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Skin problems that expectant women are bound to experience.


Date Posted: 7/25/2012 2:52:17 PM

Posted By: meg soni  Membership Level: Gold  Total Points: 2477

A woman undergoes many changes in pregnancy and the skin is no exception.Most of these changes are physiological, which means that they are the result of normal body changes which include hormonal changes,changes in blood volume and the growth of the uterus.These changes resolve after child birth.Skin changes often cause concern due to the aesthetic effects they have especially where the face is involved.The severity of the conditions varies from one person to another and even from one pregnancy to another.

Common skin changes during pregnancy includes:
1.Appearance of greyish or brownish discolouration or darkening of the skin and the face.This change is more pronounced on the forehead,cheeks,upper lip and the chin and usually starts during the second trimester.It is more noticeable in darker skinned women and after sun exposure.The skin darkening is medically termed as melasma and is often referred to as the mark of pregnancy.

2.The darkening of the skin in other parts of the body other than the face.It is more obvious in certain areas including the areola,around the umbilicus.Below the umbilicus,this line is particularly darker and is referred to as linea nigra(black line).This darkening often resolves after delivery.

3.The appearance of the dreaded stretch marks which are more common in the abdomen.Initially the skin appears red or purple and then turns into a whitish scar.Anyone can develop stretch marks bit they are more likely to occur in pregnant women.The three main reasons for this are:the skin of a pregnant woman stretches more especially around the abdomen;pregnant women add weight thus stretching the skin;hormonal changes make a pregnant woman''s skin susceptible to getting stretch marks.Stretch marks fade over time.

4.Veins of the legs becoming congested and prominent,these are called varicose veins.The veins become congested due to the pressure created by the growing baby.As pregnancy progresses,the womb expands and begins pressing on

the veins in the abdomen and pelvis.This slows down the movement of blood from the legs and the blood starts congesting in the veins of the legs causing them to swell.Not all women will get these congested veins though,those who have a family history of similar problems are more likely to develop the condition.In addition to the congested veins,fluids may collect and result in generalized swelling(oedema) of the legs.These conditions may become obvious from the first trimester and regress after delivery.

5.Oily skin which becomes more prominent towards the end of the pregnancy when certain glands in the skin begin to produce a lot of oil.In some people,this may progress into the development of acne even without prior history of acne.Topical treatment can be given in severe cases during pregnancy and after delivery in cases where it persists.

6.The skin may turn reddish or pink due to increased blood flow.This flushing is a common response to hormonal changes during pregnancy.

7.The skin can have prominent capillaries visible radiating from a central point.These are more visible in women with lighter skin and occur more frequently in caucasians. These occur mainly on the face,neck,arms and hands and usually resolves after delivery.There are other skin changes that may occur in pregnancy including skin diseases that are more serious than the normal physiological conditions.If you have any skin changes in pregnancy and are not sure if they are normal,visit your doctor or antenatal clinic for a check up.

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