Skin Changes During Pregnancy

Skin Changes During Pregnancy

One of the common side effects of pregnancy is your skin’s reaction to the unfamiliar hormones flooding your system. Some of these are pleasant, such as the “glow” many pregnant women enjoy. Unfortunately, more of them are unpleasant for pregnant women; symptoms commonly experienced by pregnant women include everything from stretch marks and skin tags to acne and melasma.

Some pregnant women are lucky enough to enjoy a decrease in acne and clear, glowing skin. Some unlucky women, however, experience an increase in acne or even acne when and where they have never had it before. This type of acne usually disappears after delivery, when hormones gradually return to normal. But acne scars and dark marks can remain, and can be distressing for the woman.

Pregnancy can cause an increase in skin pigmentation in certain areas of the body, even the face, as seen with melasma. Women who are not pregnant as well as (rarely) men can also experience melasma, but it is by far more commonly seen in pregnant women. Melasma causes a patchy tan or brown discoloration of the facial skin, typically on the cheeks, upper lip, chin, and forehead. Sun exposure can worsen melasma. People with darker skin tones have a greater risk of developing melasma during their pregnancies.

What to Avoid During and After Pregnancy
Depending on the type of skin change you experience, there are different methods for minimizing the appearance of the change and restoring your skin to its original state. However, whether you are dealing with melasma, acne, or even a cut or scrape unrelated to your pregnancy, you want to be sure to choose products and techniques that are safe for use during pregnancy.

That means avoiding:

  • Vitamin E: Studies do not show that vitamin E improves scars, and it can also cause skin irritation.
  •  Hydroquinone: Although it does lighten scars, hydroquinone can also cause permanent skin discoloration, delayed healing, and skin irritation. It has also been suspected of causing some types of cancer, and has been banned in certain countries.
  • Kojic Acid: Kojic acid can cause increased skin sensitivity, potentially resulting in allergic contact dermatitis.
  • Additives such as fragrances and preservatives: Depending on the specific agent used, these can cause skin irritation.

How to Treat Skin Changes during Pregnancy
Instead, focus on treatment methods that involve natural and safe ingredients, such as licorice extract and vitamin C, to lighten scars, melasma, and acne marks during pregnancy. You can also maximize your results by drinking plenty of water, which benefits overall health, eating a healthy diet, avoiding the sun, and getting plenty of (doctor-approved) exercise. Exercise improves oxygen-rich blood circulation and contributes to the healing process; walking is a great exercise that most pregnant women can do daily. If you are already accustomed to more strenuous exercise, ask your doctor about continuing your normal routine during your pregnancy; it’s safe in many cases.

Do you have a question about your scar? Leave us a comment and we’ll be happy to answer.

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The information on this site is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes. Please speak to your doctor to treat any medical condition. Information on this site is not intended to be patient education, does not create any patient-physician relationship, and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment.

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