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Dermatology

Pregnancy > Health and Development > Dermatology

Isn't it so annoying when you watch movies and pregnant women are described as “radiant” or “glowing” and your skin has turned into a rough carpet of bumps, blotches and rashes. Well you should know you are just like most women whose skin is affected by the growth hormones rushing through their body.

The “rosy glow” is usually produced by the increased amounts of blood which can also lead to spider angiomas. These are made up of a central red spot and red veinlike fingers extending from it, resembling a spider's web, hence the name.

Acne is a strange pregnancy symptom and women who are usually prone to this condition can find it either gets better or gets a lot worse and is affected by hormone fluctuations. Stretch marks are another of the Symptoms of pregnancy and while not all women get them during pregnancy, most do.

Stretch marks are pink or purple bands which appear due to the stretching of the skin and appear mostly on the stomach, breasts or thighs. There are creams available which contain alpha-hydroxy acids believed to prevent stretch marks and exercise is also thought to help. Stretch marks usually fade to white over time but never completely disappear.

The mask of pregnancy, a strange phenomenon which turns the skin brown is caused by sun exposure and the deposit of excess pigment on the skin's upper layers. This also improves after pregnancy but women are advised to use a high factor sun cream during pregnancy to avoid exposure.

Hair can either appear or disappear during pregnancy. Typically “hirsutism” results in the growth of hair in places more typically associated with men such as on the lip and chin but usually disappears when hormones return to normal levels after pregnancy. Telogen effluvium can occur around three months after delivery and involves the thinning or loss of head hair. Hair usually grows back but it is always best to check with a dermatologist to ensure normal full regrowth occurs.

PUPPP or pruritic urticarial papules of pregnancy is a particularly nasty condition which can result in small red hives and bumps on the abdomen, thighs, buttocks, breasts and arms. These rashes can be extremely itchy although antihistamines and topical medications can sometimes relieve the itch. As always check with your doctor to see which is suitable for pregnant women.

Other skin conditions such as skin tags, psoriasis and atopic dermatitis may find their conditions worsens during pregnancy and as with most of these problems, can be as a result of the high levels of estrogen and other hormones.



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