5 Common Skin Conditions During Your Pregnancy
Your pregnancy can be one of the most amazing experiences you can have as a woman. You may feel all sorts of extraordinary emotions, like excitement and unbounded joy. After all, there's a beautiful miracle growing inside of you! And you can't wait for that most awaited moment when your bundle of joy comes into your life.
Yet, even as pregnancy can bring about so many wonderful surprises, it may also come with a host of unpleasant things, such as changes to your complexion. To keep you glowing as you anticipate, we've compiled a list of the most common skin conditions that may happen due to your pregnancy. We hope that by turning the "unexpected" into the "expected," you'll be able to prepare the proper skincare for your specific needs.
Typical Skin Conditions During Pregnancy
1. Stretch marks
Stretch marks are scars that may appear during the last trimester of pregnancy. They usually happen when the skin stretches or shrinks rapidly. As a result, the skin-supporting proteins of collagen and elastin get damaged. After a period of intense growth and without enough of these strengthening structures, stretch marks may show up on your skin.
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Hyperpigmentation is the dimming of patches of skin while leaving certain areas in their usual shade or color. This is because pregnancy can trigger an increase in the production of melanin. This natural substance in the body provides pigmentation to the hair, eyes, and skin. Excessive melanin can cause uneven skin tone. For instance, you may notice that your hands or the sole of your feet are redder than usual. Your areola and the skin between your thighs and beneath your arms may also become darker. An example of hyperpigmentation is melasma.
Lightening creams with azelaic acid or lactic acid can help safely exfoliate your skin to eliminate the darkened epidermal layer and make newer, more even-toned skin resurface. However, avoid alpha-hydroxy acids, beta hydroxy acids, and hydroquinone products. Like with any delicate case, your pregnancy requires that you consult with your doctor about any products you want to apply topically or take orally.
Another fantastic product that can help with skin discoloration is Bio-Stria® Exfoliating Glove. These eco-friendly bamboo fiber morocco scrub product helps stimulate blood circulation and the skin's natural rejuvenation process.
The PUPPP acronym stands for pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy. Although that's quite a mouthful, PUPPP just basically refers to spots or blotches on your skin filled with numerous red bumps. These marks can look and feel like hives with their intense itchiness. This condition develops in the stretch marks in the abdominal area and on other body parts during pregnancy. It can be extremely discomforting and even painful, yet it's harmless and disappears once you give birth.
Some practical ways to deal with PUPPP are taking oatmeal baths, sticking to light-weight cotton clothes, and using a cold compress for skin relief.
Our body naturally has sebaceous glands that produce sebum, a light yellowish fluid that helps protect and moisturize our skin. However, certain factors like hormonal fluctuations in pregnancy can make these glands overactive. This results in the excessive secretion of oil, clogging pores and triggering the formation of acne.
Manage pregnancy acne with a simple yet effective skincare routine. Wash your face twice a day with a gentle cleanser. Avoid oil cleansing mistakes like using harsh astringents or scrubs that can irritate your skin.
Stress can also aggravate pregnancy acne. One common cause of pregnant women is the discharge from spotting or the leaks induced by the baby sitting on your bladder. Stay leak-proof and acne-free with reputable period underwear.
5. Varicose Veins
When carrying a baby in your womb, blood volume increases to support it. This elevates the blood pressure in your veins and puts additional strain on them. The walls and valves of your veins then weaken and don't function as they should, making the blood flow backward. The blood then accumulates in the veins, causing them to swell up. These enlarged and twisted veins are what you call varicose veins.
Common medical treatments for this particular skin condition include leg elevation and compression socks. However, suppose you're interested in other safe and minimally invasive procedures like sclerotherapy. In that case, your doctor will most probably advise you to hold off on any such treatment while you're pregnant or breastfeeding.
The Bottom Line
Regardless of how your skin is behaving or reacting during pregnancy, you'll need to keep yourself and your baby safe even as you care for your complexion. Use mineral sunscreens; eat a healthful diet rich in antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, and lean meat and proteins; stay hydrated with water (no caffeine and alcohol, please!), and wash your face with a gentle cleanser.
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