Not all women experience the “glow of pregnancy.” If you are expecting and your skin feels and looks less than glowing, you are not alone. In fact, you are in the majority. Your body is undergoing significant hormonal changes, which can affect your skin in a number of ways. While a lucky few may encounter a more brilliant complexion, most pregnant women suffer from some unfavorable skin changes.
Drastic hormone and body changes during pregnancy are responsible for the following skin changes:
- Acne: Your teenage acne problem can suddenly hit you in the face again (literally). Rest assured that this is likely to subside after you deliver. In the meantime, use a daily cleanser and ask your dermatologist for a safe topical ointment if it is severe.
- Spider Angiomas: These are collections of tiny dilated blood vessels that usually radiate from a central point (resembling a spider). They most often appear on the face and chest. Angiomas may clear up after pregnancy, but if not, they can be treated effectively with lasers.
- Melasma: Known as the “mask of pregnancy.” Melasma is blotches of excess pigment on the face. It occurs when the sun-exposed skin on the upper cheeks, forehead, and/or upper lip turns a tan, brownish color. If your melasma does not go away after pregnancy, ask your dermatologist about a chemical peel or bleaching cream.
- Stretch Marks: It is truly amazing how the skin expands to carry a child. However, you will probably be less than impressed with the stretch marks that are left behind. More than 90% of pregnant women will develop stretch marks during pregnancy, which appear as pink or purple bands on the stomach, breasts and thighs. If you are in your early stages of pregnancy, be sure to ask your dermatologist about lotions and creams you can use to help prevent stretch marks. Exercising during pregnancy helps too.
There are many other skin changes that can occur during pregnancy, including rashes, psoriasis and others. A dermatologist can effectively and safely treat most of these. Although there are some predictable skin changes that occur during your months of pregnancy, you should always discuss your changes with your physician if you are concerned. In most cases, your skin conditions are only temporary or can be successfully treated after pregnancy. At Olansky Dermatology Associates, we offer comprehensive skin care for women, including laser treatments, aesthetic services, surgical procedures and more. We can help you focus on your caring for your new baby and not the skin flaws that pregnancy left behind.