4 Ways Pregnancy Affects Your Skin
Congratulations on the news about your little one! Your body is in for some exciting changes, and some of these changes you already knew about. As your baby grows and your hormones run wild, you can expect a rounder tummy; enlarged breasts; and more luscious, voluminous locks.
But not everything about pregnancy will seem glamorous. Some changes will leave you feeling nauseous, moody, and vulnerable. Others will trigger intense food cravings and running to the restroom in the middle of the night.
Your skin, in particular, may undergo a few transformations that may make you feel self-conscious or insecure about your physical appearance. You’ll find some of the most common pregnancy skin changes listed below.
1. The Pregnancy Glow
When you thinking of glowing skin, you may envision models with their sun-kissed tans and flawless complexions. Unfortunately, the pregnancy glow has nothing to do with sunbathing.
As your body produces more blood, your skin will enjoy a dramatic increase in blood circulation, giving you lovely rosy cheeks. However, as your hormones go into overdrive, your oil glands will produce a lot more sebum. Though sebum protects your skin and keeps it lubricated, it also leaves you feeling greasy rather than glistening.
Solution: Wash your face with an oil-free cleanser. If you struggle with morning sickness, avoid strong-smelling soaps and perfumed facial products as you care for your skin.
2. The Pregnancy Mask
Also known as chloasma, melisma, or the mask of pregnancy, this skin condition results in dark brown, blotchy, or confetti-like patches of skin on your face.
As your estrogen levels rise, the hormones trigger an increased production in melanin, the pigment responsible for your skin color. The more melanin you have, the darker your skin appears. The condition is especially prominent in those of African or Asian descent, as they already have more skin pigment, though women of all races and nationalities may experience it.
Solution: Although the discoloration is temporary, you can minimize its effects during pregnancy by wearing sunscreen with a high SPF and donning a hat and sunglasses whenever you go outside. Exposure to sunlight only makes chloasma more pronounced.
3. Varicose and Spider Veins
When you hear about varicose and spider veins, you may envision gnarled, enlarged veins that show up on the legs of much older individuals and those who sit for extended time periods.
However, pregnancy remains one of the biggest contributors to varicose and spider veins. As your blood flow increases, the extra blood puts added pressure on the small vessels and veins, causing the valves within the veins to fail. The result is a congestion within the veins ultimately giving rise to an abnormal dilation in the affected vein. Furthermore, these veins can occur almost anywhere, including your face and neck.
Solution: Varicose veins and spider veins tend to diminish within three or four months after giving birth. You can minimize their circulatory affects by walking and exercising regularly (to help increase blood flow to the heart).
If varicose veins linger long after you’ve given birth or continue to be a source of discomfort, talk to a professional about having your vein issues evaluated and treated in order to permanently eliminate your damaged or abnormal veins.
4. Acne Breakouts
Just when you think you’ve seen the last of your teenage acne breakouts, you now have to face pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads during pregnancy.
With sebum production at an all-time high, your pores may quickly become clogged with the oils, bacteria, and dead skin cells. You may see acne on your face, neck, breasts, hairline, and even your butt.
Solution: Clean your face with a mild, oil-free, scent-free cleanser twice daily (once in the morning and again at night). Don’t over wash your skin, as your skin may feel extra sensitive during pregnancy and you may make your skin more prone to breakouts.
If you suffer from pitting and scaring due to pregnancy acne flare-ups, talk to a dermatologist about laser treatment to fade and minimize scars.
Love Your Baby and Your Skin
Fortunately, most of the above conditions will fade after you’ve delivered your child, so you don’t have to worry about your skin in addition to caring for your new baby. However, if any of the effects bother you or continue to persist longer after your pregnancy, don’t hesitate to talk to a professional about laser genesis skin treatments.