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7 Skin Changes During Pregnancy and What to Do About Them

By Michele Blacksberg RN HERWriter
 
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what you can do about skin changes during pregnancy
Benis Arapovic/PhotoSpin

Pregnancy can be a joyful time but the release of hormones can cause unexpected changes to your skin. Not every woman will experience these changes, but below are seven skin changes that are common.

Stretch Marks

The American Pregnancy Association stated that almost 90 percent of women develop stretch marks during pregnancy. Stretch marks appear as pink or reddish streaks along your abdomen, thighs or breasts.

There is no proven method to reduce stretch marks but lotions using vitamin E and alpha hydroxy acids have been reported to improve their appearance.

Mask of Pregnancy (Chloasma)

According to Dr. Sears, facial color changes may appear in the second trimester called chloasma or the “mask of pregnancy”. Pregnancy hormones stimulate the melanin in the cells to release more pigment.

This increase in color may not occur uniformly so a blotchy tanned look may appear on your face. There is no way to avoid the release of hormones but limiting your exposure to the sun or UV light may decrease the appearance of chloasma.

Use a good sunscreen on your face and wear hats that help block the sun.

Pimples

Extra hormones during pregnancy increase oil production so acne may increase. Wash your face twice a day with a mild fragrance-free soap. Avoid using typical acne products that may contain medicine that is not recommended during pregnancy.

Use a plain astringent such as witch hazel and follow with an oil-free moisturizer. Consult a dermatologist if you have any concerns about which products to use.

Linea Nigra

Many women have a faint line that extends from the top of their public area to their belly button. During the second trimester, this line may darken and is then called linea nigra. Linea nigra is often darker in dark-complected women, but may lighten again several months after pregnancy.

Darkened Pigmentation

Your nipples and areola may also darken but unlike in the case of a linea nigra, they are less likely to lighten again after pregnancy. Other skin spots such as freckles or moles may darken.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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