12 Ways Pregnancy Can Affect Your Skin

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Color changes

If you hadn’t yet confirmed your pregnancy, skin color changes act as a pretty good indicator that you have a bun in the oven. You may notice that your skin becomes darker and also that your freckles and moles become a different hue as well. Don’t fret about that line on your stomach, either. It’s called a linea nigra and will disappear after you have your bundle of joy.

Broken veins

Broken veins

You may notice that broken veins have surfaced on your skin all over your body. Spider veins, named for their similarity in appearance to the insect, may crawl up your legs. You may also see veins in your cheeks as the blood vessels there experience force from your pregnancy. These, too, will fade after the pregnancy ends.

Spots

spots

No one likes acne, but prepare for plenty of it during your first trimester. Not only will your face break out, but your body may as well. This occurs due to pore blockage from excess sebum, which your hormones triggered. During your pregnancy, only wash with water and a soft cleanser instead of acne products, which only your doctor should suggest.

Rashes

Beware of PUPPP when pregnant. Pruritic Uticarial Papules and Plagues of Pregnancy (PUPPP) look a lot like hives. They can and do target your entire body, specifically the breasts, arms, thighs, and buttocks. Try an antihistamine so that you don’t jump out of your skin from the itchiness.

Skin tags

You probably won’t develop skin tags during pregnancy if you don’t already have them, but if you have preexisting ones, they could get worse. Hormones like estrogen actually produce skin tags, and the crazy hormonal roller coaster of pregnancy dictates that the tags could increase. Once you give birth, the skin tags may disappear entirely or return to their former state.

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Stretch marks

If you dealt with stretch marks during puberty, it’s time to get the massaging oil ready again. Your body will change plenty during these nine months, and all of that expansion could lead to stretch marks. Your crazy hormones also reduce your skin’s thickness due to an absence of proteins, Baby Center, a U.K. resource, notes. The good news : Eventually, the stretch marks will fade.

Itchy skin

Itchy skin

Besides the discomfort of rashes, products that may not have irritated your skin in the past may now cause itching. For example, swimming pools, perfumes, and shower gels could cause skin irritation. If the problem persists, apply calamine lotion to sooth the itch.

Chafing

As your body changes and grows, besides stretch marks, you also become prone to chafing. In order to keep the area between your breasts and your legs from growing irritated, try using talcum powder to keep skin dry. You should also choose airy cotton garments that give your skin room to breathe.

Chloasma

The mask of pregnancy may sound like a cool term but, in reality, chloasma’s no fun. This condition changes tanned skin to a darker shade of brown due to hormone-driven pigmentation. According to WebMD, the mask of pregnancy fades on its own most of the time. If it doesn’t, visit your doctor for a chemical peel or skin bleaching.

Sensitivity

As mentioned, your skin may itch under conditions that never used to bother it. Due to hormones, you may also notice that your skin feels easily agitated by these same conditions. If you find that sunlight bothers your skin, invest in sunblock. Otherwise, try to avoid products that irritate your skin.

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Excessive hair growth

Hair on your legs, armpits, and bikini area’s tough enough, but you may develop excessive hair on your chin or lip. This condition, called hirsutism, doesn’t last forever, luckily. Worse yet, three months post-baby, you may notice that your head sheds some of its beautiful locks.

Worsened skin conditions

If you’re predisposed to skin conditions like acne or dermatitis, these all may get worse during the coming months. Curiously, those with psoriasis may notice a reduction in symptoms due to the protein interluekin-10, WebMD notes. To try to keep skin healthy, stay away from irritating materials and speak to your doctor if your skin conditions become severe.

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