1. The pregnancy glow. Almost every woman has heard of the pregnant glow. The glow is caused by an increased volume of blood making the womanâ€™s cheeks turn to a reddish pink. Also, the oil glands give the skin a waxy and shiny look.
2. Stretch Marks. 90% of women develop stretch marks during their pregnancy across their belly and breasts. Stretch marks are caused by the tiny tears in the tissue that lie below the skin to help it expand due to the growing of the abdomen and breasts. These streaks can be reddish-brown, pink or even dark brown, depending on the womanâ€™s skin color and tone. Some women may develop them on other parts of their body including thighs, arms, hips, or buttocks. Stretch marks may fade from a red to silver color and become even less noticeable after delivery. Areas that remain red can be treated with laser.
3. Acne. Think again if you thought those pimple days were over. The hormonal changes of pregnancy can result in outbreaks of acne. While acne may be less severe than adolescent years, women who are pregnant should keep their skin clean with a gentle cleanser. Some acne treatments are not recommended during pregnancy so itâ€™s important that you check with your dermatologist before treating your acne.
4. Spider Veins. Spider veins are small, red spots that can develop when a woman is pregnant caused by hormonal changes. They can appear on the face, neck, upper chest or arms. Spider veins are tiny blood vessels that appear due to an increase in blood circulation around that area. Spider veins may also fade and/or disappear after the delivery of the baby, just as stretch marks do. Areas that do persist can be treated with laser after delivery.
5. Linea Nigra. During pregnancy, some women may develop a thin brown line that runs from her naval to the center of her pubic bone. As other skin changes fade after delivery of the baby, linea nigra also disappears.
6. Mask of Pregnancy (a.k.a Melasma). During pregnancy, some women may experience brown or tan patches of skin on their face. This skin change is more common in women, who are brunette and have pale skin, but all ethnic groups can be affected. The changes of skin on their face usually appear on their forehead, temples and the middle of their face. The darkened areas can also appear under the eyes or nose. If the darkened areas are exposed to the sun, they may get even darker. After delivery, darkened areas typically improve. Bleaching creams and microdermabrasion can be used after pregnancy to treat areas that remain.
7. Itchiness. In the second or third trimester, some pregnant women develop mild itchiness on their skin, typically around their belly and breasts. This happens as the skin expands to adapt to the bodyâ€™s growth. Itchiness can also be a sign of complication when severe. If a woman is experiencing severe itchiness, itâ€™s important that she consults her primary physician right away.
8. Skin Tags. Skin Tags are small, soft, flesh-colored growths or flaps protruding from the skin that can form due to hormonal changes. They can develop during pregnancy and are typically found on the neck, breasts or armpits. A dermatologist can remove skin tags easily even during pregnancy.
9. Heat Rashes. Many women may experience rashes because of the effect of hormones on the sweat glands. This increases the changes of pregnant women experiencing heat rashes. In the third trimester, some women can also develop red bumps that itch on their belly, which can also spread to their legs, buttock and arms.
10. Itchy Palms/Soles of the feet. Some women during pregnancy experience itchy palms or itchy soles of the feet later in pregnancy. The medical name for this is palmar erythema. This is very common does fade after pregnancy and should not be a concern.
11. Changing Moles: Some women will notice a change in the size or shape of a mole especially as the size of the stomach grows as the mother grows. Any areas that do not heal or change should be evaluated by a dermatologist to rule out a skin cancer. A biopsy can be performed to test the mole.
Stay tuned for his tips on what you can do about these changes.