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Home » Pregnancy & Baby Forums » Skin Changes



Skin Changes

Skin Changes



I've been told I'm "glowing". What does this mean?

Skin Changes During Pregnancy


The `Pregnancy Glow.`
There is a glow that others notice, even though you may not! It is not just a sentimental old wives' term. This facial shine actually has a biological basis. During pregnancy, there is an increased blood flow. The increased volume of blood causes the cheeks to take on an attractive blush, because of the many blood vessels just below the skin's surface. On top of this redness, the increased secretions of the oil glands give the skin a waxy sheen. The flushed face on many pregnant women is similar to the one non-pregnant people experience when they are excited, cry, or do anything that increases their heart rate.



The Pregnancy Mask.
Sometimes your facial features may look slightly different to you. During the second trimester you may find yourself gazing at a different face in the mirror. Brownish or yellowish patches called chloasma, the pregnancy mask, can appear anywhere on the face, but are seen most commonly on the forehead, upper cheeks, nose, and chin. The pregnancy hormones estrogen and progesterone stimulate the melanin cells in the skin to produce more pigment, yet because these cells do not produce extra pigment uniformly, your facial skin may acquire a blotchy tan. If you have ever taken oral contraceptives, you may already have experienced this particular hormonal side-effect. Brunettes and darker-skinned women may notice darkened circles, resembling eye shadow, around their eyes. Chloasma cannot be prevented, but you can minimize the intensity of these blotchy, darkened areas by limiting your exposure to sunshine, which further stimulates melanin production. To prevent `mask of pregnancy` from happening to you, you should wear a good sunscreen that is at least SPF 15 whenever you plan on being outside. You can also wear your favorite ball cap to protect your face from the sun. Your skin is extra sensitive, and the sun increases your chances of these dark spots showing up on your face.



Acne.
Just when you thought that your days of pimples were over, you start to get acne again. While the acne of pregnancy is rarely as severe as that of adolescence, you may need to return to some of your teenage cleansing rituals. Fortunately, pregnancy is much shorter than adolescence; the bumps and pimples will subside shortly after delivery. Avoid abrasive scrubs or exfoliants; pregnant skin is too sensitive for these. Milder, oatmeal-based facial scrubs (available at nutrition stores) can help unplug the oily pores, and are much kinder to sensitive skin. Because of the risk of birth defects, the anti-acne prescription drugs Accutane and Retin-A cannot be used during pregnancy.



Linea Nigra.
Many women normally have a faint white line, known as the linea alba, running from their navel to the center of their pubic bone. It is barely visible before pregnancy. You may not have even known it was there. Sometime in the second trimester a linea alba becomes a linea nigra, a dark line that is much more noticeable. In some women the line extends upward from the navel as well. The linea nigra is darker in darker skinned women and disappears several months after delivery.



Dark Areas Become Darker.
Little moles and freckles that you had prior to pregnancy may now become bigger. Brown spots or birthmarks become browner. New moles may also appear. You need to consult your doctor or dermatologist if these moles seem particularly raised, dark, or have irregular borders. The areola and nipples of your breasts will become quite a lot darker. Unlike other areas of your skin, which return to their original color after pregnancy, your areola will probably always be somewhat darker than they were before you were pregnant.



Red Palms And Soles.
Sometimes as early as the second month of pregnancy, the insides of your hands and the bottoms of your feet may itch and take on a reddish hue. This annoying condition is called palmar erythema. The increased color is nothing more than a curiosity of pregnancy.



Spider Veins.
Pregnancy hormones and increased blood volume can cause tiny, squiggly red or purple capillaries just below the surface of the skin to branch out and become more visible during pregnancy. It's also common for spider veins (they resemble a small spider web), to pop out on the face or on the sclera (white part) of the eyeballs during delivery; intense, red-in-the-face pushing can break tiny blood vessels. Known as nevi, these burst vessels can be camouflaged by the appropriate use of make- up. Nevi take longer to disappear than many of the other skin problems of pregnancy, some spider veins on the legs or torso may not go away on their own. Increasing your vitamin C intake and not crossing your legs can help minimize spider veins. Spider veins may also be hereditary, in which case there is nothing you can do to prevent them. Fortunately, these will most likely fade shortly after delivery. Laser treatment can also be done to help remove any spider veins that have not faded away.



