Many skin changes occur during pregnancy. We share what skin changes to expect during pregnancy and how you can prevent long term skin damage.
When do skin changes during pregnancy start?
Many women experience a number of skin changes during pregnancy. These include rashes or hives, redness, acne, discolorations and other breakouts. This frequently begins in the first trimester. But many women don’t notice skin changes until the second or third trimester. However, skin changes during pregnancy are so common that it would be unusual if you didn’t experience at least one of them during your pregnancy.
Your skin may exhibit these changes as your pregnancy progresses, but this should not in any way impact your beautiful journey. Fortunately, most of your skin symptoms will resolve within weeks of delivery. So be patient and use products that benefit your skin in the long term.
What causes skin changes during pregnancy?
It’s those pregnancy hormones that cause your pores to secrete excess oil, making you vulnerable to heat rash and breakouts. Add to that your suppressed immunity (to protect your baby) and stretched blood vessels and you have a recipe for skin inflammation resulting in rashes, hives, and rosacea.
Some skin changes you might notice during pregnancy include:
- Pregnancy acne
- PUPPP (pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy) – bumpy skin lesions that are skin-coloured, pink or dark bumps.
- Skin tags – small, raised growths on the skin, particularly under your arms
- Dry skin
- Oily skin
- Red palms (called palmar erythema)
- Spider veins
- Skin discoloration
What can I do about my skin changes when I’m pregnant?
Eat a well-balanced diet rich in nutrients to keep your skin looking as good as it can under the circumstances. Understand that you are nurturing your baby too, so eat well.
Drink enough water and other fluids every day
Drinking lots of water will keep your skin hydrated and healthy. Water also flushes out the body and helps reduce inflammation and skin irritation.
Wash your face two to three times a day with a deep acting but gentle cleanser like the Active Face Cleanse Gel. This organic cleanser, gently foams to cleanse your skin off all impurities without drying the skin. