Skin changes

Skin changes

The increase in hormones during pregnancy as well as other factors can result in changes to your skin which can include:

 "Pregnancy glow"
You may get a radiant glow over your face. Your face seems to blush because you have more blood during pregnancy. There is therefore more blood in the vessels below your cheeks. In addition to blushing, oil production make the skin extra shiny.


The "mask of pregnancy"
During the second trimester, brown or yellow spots may develop over the entire face. This "chloasma", or pregnancy mask, usually appears on the forehead, above the jaws, on the nose, upper lip and chin. The pregnancy hormones estrogen and progesterone create more pigment in the skin on your face. Because not all cells make the same amount of color, stained spots can occur. If you previously took the pill, you may have seen this side effect, caused by hormones. Brunettes and women with dark skin can see dark circles, similar to eye shadow. Chloasma can not be prevented, but you can reduce it by staying out of the sun. Use sunscreen with at least 30 if you go outside, or wear a hat.


If you thought you were rid of this pubescent skin issue, think again; you could get it back during pregnancy. Althouth pregnancy acne is rarely as severe as during puberty, you may want some anti-pimple cream again. This will all disappear again shortly after birth. Don't use products which scrub your skin; as during pregnancy your skin is very soft. Opt for mild products.


Linea Nigra
Many women have a vague white line, known as the linea alba, which runs from the navel to the middle of the pubic bone. It is barely visible, many women will never notice it. In the second quarter, the linea alba becomes a linea nigra, a dark line that is well visible. In some women, the line also goes above the navel. The linea nigra is darker in women with a dark skin. A few months after delivery, the line disappears.


Dark areas become darker
Small spots and freckles can get bigger during pregnancy. Brown spots and moles become browner. New birthmarks may also appear. The breasts and nipples of your breasts become darker. Unlike the places in your face, the isola will remain darker after pregnancy than before pregnancy.


Red palms and heels
In some pregnancies the palms and heels may become red and itchy. Sometimes this happens in the first month of pregnancy. This phenomenon is known as palmar erythema. It's benign, and is relatively uncommon.


Expanded bloodvessels
Pregnancy hormones and increased blood volume can make small purple veins visible. These vessels are well below the skin and are usually not visible, but due to pregnancy this may change. These veins can also be seen in the white part of the eyeball during childbirth. The intense push with a red face can cause the veins to bulge. These red vessels will disappear after birth.

Skin tags
Some women get small skin tags where the skin rubs against clothing, or where the skin rubs against itself. They appear under the arms, in the folds of the neck or under the bra strap. It is a hyperactive growth of skin cells. They disappear a few months after childbirth, but you can also remove them, with a little pain, if you are really suffering.

Red rash
This red rash often occurs in babies, but also in pregnant women. It manifests as a painful hot irritated rash due to an overheated body, excessive sweating, and friction of the skin against clothing or against itself. It usually occurs under the breasts, the area under the belly and the inside of the thighs.


Dry flaky skin during pregnancy can cause a lot of itching. The red rash can also cause it. A lot of women experience itching where the skin stretches, like the belly, buttocks, and thighs.

Body pimples
About one in one hundred women suffer from pimples on the belly, thighs and buttocks. These are known as "pruritic urticarial papules" (PUP). It usually occurs in the second half of pregnancy and disappears shortly after childbirth. Treat the pimples just like normal pimples.


Scars or stretchmarks
Stretchmarks are the most common skin change in pregnancies. Almost all women will get these "scars" in pregnancy. They start as red / pink stripes that run over the abdomen and / or breasts. There is medication available to prevent scarring, but it's not yet medically proven. After pregnancy, the marks become less visible and adopts a dull silver-like color.


Varicose veins
Variceles are bumpy blue veins that usually appear on the legs during pregnancy. There are several reasons for this: the volume of blood in the body becomes a lot greater. Due to the changing hormone levels, the blood vessels can expand. Also, a growing uterus can block the flow of blood from the legs to the heart.

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