The size of your belly is not the only one that will change while you’re pregnant. Your skin will experience a number of changes too, mainly due to shifting hormones. Most of these skin issues are annoying, but it is good to know that they are harmless and will soon get better after you give birth.
Below are some of the skin changes that may appear during pregnancy and how you can address them. Do take note, however, that not everyone who is pregnant will have or experience all the same skin issues.
Acne flare ups are a common concern among those who are expecting. This is due to hormonal fluctuations in the body, which causes the sebaceous gland to produce more oil or sebum. The excess oil can then clog your pores and contribute to breakouts.
Washing your face with a gentle cleanser at least twice a day is important to combat acne. Be sure not to pop or pick your blemishes, as doing so will only cause further inflammation and increase your likelihood of getting acne scars. When it comes to using acne medications or treatments, it is best to talk to your doctor about it.
Melasma (and other forms of pigmentation)
Often referred to as the mask of pregnancy, melasma (chloasma) is a form of hyperpigmentation. It is said to be triggered by hormonal fluctuations in pregnant women. It commonly appears on the forehead, cheeks, upper lips, and chin as brown or grayish-brown patches.
Sun exposure can make melasma worse, so it is important to wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen daily. There is no present cure for it, but there are treatments that can improve its appearance. You may also be glad to know that melasma can clear up after giving birth, and if not, can be improved with treatments like Limelight™ Photo Facial.
Apart from melasma, you may also notice skin darkening in other areas of the body such as the neck, inner thighs, genitals, and around your nipples. Linea nigra or the dark vertical line that runs from your navel through your pubic area may also appear. These pigmentation changes may return to normal after several months, but you can also consider aesthetic treatments if they never go away.
The stretching of the skin to accommodate your growing baby commonly results in the appearance of stretch marks. An increase in pregnancy hormones is also believed to contribute to stretch marks. It is common for these lines and streaks to appear during the second or third trimesters.
Many products claim to treat stretch marks, but not all of them are effective. If you develop stretch marks during pregnancy, they will eventually become less noticeable over time. You can also consider Acoustic Shockwave Therapy or Dermapen-4™ Microneedling later on if you’re bothered with your stretch marks.
For some women, varicose veins are a common part of pregnancy. They commonly show up on the legs as enlarged and swollen bluish-purple veins. Varicose veins appear when the uterus exerts extra pressure on the veins in your legs. They develop during pregnancy and tend to get more visible as your belly gets bigger.
Not every pregnant woman will develop varicose veins, but if you do, there are a number of things you can try to keep them under control. These include:
- Exercising (low-impact exercises or what your doctor recommends)
- Wearing comfortable clothes or maternity support hose
- Sleeping on your left side to avoid pressure on the main blood vessels
- Avoiding standing or sitting for prolonged periods
- Keeping your weight to what your doctor recommends
- Avoiding crossing your legs when sitting
- Taking your daily vitamins (especially vitamin C)
After giving birth, it is common to notice loose skin around your belly and other parts of the body like your arms, breast, and thighs. This happens when the skin is stretched due to weight gain. Having loose skin after pregnancy is normal, but it can make many women self-conscious about their bodies.
As much as you want to get into your pre-baby body faster, it is best to take it slowly. Shedding weight too fast, may cause you to lose fat and muscle, which can prevent you from keeping a toned body. Losing weight slowly is recommended, but you can also consider aesthetic treatments if diet and exercise don’t seem to be enough.
You can check out our previous post for tightening loose skin on the belly after pregnancy or weight loss.
Cutis Medical Laser Clinics in Singapore offers a number of aesthetic treatments that can help improve acne, pigmentation, loose skin, and signs of aging. If you’re looking to address skin changes brought on by pregnancy or aging, don’t hesitate to contact us or schedule a consultation with one of our aesthetic doctors.