What Pregnancy Does to Your Skin

Woman looking in the mirror at her changing pregnancy body and skin.

Pregnancy can affect many things, including your skin, hair, nails and much more! For some it may be a welcome change, bringing along with it that pregnancy glow or thick hair, but for others, pregnancy may bring acne, sensitive skin, melasma or more. Here are the most common skin problems women can encounter during pregnancy.

Stretch Marks

Stretch marks are one of the most common skin problems that comes with pregnancy. Almost 90% of women experience stretch marks. When your belly rapidly expands with the development of your baby, depressed streaks in your skin appear, often on the stomach. Although you can’t predict if you will get stretch marks, genetics does play a role.

Melasma

Melasma or chloasma occurs when dark, splotchy spots appear on your face. These commonly occur on your upper lip, nose, cheekbones and forehead. During pregnancy, there is a temporary increase in melanin. Be cautious with the sun, because this can affect the risk of melasma.

Pregnancy Glow

A combination of factors can make a pregnant woman’s skin glow. An influx of hormones is the primary factor that changes your skin. During pregnancy, your body will produce excess oil, making your face shiny. Another factor is the 50% increase in the production of blood, leading to a brighter complexion.

Acne

Your acne may become more irritated during pregnancy. The extra oil produced during pregnancy can cause excess breakouts. It may be mild, moderate or severe and may last for a few weeks or for the entire pregnancy. Just educate yourself about which acne products are safe during pregnancy. Avoid retinol, retinoids and salicylic acid, as they can be harmful to the baby..

Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are swollen veins that are blue or purple in color. When you are pregnant, there is a lot of pressure on the large vein on the right side of your body, which increases pressure in your veins. If you didn’t have varicose veins before pregnancy, there is a high chance they will improve after you give birth.

Sensitive Skin

It’s common to have sensitive skin during pregnancy, due to increased hormone levels. You may be more sensitive to sunlight, heat, detergents, chlorine and foods. Be sure to protect your skin with SPF and keep your body moisturized to help your sensitive skin.