4 Common Skin Concerns During Pregnancy

                    

A woman's skin during and after pregnancy can go through a lot of changes, beyond that commonly known “pregnancy glow”.  Prior to pregnancy, I rarely experienced any pimples, bumps, or redness.  The worst skin problem I have battled with since a child is dry skin, particularly in the winter months.  Needless to say, I was utterly annoyed with my skin pretty much as soon as I discovered I was pregnant with my first child.  My skin problems have varied from pregnancy to pregnancy, so I never quite know what to expect.  From itchy scaly skin to heat rash and pimples, I have learned a bit about what the heck was going on with my out of control skin throughout my three pregnancies.

Here are four common skin conditions during pregnancy I've experienced and how you can cope with them should you experience them as well. 

4 Common Skin Conditions During Pregnancy

1.   Itchiness

Perhaps one of the most common yet annoying skin problems during pregnancy is itchy skin.  When you are pregnant from the neck down your body does not produce as much oil as it typically does, leaving your skin itchy and dry.  Your skin is also stretching, so you have a larger surface area to moisturize with less oil.

What You Can Do: Moisturize your skin with a gentle, unscented moisturizer as much as you can throughout the day. There are many gentle moisturizer products that are for expectant moms.

2. Chloasma (the mask of pregnancy)

The mask of pregnancy, which affects approximately 70% of woman, are brownish or yellowish patches that typically appear around your temples and eyes. They can also appear on your upper lip, nose and chin. Chloasma occurs from the hormones estrogen and progestrone stimulating the melanin cells in your skin that produce pigment. The cells don't produce extra pigment uniformly, making the skin appear like a blotchy tan.

What You Can Do: Although the mask of pregnancy can not be prevented, you can minimize the intensity of the blotches by limiting your exposure to ultraviolet light, including the sun. You should also apply sunblock, which contains zinc and titanium. even during limited exposure to the sun.

3. Acne

Acne is a very common problem, paticularly during the first trimester. According to Web MD, 1 in every 2 woman battle with acne during pregnancy and some suffer from severe cases. In the first trimester, your body's increased level of hormones produces an increase in natural oils, that can lead to acne. Those with a history of acne as a teenager or flare ups during menstruation are at higher risk of experiencing acne during pregnancy.

What You Can Do: Most of the over-the-counter acne medications are harmful to your developing fetus and can cause birth defects. It is important to avoid medications containing isotretinoin, topical retinoids, oral tetracycyclines and hormone therapy. Many doctors also suggest avoiding salicylic acid, which is found in many other beauty products.

Lactic acid is a good way to cleanse acne prone skin while pregnant.  It is a great exfoliant that removes the layer of dead skin that can clog the pores. Other gentle, oil-free, alcohol-free and non-abrasive cleaners are the best way to reduce acne breakouts while pregnant.

4. Spider Veins

An increase in blood volume and water in the blood vessels and the forces of gravity pressing down on your uterus can cause little veins in your legs, face, neck, and chest.

What You Can Do: Avoid crossing your legs, so you are not obstructing blood flow even more. Also, in order to encourage better circulation throughout your body stay active.

As annoying and frustrating as these skin conditions can be during your pregnancy, they will soon disappear once you deliver your baby. Are you experiencing any of these or other skin conditions?  What have you found to be helpful for coping with them?   

Related Post: Pregnancy Woes: Leg Cramps and Varicose Veins

Image via Mindi Stavish

What do you think?

4 Common Skin Concerns During Pregnancy

Mindi is a working mom with three boys ages 4, 2, and an infant (born June 2013). She spent her first 8 years of her career in Speech-Language Pathology at a Children's Hospital. She currently works with adults and children in home health. The real fun for her happens when she is at home with her boys, chasing them around and pretending to be a super hero. She blogs about life as a working mom at Simply Stavish. Her weekly feature, Words in the Sand, teaches parents how to grow their child's s ... More

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9 comments

  1. Monica says:

    This Is My First Pregnancy, And I’ve Never Really Had The Clearest Skin, But The Issues I’ve Been Experiencing Lately Are Most Definitely New…I’ve Always Had Oily Skin And Acne Here And There, But My Skin Is Becoming More Oily And The Acne Isn’t As Bad As I Thought It Would Be…My Palms Are More Dry Than I’ve Ever Seen Them Be And I’m Starting To Get Dry Patches On My Legs…

  2. After my second son I developed adult onset acne. Never had very many pimples as a teenager. So I guess pregnancy must have messed with my system. Acne sucks! But I wouldn’t change having my children for nothing.

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  4. Aiden says:

    My skin is darker and sometimes my tummy itches

  5. At 39 weeks I find out I shouldn’t of been washing my face with my face wash.. nice. I thought I was doing everything right :(.

  6. pumpkin says:

    i have had all that except for the spider veins as well as another odd skin thing… skin tags… thankfully not too big, but i have been getting them all over my neck and chest… exfoliation gets rid of some of them but not all :/

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  8. Sarah says:

    never had those but I did have PUPPS(Pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy) which is a skin condition and it drove me crazy cause the drs couldn’t figure out what it was. took 11 drs but one was smart enough to realize what it was

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