Common Skin Problems During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is an exciting time for women. However increased hormone activity causes many significant changes to your body. Your skin undergoes many changes due to pregnancy hormones. While facial glow and healthy skin are often attributed to pregnancy, it is also true that pregnancy leads to certain skin problems.

However most of these skin problems are temporary and generally get resolved on their own post delivery and child-birth. This article discusses some common skin conditions encountered during pregnancy and how to best prevent them.

The most common skin condition encountered by several women during pregnancy is known as a “pregnancy mask”. This leads to darkening or uneven brownish patches on the forehead, nose, temples or other parts of the face. Pregnancy hormones such as estrogen and progesterone cause excessive production of the melanin pigment, which leads to this brownish pigmentation.

Also known as Chloasma or melasma, this skin condition cannot be prevented during pregnancy as it is related to hormonal activity. However, you can minimize the effect of pigmentation by avoiding direct exposure to harsh sun rays and applying a sunscreen before you step out in the sun.

Skin tags are small polyp like formations that appear under arms, between neck folds or under the breasts. Stimulated by the hyper-active growth of the outer layers of the skin, these small polyps disappear after delivery. In the third trimester, your face and eye-lids may appear puffy.

This happens due to increase in the volume of blood in the body and also due to increased fluid retention. Though common, this condition must be reported to your doctor if you notice any significant swelling and sudden increase in weight.

Heat rashes and itchy skin are also common during pregnancy. Increased perspiration can cause prickly heat eruptions on the skin, leading to itching and rashes. Drinking enough water and staying hydrated is one of the best means to prevent heat rashes during pregnancy.

Some women also complain about dry and flaky skin during pregnancy, especially over the abdomen, thighs and hips which also leads to itching.  It is important to take adequate care of your skin during pregnancy to minimize the effect of these minor skin conditions that most women face during this wonderful time.