Pregnancy dramatically changes a woman’s body. While some women are lucky enough to experience that pregnancy glow, some women find the change in their appearance utterly frustrating. This is due to the fact that, hormonal activity during pregnancy can result to either a healthy glowing skin, or a skin with a variety of problems.
Acne is the most common skin problem that pregnant women suffer from. It is most common to find acne around the mouth and chin during pregnancy. These can continue until delivery of the baby if it is left untreated. However, pregnant women should be extremely careful in using skin care products during pregnancy. Products that contain salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide and any of the retinoids should be avoided. Topical preparations that are safe to use include sulphur-based products and products containing glycolic acid or alpha hydroxyl acids.
If these don’t help at all, you can ask your doctor as to what topical prescription drugs that may offer good results without harming your baby. It may also help if you use a foundation that is suited for oily skin. This has oil blotting properties and will not irritate your skin further. You can also use oil control papers of films because they help in removing excess oil.
Aside from acne, women are also bothered by melasma or the mask of pregnancy. This occurs at around the 24th week of pregnancy and onwards. The hormonal changes of pregnancy cause patches of dark pigmented skin on the woman’s face. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, women with darker complexions and dark hair are at higher risk. You may also experience darker pigmentation on your areola, and your thighs. Some women also have a line of pregnancy or linea nigra. This line of dark pigment runs down to the center of the belly.
There is no treatment for the discoloration of your skin but staying out of the sun can diminish the amount of discoloration you may experience. Thus, it is best to wear sunscreen every time you go outdoors. It may not be safe to use skin lightening products that have not been approved by your physician. Discuss with your doctor as to what products you may be able to use. A quicker way to hide your pregnancy mask is by using a high-pigment concealer or foundation. Choose the color appropriate for your skin in order to cover the needed areas. For best results, apply a moisturizer before you apply your concealer.
Another common pregnancy related skin discomfort is PUPPP or pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy. Women with PUPPP develop small red bumps and hives that may from large patches when severe. It usually starts in the abdomen and spreads to the breasts, thighs, and buttocks. This may resolve after birth of the baby but it can be extremely uncomfortable. You can try applying a cloth soaked in warm milk to achieve relief. If it persists, you may contact your doctor so you can be prescribed topical steroid creams. Women need to inform their health care provider if they notice other suspicious rash-like symptoms. Your doctor needs to evaluate your symptoms whether they are pregnancy related or not.
Women may also have stretch marks as their skin stretches due to pregnancy. While stretch marks may be hereditary, it may help if a woman uses certain measures to prevent it from occurring. Maintaining your weight gain within normal limits as well as moisturizing may help in preventing stretch marks.
Indeed, pregnancy causes a lot of changes in a woman’s body. Although they may be disturbing, they will usually not last after delivery of the baby. If it bothers you that much, you don’t have to worry. Many treatment alternatives are now available to help correct your skin problems after delivery.