How exciting! So you’re expecting a little nugget! If you’re newly pregnant or pretty far along you’re skin is bound to experience some changes much like your entire body during pregnancy, especially during the third trimester. Each trimester will bring about different changes in your skin – whether you’ve got the ‘pregnancy glow’ or you’re starting to see ‘pregnancy mask’, these are all common symptoms that you will experience along the way.
Let’s take a look at some of the top skin experiences that happen during pregnancy!
Stretch Marks & Itchy Skin
90% of women will experience stretch marks on their bellies & breasts during pregnancy. Stretch marks are the pink or reddish streaks that will lessen after the little baby comes out. However, if you’d like to treat or even prevent stretch marks, lotions with vitamin E, cocoa butter and AHA’s (alpha hydroxy acids) are said to help. Exercise is often been said to help lessen the appearance of stretch marks.
Upwards of 50% of women will experience this during pregnancy. This is often the dark patches of skin that appear on the face, specifically on the upper lip area. When you become pregnant your body produces more hormones, which causes an increase in pigmentation. Staying out of the sun will be crucial when you’re pregnant. You also will have a higher sensitivity to the sun when you’re pregnant so even if you’re not experiencing pregnancy mask, it is crucial to stay out of the sun regardless.
Pimples and Breakouts
Because you’re hormones are all over the place, your skin is bound to experience some unwanted pimples & more breakouts then you may usually be accustomed to. Talk to your OBGYN or visit with your skincare provider to see what you can do to help manage these breakouts during your pregnancy. Vitamin B6 is often recommended as a good supplement & be sure to drink plenty of water!
This look is simply from an increase in blood flow! When you are pregnant your body produces 50% more blood, resulting in more blood circulation through your body. This increase in blood circulation causes your face to be brighter. Your skin will also experience an increase in oil production so you may have a slight oily look to your face, hence the glow! Your body also retains more moisture during pregnancy causing it to plump up those fine lines and wrinkles that once appeared post pregnancy.
These are typically ‘swollen’ looking veins that appear on the legs during pregnancy. Because of the increase in blood flow, your veins are working overtime to pump all that goodness through. Varicose veins can be painful & are often hereditary. To prevent varicose veins from causing you issues during pregnancy, there are several things you can do:
- Avoid standing for long periods of time
- Walk as much as possible to get the blood flowing to your heart
- Prop your feet up when seated
- Get plenty of vitamin C as this helps your veins remain flexible and healthy (ask your doc please!)
- Wear support stockings
You may also notice an increase in spider veins which are reddish blood vessels that branch outwards. They will usually appear on the face, neck, upper chest and arms. Spider veins typically disappear after pregnancy.
Increased hormones during pregnancy and even breast-feeding can cause these skin tags to appear. These excess skin growths usually appear on skin surfaces that are hot, moist or frequently rubbed i.e. your neck, arms, torso area, etc. Most skin tags that develop during pregnancy will go away, but if they don’t there are very simple options to get rid of them such as nitrogen freezing or even using scissors (please don’t try that at home).
Worsening Pre-Existing Skin Conditions
If you suffer from eczema or rosacea, you will notice a worsening in the symptoms! On the other hand, skin conditions relating to your immune system such as psoriasis could improve during pregnancy. Again, talk with your doc or skincare provider to see what you can do to help lessen the symptoms.
This is the dark line that stretches vertically down your belly that will get darker throughout the pregnancy, often most noticed at around 23 weeks. This line will fade or fully disappear once the baby is born. To avoid this line from being permanent, be sure to stay out of the sun during your pregnancy.
Please be sure to talk to your skincare provider about any skin symptoms you are experiencing during pregnancy. Best of luck to you during your pregnancy and hope we have explained or prepared you for what skin changes are to come.