Pregnancy Skin Conditions
The body, most of the time, undergoes numerous physical changes during pregnancy. The skin is as well prone to these effects that arise due to pregnancy.
Women especially experience changes in the outlook of the skin during pregnancy, including:
- Stretch marks
- varicose and spider veins
- Linnea nigra
- Dark spots appearing on the breasts, nipples, and inner thighs region
Many of these conditions that occur are usually normal and happen due to hormonal changes in the body.
Below are some skin conditions that could occur during the course of pregnancy:
Hyperpigmentation refers to dark spots or patches that appear on the skin. Hyperpigmentation comes about by an increase in naturally occurring melanin.
Normally, hyperpigmentation resolves or goes away after delivery, but it might continue for several years.
Melasma is an example of hyperpigmentation that occurs in pregnancy. This condition, melasma, is characterized by brown patches on the face, cheeks, nose, and forehead.
Consult with a dermatologist about ways to treat melasma during pregnancy.
Also, limit exposing yourself to the sun between 10 am and 2 pm using a factor 30 sunscreen or wearing a wide-brimmed hat when outdoors can all help reduce the effects of melasma signs.
PUPPP (Pruritic Urticarial Papules and Plaques of Pregnancy):
This is a condition in which pale red bumps begin to show on the skin of a pregnant woman causing significant itching, burning, or stinging. These bumps differ in size and range from very small areas to larger areas that form a plaque.
Often times, these conditions happen on the abdomen, legs, arms, breasts, or buttocks. PUPPP normally resolves after childbirth.
A doctor may likely prescribe an antihistamine or topical corticosteroid to help ease off inflammation and itching. However, taking steps or actions that aids protection can help reduce the symptoms of PUPPP.
Stretch marks particularly occur in pregnant women.
Women most times develop stretch marks across the abdomen, on the buttocks, breasts, or thighs during pregnancy. Initially, stretch marks are characterized by a reddish-purple appearance, which later on fades to a silver or white color over time.
Although stretch marks most times fade, they never completely go. After postnatal, the treatment of stretch marks is usually not effective, although a person might consider using laser and prescription creams in some cases.
Many trials to prevent or treat stretch marks have not been effective. However, hydrating the skin with moisturizers is an effective control measure during pregnancy.
The generation of skin tags during pregnancy is rampant. These lesions or injuries usually occur on regions like the neck, chest, back, groin, and under the breasts.
Skin tags are generally not dangerous or harmful. If they occur in a place where there’s a risk of irritation that arises from bleeding because of clothing or a repetitive motion, they can be removed by a doctor.
Acne may develop or worsen during pregnancy.
Various treatment options are readily available for the treatment of acne, including medications that are prescribed and those that are not prescribed. One who develops acne should ensure he or she consults with a healthcare provider before using any medication(s).
Practicing general hygiene is very essential for the treatment of acne.
These practices include:
- Washing the face with lukewarm water
- Using oil-free cosmetics
- Avoid picking pimples
- Using a mild cleanser at least twice daily
During pregnancy, making use of over-the-counter (OTC) products that have topical benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, azelaic acid, or glycolic acid is safe for use and as well effective.
Not all medications are safe for usage during pregnancy.
However, during pregnancy, it is important one avoids using products such as:
Hormonal therapies: This could lead to an increased risk of congenital anomalies.
Topical retinoids: This is a kind of vitamin A that is most times common in both prescription and nonprescription products.
Spider veins are small, red veins that often affect the face, neck, and arms.
Hormonal changes during pregnancy lead to these skin changes that are not usually obvious, as well as a higher blood volume.
Varicose veins are painful, enlarged veins that increase body weight and pressure in the uterine, which can arise during pregnancy and reduces the flow of blood to the legs region.
Varicose veins can occur anywhere, including the legs, vulva, vagina, and rectum. These usually resolve after childbirth.
To reduce the effects of varicose veins to the barest minimum and help ease off the effects of these symptoms, one should take heed to the following precautions:
- Exercise often
- Limit periods of sitting and standing
- Use support hose
- Uncross and Elevate the legs when possible, for instance, when sitting for long periods
Other Conditions That Could Occur During Pregnancy
Other skin conditions that aren’t too common during pregnancy include intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (ICP), pemphigoid gestationis, and prurigo of pregnancy.
Prurigo of Pregnancy:
Signs of prurigo of pregnancy include tiny, itchy bumps, and these symptoms resemble insect bites. Changes that arise due to the immune system can trigger the condition of prurigo of pregnancy.
It can also happen in women throughout the period of their pregnancy, with symptoms that keep getting worse daily.
This condition can take several months before you get better. Sometimes, symptoms extend beyond the date of delivery.
Pemphigoid gestationis is an autoimmune disorder that normally happens during the second or third trimester. Sometimes, it might happen immediately after childbirth.
Symptoms of this condition are characterized by blisters on the abdomen or other parts of the body. This condition increases the chances of having a premature baby with low birth weight.
Consult properly with a healthcare provider if you experience or develop any unusual or abnormal skin conditions that worsen. Ensure to seek advice from a healthcare provider before starting treatment.
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