*contributed collaborative post
Pregnancy is a magical time for a woman who chooses to have children. Embracing the changes that come with pregnancy is important, and it’s more than the emotional and mental changes that have to be embraced. The physical changes that happen take a lot of getting used to and they’re not always easy to overcome. Understanding how your body is going to change is a must if you are growing a new life, and one thing to pay attention to is your skin.
If you look after your skin in a regular daily routine, there is every chance you’re going to have to chuck that routine out the window! There are places like the DC Micropigmentation Academy that can help you to keep a close eye on your skin while your body is changing and beyond, but you need to have an awareness of the changes to expect, too. Pregnancy brings on so much more than a burgeoning bump and funky cravings, so you need to look into it as much as possible. You will be expecting all of the good side effects (including a brand new baby), but you will experience breakouts, discoloration, patchy skin and even rosiness that doesn’t seem to go. Below, we’ve got a list of the things that will change in your skin during pregnancy.
- A clear complexion. For some lucky ladies, a clear and glowing complexion is expected and experienced in pregnancy. The combination of hormones and oils along with the increase in blood volume can make skin feel and look great. There is a radiance that comes with pregnancy, too – why else do you think people say that pregnant women “glow”?
- Breakouts. On the flip side, the increased progesterone levels in the body trigger more oil produced than ever. There are breakouts to consider and these can be unsightly, painful and plain annoying – especially if you’re not used to it. Acne products should be talked through with your doctor, because there are some products with ingredients that can be harmful. Speaking to a dermatologist is a must if your skin has an extreme reaction to your newly rushing hormones.
- Patches. There is a skin condition that can develop in pregnancy called melasma – dark patches on the skin. These large, dark patches often occur in the face and it’s known as the “mask of pregnancy” on the forehead, cheeks and nose. The increase in levels causes this and there aren’t very many things that can prevent it. A good sunblock can help, as can staying out of the sun.
- Thicker hair. You might think hair is hair, but it comes from your skin, which means you’re going to have more of it. While you are carrying a baby, your hair stops falling out and your hair is thicker. There is still growth on your body hair, though, and pregnancy and blood volume causes the hair to slow down and pause while you are growing a human. It’s not an effect that lasts, though, as you might have heard about postpartum fallout!
- Fast-growing body hair. One of the biggest skin effects of pregnancy is in fast growing body hair. It’s not helpful but it’s totally natural! You can use creams on the smaller areas of the body but avoid depilatory creams on larger areas so that you don’t absorb it into the bloodstream. Waxing can also be extra painful, so try not to go for it in pregnancy. The one thing you should do, however, is either embrace the additional layer of fur or use a mitt to exfoliate the hair away.
- Sensitive skin. Another skin condition to consider is an increase in sensitivity. It’s not a nice one – especially if you aren’t used to it. Your emotions will be touchy, sure, but your skin will be, too. Use products that are perfume free and fragrance free, too. You should also test any new skincare products on a small patch of skin first. Your skin will change in pregnancy, and you might need new products for that.
- Freckles and moles. Did you know that you can get new moles and freckles when you’re pregnant? You also may experience changes in existing moles, and while these are mostly harmless, your doctor should be aware of any skin changes like this so they can be watched. Skin cancers can and do pop up in pregnancy, so keep up with all changes and moles so that you can be treated if anything isn’t normal for you. Don’t delay any treatments, either. It’s important.
- Skin tags. These are tiny growths that grow on the body in random places. They are tiny teardrops of skin that grow, and they are usually found in underarms, groin and under the breasts. The hormone growth that you experience will cause these to grow and if they don’t go away, you can have them removed.
- Linea nigra. Have you ever heard of the dark stripe that spreads from the belly button to your pubic bone? This is officially called a linea nigra, or “dark line”. In some women, this doesn’t go away beyond pregnancy. In others, it will disappear a few weeks after the birth. This patch of skin is darker as a result of increased melanin production while you’re pregnant. You will also find that your nipples are likely to darken, too.
- Varicose veins. Lastly, a common and not so nice skin side effect of pregnancy is varicose veins. The increased blood volume in your body puts pressure on your legs, making them swell. These veins are then stretched out and end up protruding from the skin. They are very often the result of weaker vein walls and the best antidote here is exercising! This will prevent the blood from pooling in the legs.
Pregnancy changes the body in a big way, and now you know what skin changes to look for to make life easier for you. What to expect when you’re expecting is so much more than you thought!