Skin Problems of Pregnancy
A rosy glow is not all that happens to a pregnant woman's skin. She might also have to deal with bumps, blotches, masks, and rashes.
On the flip side, some women actually report their acne gets
better with pregnancy, he tells WebMD. "Acne is a hormonally-driven
condition, which is why some women take oral contraceptives to clear up their
complexion, so it makes sense that hormone fluctuations during pregnancy would
affect acne," he says.
In addition, oil glands respond to androgen, the male sex
hormone that increases during pregnancy, too. This causes the oil glands to
produce large quantities of oil called sebum, which clogs the opening of the
oil gland and results in a "blackhead."
But don't panic, your skin will most likely clear up after
pregnancy. "If breakouts are severe while pregnant, there are certain safe
medicines we can use during pregnancy including topical antibiotics," he
"Cleansing daily with an over-the-counter cleanser that
contains alpha-hydroxy acid can also keep breakouts to a minimum," he
Spider angiomas are collections of tiny dilated blood vessels
that usually radiate from a central point and resemble the legs of a spider.
"They are thought to be related to changes in hormone levels, which is why
they can come out during pregnancy," Katz says.
"Some women develop angiomas during pregnancy on their
face, chest, or sometimes on the arms or the abdomen, " he says. Angiomas
may clear up after pregnancy, but if not, they can be treated effectively with
lasers, he says.
More than 90% of pregnant women will develop stretch marks in
response to the pulling and stretching of underlying skin during pregnancy,
Kroumpouzos says. Stretch marks are pink or purple bands in the stomach area
and sometimes on breasts or thighs.
"Exercise and use of lotions or creams with alpha-hydroxy
acids can be used to prevent stretch marks from occurring," he says.
Mask of Pregnancy?
Chloasma, also known as melasma or the mask of pregnancy,
occurs when the sun-exposed skin on the upper cheeks, forehead, and/or upper
lip turns a tan, brownish color because excess pigment is deposited in the
skin's upper layers.
"This is a similar phenomenon that occurs when women take
oral contraceptives and very often it will go away after pregnancy," Leffel
says. And, "in some cases, it persists and we have to try different
treatments including bleaching creams or chemical peels after
It's a good idea to use sunscreen during pregnancy to prevent
chloasma from occurring or to prevent existing patches from getting darker, he