Skin Tags.
Some pregnant women develop tiny polyps in areas where skin rubs on clothing or skin rubs together. These are known as skin tags. They are commonly found under the arms, between neck folds, or under bra lines on the chest, skin tags are caused by hyperactive growth of a superficial layer of skin. They disappear a few months following delivery, but can be easily excised if they bother you.



Heat Rash.
Many people think that only babies get prickly heat rash, but pregnant women do also. Heat rash is caused by the combination of an already overheated pregnant body, dampness from excessive perspiration, and the friction of skin rubbing against itself or against clothing. Prickly heat rash is pimply and slightly irritating. It is most common in the crease between and beneath the breasts, in the crease where the bulge of the lower abdomen rubs against the top of the pubic area, and on the inner thighs.



Itching.
Most pregnant women enjoy a good `scratch down` from their partner at the end of the day. Some areas of your skin may itch because they are dry and flaky. Others may itch because of heat rash. Many women find the itching is most bothersome in the skin that stretches, mainly over the abdomen, but also on hips and thighs.

Pimply Eruptions.
A few pregnant women experience itchy, red, raised patches on their abdomen, thighs, buttocks, and extremities. This condition is called pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy (dubbed PUPP). It is rare and only affects 1% of pregnant women. It tends to come and go during the second half of pregnancy and nearly always disappears shortly after delivery. Treat this the same as any other itchy skin eruption.



Stretch Marks.
Stretch marks are one of the most common skin changes that can occur during pregnancy. Almost all pregnant women will experience stretch marks. Stretch marks appear as pinkish or reddish streaks running down your abdomen and/or breasts. Exercising and applying lotions that contain vitamin E and alpha hydroxy acids have been said to help in the prevention of stretch marks. These remedies have not been medically proven to have a direct effect on stretch marks, but it never hurts to try. If you find that nothing is working for you, take comfort in knowing that these streaks will fade to silvery faint lines after delivery.



Varicose Veins.
Varicose veins are bulky bluish veins that usually appear on the legs during pregnancy. This happens because your body is compensating for the extra blood flow that is going to your baby. Varicose veins can be uncomfortable and sometimes painful. Unfortunately, if you have a family history of varicose veins, you may be prone to get them during your pregnancy. The good news is that you can take measures now to prevent or decrease the symptoms. Read the Varicose veins article





Comments: Skin Changes

Comments 1 to 18 of about 18.
1


mstash - 1176 days ago.
I have developed more skin tags in this pregnancy esp. under BB's. I don't like looking at them they make me sick. I went to Walmart and they has a skin tag remover by Dr. Scholls but affraid to use it right now because of my pregnancy.

gurarenteed - 1196 days ago.
Funny thing is I know when I'm pregnant because my starts to 'act up'.. lol.. I get heat rashes and acne. My last pregnancy it was during the summer time and I began to get white spots on my face. My doc said it was from the sun and suggested sunblock. Now i have this heat rash across my chest and it itches like crazy, i have been putting benadryl and cortisol on it and it helps temporarily. Any suggestions? also my boobs have gotten so big and they sweat underneath so much that it is staring to darken an the skin is sort of peeling. I always seem to get the bad side of the skin during my pregnancies. Where is my pregnancy glow? Maybe i will get the nice, pretty glow near the end, lol

manda-may - 1723 days ago.
Pregnancy is such fun.... I didn't get the 'pregnancy mask' on my face, but under my arms I got dark brownish black colouring.... eww! Luckily it went away after the babies were born!! Sooooo glamourous!

cbonita - 1724 days ago.
has anyone tried using mineral makeup to help cover skin blotches during pregnancy. My liquid is almost and its not really covering much anyways. So I thought I would try something new. Just wondering is anyone else has used it and if it really works any better than liquid.

