Mums-to-be may notice certain skin changes, beginning first trimester of pregnancy. These skin conditions require adherence to an effective skin care schedule during pregnancy. Changes in skin during pregnancy are a normal phenomenon caused due to hormonal changes taking place within the body.
Being well informed about the essential elements related to skin care helps in adopting a safe and effective skin care regime that is suitable for your skin especially during pregnancy. Include this as an integral part of overall health care to optimize your wellbeing. Keep yourself comfortable, good looking and healthy during pregnancy with suitable pregnancy skin care tips.
Pregnancy skin care problems
Melasma or mask of pregnancy: Towards the end of the second trimester or the beginning of the third trimester, you may notice a discoloration of the skin. The most common areas are the cheek, forehead, nose and the upper lip. Statistical data point out that the overproduction of melanocyte-stimulating hormone affects close to 70% of all pregnant women. Increased hormones cause skin pigmentation. Consequently pregnant women develop dark, irregular patches, which fade away soon after the baby is born. You can guard yourself from melasma by reducing exposure to sunlight and by using sunscreens.
Acne: It is common for pregnant women to develop acne during the first three months of pregnancy. Due to the fluctuation of hormones, the skin can dry out more than normal and result in acne. A quick and easy remedy to keep acne at bay is by drinking plenty of water and eating lots of fruits and vegetables. You can consult your health care provider and use skin creams that contain erythromycin and other antibiotics that will not affect the growing fetus.
Pimply eruptions: Otherwise referred to as pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy (PUPP), pimply eruptions are common during the second half of pregnancy. Signs of red, raised patches on the abdomen, thighs and buttocks (or all over the body) appear and can be very irritating to the pregnant woman. Mild or severe in nature, these eruptions vanish quickly after delivery. Calamine lotion can provide relief from the irritation.
Linea Nigra: Around the second trimester, a faint line running from the navel to the center of the pubic bone may turn darker and become a linea nigra. The nipples too may turn darker as a result of the hormonal changes during pregnancy. Hardly preventable, linea nigra fades away after few months of delivery.
Dry itchy abdomen: With the belly growing, your skin stretches and tightens. Quite difficult to eliminate, you can use suitable moisturizing cream or olive oil, which can provide substantial relief. You can also avoid hot showers and baths, eliminate using drying soaps or products that contain alcohol which will make the skin dry fast.
Skin tags: Tiny polyps called skin tags can appear in areas where the skin rubs on clothing or just with the skin. Skin tags are commonly found under the arms or breasts, between neck folds or on the chest. With hardly any treatment options, these tags may require a health care provider to remove them in case they do not disappear few months post delivery. Skin tags are understood to be a result of hormonal changes.
Spider veins: Red or purple sunbursts in the shape of a spider web may appear on the face, neck, upper chest, legs or arms. Referred to as spider veins or telangiectasia or broken capillaries, these are tiny blood vessels that form due to increased blood circulation, most common during pregnancy. The other reason being hormonal changes, these spider veins disappear soon after delivery. You can increase your Vitamin C intake and consciously avoid crossing your legs to help minimize spider veins.
Varicose veins: Pregnant women may develop enlarged veins in the legs. You can avoid or reduce the risk of varicose veins by involving in gentle exercises, avoiding crossing of legs, increasing intake of vitamin C or using suitable tights or stockings before getting out of bed in the morning. Varicose veins become normal or disappear after delivery.
Red or itchy palms: Otherwise termed as palmar erythema, the increased estrogen level in pregnant women may cause the palms to turn red and itchy. Beginning, second month of pregnancy, you may notice the inside of hands and sometimes even the soles of feet itching and turning reddish. These changes fade away post delivery.
Pregnancy skin care tips
- Rest and relax. Get plenty of sleep and select suitable methods of relaxation.
- Use a suitable moisturizer. Apply generously on required areas of skin. There is accelerated sloughing of cells during pregnancy and consequently the skin is in need of better hydration.
- Clean your face and neck frequently using a mild soap to prevent clogged sores.
- Select comfortable and suitable clothing to avoid rashes.
- Try a facial that is most suitable for your skin, as a good massage can rejuvenate your skin.
- Avoid exposure to sunlight and use quality sunscreen lotion.
- Drink plenty of water and increase intake of fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Do not hesitate to consult health care provider even for minor skin changes.
- You may need to switch to skin care products to suit your skin conditions. Some products may be unsuitable for use during pregnancy. Use skin care products with adequate UV filters to prevent skin pigmentation.
- Use a refreshing foot gel to give relief from tired and swollen feet.
- Avoid chemical exfoliant products containing AHAs and salicylic acid and glycolic acid. You can use a clarifying mask made of clay or Fullers Earth in case you suffer extremely oily skin.
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