When you're expecting a baby, you always have a beautiful pregnancy glow, right? Well, not exactly. The truth is that the glow may not be perfect. In fact, there are several skin conditions that can be an issue during pregnancy. It is not uncommon to be bothered by changes to your body and your skin. Here are some of the skin problems that can show up when you are expecting.
The Mask of Pregnancy
If you’ve heard of this one, you know that it’s the not-so-affectionate name given to melisma, caused by an overproduction of melanin. This condition shows up as brown patches on your face and possibly other areas of your body. If such patches bother you talk to your doctor and ask about a prescription or nonprescription cream or lotion that can help reduce the appearance. And as always, use sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun.
This is likely one of the most common skin conditions to affect pregnant women. During pregnancy, the our body grows to accommodate the growing child. For many women, our skin and body does not easily return to its pre-pregnancy condition. When this happens, red or purple lines appear and they turn white over time. Caused by fibers breaking under the skin, they are common on the abdomen, breasts, thighs and buttocks. Ask your doctor about creams and ointments that can help blend away the marks. Also consider herbal products including those that contain a variety of natural oils.
Some women break out in light red bumps that can become a few inches in diameter. These bumps are called pruritic urticarial papules and they grow on the arms, legs, buttocks and stomach. Sometimes a patch of them, merge together to form a big area; this is called pruritic urticarial plaques. They can be particularly annoying because they can itch or burn. Avoid hot showers - bathe with lukewarm water and hold cool, wet cloths on the bumps. Do not put soap on the rash. Ask your doctor about using steroidal creams or taking an antihistamine if the itching is bad.
You might also see little tags of tissue form off your skin, especially on your neck, chest and back. You might not like the sight of them, but they are usually not uncomfortable unless your clothing rubs against them. If your skin tags don’t go away and they bother you, speak with your doctor and look into ways to remove skin tags naturally such as with healing oils or other methods that can work for you.
If you think acne is just for teenagers, think again. Some women experience a resurgence of pimples during pregnancy. The good news is they usually go away after baby is born. Meanwhile, avoid heavy makeup and treat your skin with mild cleansers and over-the-counter acne creams.
As you progress in your pregnancy, know that certain skin conditions are a normal part of the process. You are not the only one to experience them. If you are concerned, ask your doctor to check them out and recommend treatment options. Some of these conditions will go away after you deliver your baby and others will become less noticeable.
The material on this site is intended to be of general informational and entertainment use and is not intended to constitute medical advice, probable diagnosis, or recommended treatments.