Hello everyone myself Dr. Shikha Sardana, obs gynae consultant at Chaitanya Hospital, Chandigarh. We are here today to discuss your skin changes and skincare during pregnancy. Now that you are pregnant you began to see many changes in your skin. You may see changes such as sudden glow on your face while on the other end of the spectrum you may find troublesome changes like stretch marks or brownish patches over the skin. Basically the changes in hormonal level in blood flow lead to all the skin changes and every woman’s experience will be different.
Let’s take up the most common changes and learn how you can help yourself regarding these. Pigmentation changes, when you become pregnant your body produces more hormones which causes an increase in melanin, that is the pigment that gives color to skin and hair. The area around your nipples and the skin on your inner thighs and neck might darken. Darkening of freckles and moles might happen. Then you might notice a dark line from your navel to your pubic bone i.e Linea nigra. This is a line that may have always been there but you have never noticed it before because it was light in color. During pregnancy, this line darkens and it usually appears around the fourth or fifth month of pregnancy. There is nothing you can do to prevent this from happening but after your pregnancy, this line will fade.
Additionally, dark patches might appear on your face, most commonly on your forehead and cheeks. These are called as mask of pregnancy or melasma or chloasma. And Nearly 50% of women show some signs like this. To prevent mask of pregnancy from happening you should wear a good sunscreen that has at least SPF 15 whenever you plan to go outside. During pregnancy, your skin is extra sensitive and exposure to sun increases your chances of these dark spots showing up on your face. After childbirth, your skin typically returns to its normal pigment over a period of several months. However, some dark patches due to chloasma might never go away.
Then coming to pregnancy glow, when you are pregnant your body produces 50% more blood resulting in more blood circulation throughout your body and this increase in blood circulation causes your face to be brighter. You body is also producing a fair amount of hormones that causes your oil gland to work in overdrive leaving your face shiny.
Next are stretch marks. Stretch marks are one of the most talked-about skin changes that can occur during pregnancy. Almost 90% of pregnant women will experience stretch marks. As your belly grows during pregnancy your skin stretches and may become marked with reddish, pinkish lines called stretch marks.
By the third trimester, many pregnant women commonly have these marks on abdomen, buttocks, breasts, or thighs. Many creams, ointments, and other products claim to prevent or treat stretch marks but these remedies have not been medically proven to have a direct effect. We suggest you to do oiling to help prevent stretch marks. Start this twice a day from your second trimester and then continue till delivery. You can make a mixture of 50% coconut oil, 25% olive oil, and 25% almond oil. In morning apply it all over your body before bath and in the night apply over abdomen and breast. This should work for you but in case if you find that nothing is working for you take comfort in knowing that these stretch marks will fade to silvery fade lines after delivery.
Next is acne. The extra hormones in your body cause your oil glands to secrete more oil during pregnancy and that is why many women are troubled with acne during pregnancy. To counter this problem keep a strict cleansing routine, wash with a gentle cleanser twice a day every night, and every morning. If you have oily hair, shampoo every day and try to keep your hair off your face. Avoid picking or squeezing acne source to lessen possible scarring. Chose oil-free cosmetics. In addition to these general measures, you should consult your doctor for further medications.
Varicose veins, these are enlarged blueish veins that usually appear on legs during pregnancy. The weight and pressure of your uterus can decrease blood flow from your lower body and cause the veins in your leg to become swollen, sore, and blue. Varicose veins can be uncomfortable and sometimes painful. You cannot prevent these however, there are certain things you can do to ease this swelling and soreness and prevent Varicose veins from getting worse. You should avoid standing for long periods of time, work as much as possible to help the blood return to your heart, always prop your feet on a stool when sitting, avoid sitting for long periods of time, do not sit with your legs crossed for long periods, you can wear supportive stalkings, avoid excess weight gain during pregnancy. These are the general measures that you should take. Varicose veins that develop during pregnancy generally improve without medical treatment in 3 to 12 months after delivery.
Next problem is that of a dry itchy skin during pregnancy. As your belly grows, your skin stretches and tightens, this causes very uncomfortable dryness. Keep your abdomen moisturized. You can also use an anti-itch cream such as calamine lotion to help provide more relief. But always share the symptom of itching with us so that we can rule out other possibilities like cholestasis of pregnancy and other skin lesions. So these all are the skin changes and how you can help yourself. It is a time to pamper yourself, take good care of your skin with the wishes for a happy, healthy, and safe pregnancy, we want to thank you all for joining us.