mabelle143 - 1744 days ago.
I have developed skin tags EVERYWHERE since becoming pregnant. I have them under my breasts, in my arm pits, 'down there'...but the worst ones are on my neck. It's so bad I won't wear my hair up. I am going to the dermatologist as soon as I can after my little boy arrives! Is this happening to anyone esle?

mommalynch - 1777 days ago.
This itching is driving me insane! My nipples and belly are persistently itching so badly that I am causing myself excoriations. The cocoa butter lotion hasn't helped. So far, cortisone on my nipples, and using the Gerber Grins and Giggles Oatmeal baby lotion are the only things that help. Even this is only for a few hours. I think I am going to get Gold Bond Medicated lotion today. They have an anti-itch formula that used to work well on my legs. Anyone have this problem, and how did you solve it?? I have 4 months to go.

AmyandSteve - 1788 days ago.
Since becoming pregnant I've had acne on my back. YUCK! I also have psoriasis and now I have a flare up and it's really bad..i can't take anything for it..the meds cause birth defects. I hope it goes away.

miobambino - 1832 days ago.
Hi, i am new to the site. cheggers (DH calls me cheger magoo) lol! with my 2nd and May 28th 2010. worst side affect to date is the bad skin.... horrible spots behind my ears and arond my chin and jaw.. yuk! i hope they go soon... ;-(

mamacass1219 - 1903 days ago.
Ughhh before i even took an hpt i knew i was preggo- the ACNE said it all. I'm even getting zits on my skull, in my hair.. wtf? how is this possible?! and they all freakin hurt!

babyluv843 - 1907 days ago.
since I have been preg, suddenly I have razor burn SO BAD! and my deoderant makes me break out! its horrible! hopefully its just hormones and goes away!

hanakalei - 1914 days ago.
BabySaunders - my line is far from straight lol it looks really really goofy but i guess everyone is different so dont let it bother you too much :)

BabySaunders - 1914 days ago.
My Linea Negra is not in the center. I know this is dumb but it's driving me crazy lol. I'm very much a symmetrical person so I just wish it were in the middle. It almost doesn't even touch my belly button it's so off to the side.

mistymisfit - 1930 days ago.
my forehead, chest,and upper back have broken out in a raised acne type rash, it feels flakey and bumpy, however not itchy, it looks awful and i dont think its actual acne as theres no heads as such on the bumps, there tiny but many, i didnt get this with my first pregnancy, anyone else got this???

mommyof2sosoon - 1964 days ago.
The skin on my upper lip is turning dark...and I look like I am growing a mustache!! It isn't hair...but my actual skin that is dark brown!!! It is super embarrassing!!! Please let me know if this is/has happened to you. It didn't happen with my first son!!! I don't know what to do??!!!

I Want A Bump - 2001 days ago.
IDK if im pregnant yet but i think i am. I would only be like 3 weeks and something days BUT im wondering if you guys had lil bumps/acne this soon. I've never had these lil tiny bumps all over my forhead. Its crazy my skin has never been like this. Has this happened to anyone else????? and is it a pregnancy symptom????? HELP LADIES???

equine75 - 2012 days ago.
Anyone have the 'mask' on other parts of their bodies. I have what looks like that on my breasts. I haven't talked to midwife about it...It looks just like what women get on their face...a blotch tan.

luckywhite - 2193 days ago.
my cousin had it like you would not believe... she looked like she had dipped her face in chocolate and bits had fallen off! shes quite olivey and it was really patchy and there was nothing she could do.. demalogica do a good brightening treatment for over pigmentation - its pricey tho.. other than that you just have to use a really strong strong suncream to minimise the effects of being outside in daylight.. hers faded after her bubbah was born..

blakesmommy336 - 2209 days ago.
in my pregnancy my skin got really bad. it was dry and i always had a pimple! then after i gave birth it it changed so fast first it got realy oily and then it cleared up...omg i cant believe how good my skin looks now. for all you mommys out there with skin problems..make sure after you give birth to keep taking your prenatal vitamins it will help restore all the nutrients you lost during pregnacy....good luck!!!


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