Common pregnancy skin issues are hypersensitivity, stretch marks, acne breakouts, melasma or cholasma, dry and itchy abdomen, cholestasis of pregnancy and PUPPP and skin tags.
Pregnancy is a time for great joy and celebrations. But, carrying a life inside you comes with its own quirks. The one thing that pregnant mothers fear and abhor is the skin issues that accompany pregnancy. No matter how excited you are to be a mother, these skin changes may dampen your spirit. So, I’m going to tell you all about seven of the most annoying pregnancy skin care issues and what you can do about them.
Pregnancy Skin Care: 7 Common Pregnancy Skin Issues and Remedies
Do I really need to tell you about this? All the pregnant mothers out there must be familiar with this irritating little issue. Haven’t you felt as if even the softest touch might tear your skin down? Hypersensitivity is the most common skin issue that occurs in pregnant women. Your whole body becomes incredibly sensitive and it needs much more care than you usually give it.
How to remedy? Cut some slack on the chemicals. Go light on your make up and avoid using strong deodorants and perfumes. Use natural moisturizers and body lotions. Choose soft loofahs instead of heavy scrubs and exfoliates. Go easy on your skin in general, so that you could have an easier time with the changes in your body.
During pregnancy, your hormones play havoc on your system which sometimes results in the nightmarish acne breakouts. For mothers who are already feeling insecure because of the changes in their body, these breakouts may cause even more trouble than they are worth.
What to do? Stay on top of your moisturizing game. Be careful to avoid oil-based moisturizers and creams. You can go for water-based products. Build a cleansing routine. Scrubs are a big no. Use mild face wash instead. Follow the cleansing with non-medicated astringents to remove the excess oil. And never ever try to squeeze or rub the acne off your skin.
Melasma or chloasma
Are you having trouble with dark spots and patches appearing on your skin? You are not alone. This condition, known also as “Mask of pregnancy” is caused by the excess production of Melanin which is a result of the hormonal changes. They usually appear on your face and most of the time, disappear after childbirth. Even then, you should probably stick to slathering yourself in sunscreen lotions with SPF level of at least 15. If you can avoid going out in the sun, it’s great. Dust off your old, floppy beach hats and make them your companion.
There aren’t many pregnant women around who don’t complain about stretch marks. These are pinkish or reddish streaks that appear down your breasts and abdomen. You don’t really have a choice in the case of stretch marks. Rapid weight gain also plays a part in it. As the name itself suggests, these have to do with the stretching of your skin which is unavoidable during pregnancy as your breasts and belly will irrevocably grow. The marks will gradually fade into thin silvery white lines like a scar mark.
What can you do? There is nothing much you can do about them. You can try exercising and keeping your body in shape. But, if you ask me, it’s a small price to pay for having the joy of holding your little one in your arms.
Dry and itchy abdomen
As the baby bump grows bigger, you might find yourself having troubles with dryness and itchiness. This has to do with your skin stretching and tightening in order to accommodate the baby. It is a harmless side effect of your body adapting itself to the life inside. They could be of great discomfort to pregnant mothers and aggravate them mightily. If the itching gets too severe, you should consult with your ob-gyn as it might be a sign of cholestasis of pregnancy.
What to do? You can use calamine lotion to soothe your itchy skin. Apply moisturizer on your belly and drink lots and lots of water.
Cholestasis of pregnancy and PUPPP
Cholestasis is a liver condition specific to pregnant women as they reach their last trimester. It happens because of the increased pregnancy hormones affecting the natural flow of bile. Very severe itching all over the body instead of the usual abdominal dryness and itching might be caused by cholestasis. Sometimes, it could be malignant to the baby which your doctor can diagnose through a blood test. If that’s the case, you will need proper medication. Otherwise, the condition will go away after delivery.
If the itching spreads to your arms and legs, it might be a condition known as PUPPP (pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy). PUPPP is the appearance of dry, reddish patches on your skin around the stretch marks and gradually spreading to your arms and feet. These itchy bumps on your skin are not harmful to the baby, but could be a great annoyance to you. They usually fade away post-partum. Anti-itching creams and lotions may also provide you with relief in the case of PUPPP.
Caused by the weight gain due to hormonal activities, skin tags are benign, loose outgrowths on your skin appearing where skin rubs against skin or clothing, usually your underarms and beneath your breasts. They may also appear on your neck, back and in the groin. Like stretch marks, there’s nothing much you can do about them. They may disappear after delivery and if they don’t and bother you that much, you can get them surgically removed.
Pregnancy is not easy. Pregnancy skin care is as important as child care in order to have a comfortable pregnancy. But, play it safe with the moisturizers and lotions. Let your doctor know which lotions you are using so as to know if they’re harmful to the baby. Plus, being able to be comfortable in your own skin will automatically uplift your mood and make the pregnancy period easier for yourself and those around you.