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Skin Changes During Pregnancy

Posted on July 05 2022

You will face varied skin conditions like stretch marks and pigmentation throughout your pregnancy journey.

 

Congratulations mama, you have a little human growing inside of you! With that incredible feat comes many changes. While hormones may affect us emotionally, they also play a part with changes to our skin. However, everyone experiences different symptoms. Some expectant mums may find themselves marvelling at their pregnancy glow, while others don’t. Here are some of the common skin conditions that you might face and ways you can take better care of your body and skin throughout your pregnancy journey.

 

Stretch Marks

 

Oh the dreaded and two most commonly discussed words when it comes to skin changes during pregnancy. There’s much literature surrounding striae gravidarum or stretch marks. Just about every preggie mama fear them or at least have already stocked up on products to manage them. These marks develop mostly in the later part of pregnancy and can occur on the growing abdomen, breasts, buttocks and thighs. They appear as bands that are initially red or purplish and then slowly fade to become skin-coloured bands of thinned-out skin.

 

So what can you do about them? There are many anti-stretch mark treatments and oils available over the counter. Most importantly, do your research and always check the ingredients prior to purchasing. Your tummy also needs an enriching physiological moisturiser to keep skin supple. As well, products with hyaluronic acid is also recommended for moisturising and skin healing. It’s often used in creams, lotions, and serums that can improve the appearance of stretch marks. The Tri-Light™ Body Sculpt Fit by Skin Inc is also a great product to have on-hand post pregnancy. Its revolutionary modes help to detox, smooth, lift and enhance your skin. You can set it on Glow Mode to assist with lymphatic circulation and detoxification, whilst targeting tonality concerns like stretch marks.

Stretch marks are pretty common place when you’re pregnant. However, these will fade skin-coloured bands of thinned-out skin.

 

Melasma

Another common skin condition when you’re pregnant is melasma (also known as chloasma) or pregnancy mask. It’s thought to be due to stimulation of pigment-producing cells by female sex hormones so that they produce more melanin pigments (dark coloured pigments) when the skin is exposed to sun. You might notice grey-brown patches beginning to appear on your cheeks, forehead and chin. Melasma may regress post-partum, but it can persist in some mums after pregnancy.

 

The best way to curb the development of melasma? Sunscreen! Sun protection using a broad-spectrum sunscreen and sun avoidance are the best preventive measures for hyper-pigmentation. It is necessary to continue to use sunscreen after pregnancy as sun exposure may cause the patches to reappear.

 

Non-Facial Pigmentation

Other than melasma, hyperpigmentation can also occur in non-facial regions targeting the areolae, nipples, skin around the umbilicus, armpits and inner thighs. You might also see the linea nigra, which is a dark vertical line that runs from your belly button down to the pubic region, appearing in the second trimester onwards. These areas of hyperpigmentation gradually resolve after you deliver your little one.

The linea nigra is a darkened line that appears mid-pregnancy on your baby bump. It will usually lessen and fase away after you’ve given birth.

 

Acne

And you thought you’re way past the age when you were plagued by acne? Think again! While many women actually find that pregnancy hormones their acne and leave them with dewy pregnancy glow, others find their skin becoming more oily and prone to acne breakouts. This is where remedies that you swore by during your teenage years can come into play. Make sure you’re drinking lots of water and cleanse your face daily. You can also customise a serum, for example, from Skin Inc to target specific concerns during your pregnancy. Basically, less is more and do what works best for you.

 

Spider Veins

The increased oestrogen levels in your body during pregnancy causes creepy crawly like veins to appear commonly on the face, neck, chest, arms, and legs. You can apply a weekly facial mask to alleviate the symptoms if the veins appear on your face. Aside from spider veins, varicose veins may also occur in the vulva and vagina at the end of second or third trimester. This may cause you to feel a sensation of “heaviness” in the groin. Loading up on fibre and regular exercise can reduce the spread of spider veins. Aside from that, using compression stockings throughout the day may also help to minimise new spider veins from emerging.

Spider veins and varicose veins can appear in varied places on your body due to an increase in oestrogen levels during pregnancy.

 

Palmar Erythema

A sheen of red on the palms of your hands appears with the increase in oestrogen levels as well. This is caused by changes related to our blood vessels. There aren’t any treatments to reduce the redness itself, but fear not, this will go gradually go away once you’ve delivered your baby.

 

Skin Rash And Dryness

Some mums will also experience skin rash and sensitivity. Your skin becomes itchy and if you’ve got prior ailments like eczema or psoriasis, they might get worse. According to Medical News Today, there are seven different types of skin rash that can occur during pregnancy. In most cases, they are not serious and do not indicate a problem with the foetus.

 

Using a physiological moisturiser may alleviate the rash and itch. However, try not to use paraffin on the skin as this ​​can clog your skin pores. Other than moisturising your skin frequently and keeping dryness at bay, misting sensitive areas on your face with products containing hyaluronic acid like Skin Inc’s Pure Serum Mist, will help to soothe your stressed skin.

Itchy skin is a common skin condition during pregnancy and moisuring your baby bump is the best way to keep this discomfort at bay.

 

While the above skin conditions may appear all at one go for some and none at all for others, you needn’t fret too much about them during your pregnancy journey, mama, as they will diminish post-delivery. What’s important is that you eat healthily and stay active to keep the blood flowing.

Pregnancy facial offers some relief from acne breakouts, skin dullness and dryness.

 

Tips To Take Care Of Your Body And Skin

  • ​​Keep skincare to the minimal with just sunscreen, moisturiser, and mild cleansers.
  • Use a broad spectrum sunscreen on your face every day to prevent hyperpigmentation and avoid direct hot sun. A sunscreen with a moisturiser is helpful. The SPF factor or sun protective factor needs to be at least 15 to 20.
  • Choose moisturising soaps. Do not use bubble baths or scrub your skin daily.
  • Your tummy should also be supported with special maternity panties. Most women continue to wear their normal panties but these don’t support the distending skin. The splits would be less, if these special maternity panties were worn.
  • You need to exercise to keep your abdomen muscles strong. Regular exercise ​also reduces stress incontinence and keeps the blood flowing for a healthy glow!
  • See your doctor if you have bad eczema, as you may need steroid creams with a low potency.
  • Ensure you take vitamins and calcium. Some types of psoriasis get worse with low calcium in your body.
  • Bad acne can be treated with antibiotic lotions, for example, erythromycin or clindamycin lotions. Do not use tretinoin (Retin-A) cream during pregnancy, as it is known to cause multiple malformations in the baby.
  • Reduce intake of foods with a lot of yeast if you have fungal genital infection, like pau, wheat noodles or cakes.
  • Have adequate sleep as a restful body leads to less stressed skin.
  • Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
  • Monitor and check your skin health is by downloading the +SABI AI app. Once you’ve downloaded it, simply take a selfie and receive a 360 AI diagnostic and progressive skin report. You’ll also receive personalised coaching and self-care tips based on the computer vision assessment. Furthermore, you can curate your wellness journey throughout pregnancy based on your water intake, sleep, stress level and more!

 

Relevant Reads: Beauty Tools and Accessories for Busy Mums

Credits: Lucas Mendes, @baby2bodyofficial, @franjoskitchen, @biodynamicwellness, @tropicwithemmalowe, @calvertrejuvenationsspa 

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