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8 Common Skin Changes That Can Occur During Pregnancy

8 Common Skin Changes That Can Occur During Pregnancy

So much happens in your body while you’re pregnant. Not only are you building a new human being inside you, but your hormone levels are changing dramatically. It’s no surprise that various changes occur throughout your body.

Among the differences you may notice are variations in your skin. Because it is responsive to hormonal shifts, your skin is especially changeable during pregnancy.

Fortunately, most women only experience a few of these changes, and some don’t notice any differences at all. Most skin changes disappear or become less visible during the days, weeks, and months after you give birth.

At Westover Hills Women’s Health in San Antonio, Texas, board-certified OB/GYN Houmam Al-Hakeem, MD, and our highly skilled team of certified nurse midwives understand the changes that may occur in your skin while you’re expecting. 

Here, we share some information about eight of the skin changes you may notice.

Melasma

This condition, which is also sometimes referred to as the “mask of pregnancy,” causes brownish patches to develop on your face. It is a type of hyperpigmentation that occurs on the forehead, nose, chin, and cheeks.

Linea nigra

Also known as “the pregnancy line,” the linea nigra is a dark line of hyperpigmentation running from your belly button to your pubic hair.

Itchy skin

Approximately 1 in 5 women experience itchy skin while they’re expecting. Most often, this occurs on the belly, hands, and feet. Hormone shifts and skin stretching are typically to blame. To ease itching, use gentle soaps and moisturizing lotions.

Dark spots

You may develop dark spots anywhere on your skin. These spots are made up of melanin, which is pigment found naturally in your skin, hair, and eyes. You can help keep dark spots at a minimum by protecting your skin from the sun with hats, skin-covering clothing, and sunscreen.

Stretch marks

Stretch marks are reddish-colored streaks that may appear on your belly, buttocks, legs, breasts, or elsewhere on your body as it changes size. Although various types of moisturizers promise to eliminate stretch marks, they are unlikely to work effectively.

Acne

For some women, pregnancy feels a little like adolescence with acne breakouts. Blame hormones, the same reason you had acne as a teen.

Minimize breakouts by using a good anti-acne skin care and cleansing routine, but don’t take or use any acne drugs without your doctor’s input. Some acne drugs, such as isotretinoin, can raise the risk of birth defects in your baby.

Spider veins

Increased blood volume along with hormonal shifts can cause blood vessels known as spider veins to appear on your skin. Small red spider veins may show up on your arms, legs, face, or neck. They typically fade after delivery.

Prurigo of pregnancy

These are tiny red bumps that can pop up anywhere on your skin. Although they may look (and itch) like insect bites, they are actually caused by immune system changes related to pregnancy.

Whether you have questions about changes in your skin or concerns about symptoms you are experiencing, we’re here to help you with all of your pregnancy and childbirth needs. 

To schedule a visit at one of our two San Antonio, Texas, offices, call us today or use our online tool to book an appointment.

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