.
If you were pimple-prone
monthly periods, you may continue to get them now
as well. This is especially true in the first trimester
when the pregnancy hormones have not reached a balanced
level yet. Keep your skin clean and use a cleanser
2-3 times a day to deal with the active sebaceous
glands. Don't try squeezing these spots as this would
help spread the infection into the deeper layers of
These marks are very common; they look like thin pink
or red or purplish lines on fairer skins and pale
brown lines on dark skin. They are seen on the tummy,
breasts, thighs and bums. The hormone relaxin decreases
the amount of collagen in the skin fibers, making
them more fragile and hence prone to tearing and breaking.
You cannot stop it from appearing; no oral application
or dietary changes can prevent its appearance. You
can't stop or heal these marks; however they gradually
fade to silvery lines in the skin. It is usually worse
with women who gain kilos rapidly and excessively.
How many lines appear and how quickly they fade depends
on the elastin and collagen levels of your skin. Gradual
weight gain and a diet rich in protein and vitamin
C will help keep your skin in better shape. Vitamin
E oil or cream does little to prevent its occurrence
though many women swear by it.
General tips on skin care
• Use soap sparingly; soap removes natural oils
from the skin
• Glycerin based soap and body wash are gentler
• Don't lie in the bath for too long as this
dehydrates the skin
• Use make up to add cheer and moisturize your
skin at the same time
• Aromatherapy oils are relaxing and moisturizing