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Skin Changes During Pregnancy

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Many women experience skin changes during pregnancy (not to mention entire body changes!). Specifically: facial glows, reddening or blotchy patches, acne, and stretch marks. Not every woman will experience changes but if so, here is a little insight.

After breaking the news of being pregnant, how many people remarked on your “glowing” appearance? It’s actually true! While pregnant, your body produces up to 50 percent more blood circulating through your body. This means, more blood to your face, and a brighter complexion. On top of this, hormones produce extra oils that leave your face a little on the shiny side. So brightness + shiny = pregnancy glow!

Have you heard of a “mask of pregnancy?” It is known as melasma, and looks like dark circles or patches usually found on the forehead and cheeks. It occurs because of increased pigmentation from excess hormone production while pregnant. The American Pregnancy Association reports up to 50 percent of pregnant women showing some sign of a “mask of pregnancy!” To help prevent these pigment spots from occurring, it is recommended to wear daily sunscreen when outside and also wear a hat if spending a longer duration in the sun for extra protection (especially is you are fare or have sensitive skin).

The same oil that produces that shiny glow may also produce extra acne and clogged pores. A normal facial cleansing routine will help reduce excess oils on the skin (especially cleansing before bed). Also, keeping fresh pillowcases may help reduce skin irritation overnight. Some cleansing astringents are specifically noted for removing oils, but checking with your OB health care provider before using strong facial cleansing products is always recommended for safety.

Skin itching, especially around your growing belly, may also occur. While your baby is getting bigger, the skin around your belly is stretching and tightening back up. This may be very itchy, but soothed by applying moisturizing lotions and skin butters. Keeping your belly well hydrated with lotions and butters has also been known to help reduce the appearance of stretch marks.

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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.