When you are expecting, your skin goes through a lot of changes, also after you give birth. Hormonal changes are key in causing the same. It is best that all expecting mothers are aware of the changes that shall be taking place so that they can take precautionary and preventive measures. If you feel any adverse abnormality, it is best that you consult a gynecologist and a dermatologist. A gynecologist will be able to check the underlying hormonal imbalance causing the same and the dermatologist will be able to recommend the topical remedy for the same.
Skin Changes in the First Trimester:
In the first trimester, hormonal changes really affect the skin. There is acne and dry skin, breasts get swollen and sensitive to touch, nipple and areola become larger. These hormones affect skin pigmentation. This is all because of increase in blood flow in the chest. The amount of blood flow in the body increases by 50% during which there is more heat in the body which causes pregnancy glow.
Skin Changes in the Second Trimester:
In the second trimester, there is an increase in melanin production which causes hyperpigmentation on the face called Melasma, also known as ‘mask of pregnancy.’ Dark patches form on your cheeks, forehead, and neck which disappear after birth.
Then the pressure of the expanding uterus causes swollen veins in the legs, a condition known as varicose veins. This can happen in the vulva also. This portion can become itchy also. This can be overcome by avoiding standing for a longer period and when lying down, raise the legs.
Then your belly-button may pop-out. There is a dark vertical line in the center of abdomen starting from umbilicus to pubic region known a linea nigra.
Due to weight gain, stretch marks appear on the skin of the abdomen, legs, thighs, and arms. You can apply some cream to minimize this. There is small tubercle on the areola called Montgomery tubercle.
Swelling of hands and feet is common. If it is itching and yellow, that can be due to cholesterol.
If your face suddenly swells, that can be due to pre-eclampsia.
Skin Changes Post Delivery:
In both the conditions, you should consult your doctor, 50% of women get stretch marks on the belly, breasts, thighs and upper arms. In post-partum period, the stretch marks may not completely go away but will fade.
Stretch marks creams reduce the appearance and helps regain its form.
Skin discoloration and acne tend to continue for a while. If you are breastfeeding, you can apply facial cleanser and sunscreen onto your skin to prevent dryness.
Due to weight gain and then loss, skin and muscles stretch and appear loose. Consult your doctor to get advice on stretching exercises.
To prevent melisma, women should avoid the sun while pregnant and after giving birth. Puffiness of the eyes and dark circles can be corrected by proper sleep and apply eye cream containing aloe-vera and vitamins.