Most women will experience certain skin changes during their pregnancy. These mostly happen due to hormonal changes which affect the body, preparing it for a successful pregnancy and labor. Some skin changes may worry future mothers. However, most of these are not dangerous. Yet, it is always good to get informed and know what to expect. Thus, read on in order to find out more about skin changes during pregnancy.
Most Common Skin Changes during Pregnancy
The cheekbones and forehead may become a bit discolored, with brown, clearly defined patches appearing on the surface of the skin. This phenomenon is called melasma. Also, pregnancy may result in your nipples and external genital area turning darker, along with your current moles.
Additionally, a dark line may manifest on the abdominal area, moving from the navel down. Stretch marks are commonly seen in pregnant women, appearing on the stomach, breasts or other parts of the body, becoming whiter and smoother in time.
The changes in the skin may reveal veins more or lead to swelling of the veins in the legs. Finally, acne and skin tags may start forming all around the body.
Reasons behind Skin Changes during Pregnancy
As it was mentioned above, hormonal changes which strike a woman during her pregnancy, manifest through an increase in estrogen and melanocyte-stimulating hormone. The latter is involved with the skin pigmentation and once its levels are increased, darkening of the skin may occur. On the other hand, high estrogen levels are behind problems with veins. Moreover, as tissues stretch in order to accommodate with the growing breasts and belly, stretch marks appear.
The Characteristics of Skin Changes during Pregnancy
Once the baby gets born, the changes which affected the body of the mother start subsiding slowly, over a course of several months. Yet, they may all return during a new pregnancy the mother finds herself in. The stretch marks are notorious but, nevertheless, these become less noticeable in time.
Both mother and the child's health are not jeopardized by any of the above mentioned skin changes. However, rash and other skin problems of this type, being specifically seen during pregnancy may be a sign of concern. Also, itching without the presence of rash may require medical attention, especially if it occurs after the first trimester.
Most common rash that is seen in pregnancy occurs in a form of pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy, herpes gestationis, impetigo herpetiformis, papular dermatitis of pregnancy and prurigo gestationis.
If papular dermatitis of pregnancy occurs, it manifests through a very itchy rash, resembling insect bites with red, raised spots, possibly covered by crusts, appearing all over the body. Since this skin problem may lead to fetal death, it should be treated as soon as possible.