6 common skin problems during pregnancy and their solutions
How to live with it? Stay on top of your SPF game. “Sun exposure combined with hormonal changes play a role in darkening the skin,” says Waldman. Try: EltaMD Physical Broad Spectrum UV SPF 41. Topical vitamin C might also subtly brighten you up, both docs agree. In most cases, this temporary darkening resolves on its own within six months, says Waldman; in some women, it is more persistent. If you fall into the latter category, ask your dermatologist for light lightening laser treatments and topicals like Retina A, suggests MacGregor.
It is also very important to have regular skin exams during the nine months of your pregnancy. Thanks to stretching and darkening of the skin, moles can change when you expect them, says Waldman. “Most of the time it doesn’t mean anything, but sometimes changes can suggest melanoma.” Be sure to let your dermatologist know about any awesome looking moles.
There are two reasons for skin tags.Do you notice that small patches of skin are starting to appear under your breasts, on your neck, under your arms or in the groin area? You’ve probably found a skin tag. They form when you have areas of skin rubbing against each other, says Waldman (something that will naturally happen more when you gain weight). Hormones probably play a role in their growth as well, she says, given that they sometimes appear in areas that don’t rub together. Some women are just genetically inclined towards pesky labels, MacGregor says. Most of the time, they are harmless. If they bother you? Your dermatologist can cut them after pregnancy in a fairly simple procedure.
Acne is not a given.Here’s the thing about hormones: “Everyone reacts to them differently,” says Waldman. This means that some women notice acne working when they are pregnant; others notice lighter skin. But if you’re seeing pimples along your jawline, it’s likely due to increased oil production – the result of hormonal changes, says Waldman. Check with your doctor before treating yourself with any acne medication, topical, or wash. Some, like isotretinoin (formerly known as Accutane) and retinoids, are not safe during pregnancy. The United States Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Has a Helpful Insight on their site risks associated with many common active ingredients in topical skin products, and others that are considered safe to use.
Oh, and your belly might itch a bit.A growing stomach can also be an itchy stomach. “When the skin stretches, it can become dry, tight and itchy,” says MacGregor. “Using really good moisturizers and soothing ointments can help,” she says. His favorite: Dr. Rogers Restore Healing Balm. Note: If the itching does not go away, report it to your gynecologist. A rarity of the liver and gallbladder in late pregnancy called intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (PCI) shows symptoms of severe itching and may increase your risk of preterm labor.
There are also two other rare rashes that can occur during pregnancy – and both can be itchy, says Waldman. Talk to your doctor if you notice any symptoms of either. The first: Pemphigoid gestationis, a blistering disorder associated with premature birth. The second: polymorphous pregnancy rash (PUPP), a hives-like rash that begins in stretch marks and other fatty areas. This is harmless but can be accompanied by extreme itching, she says.
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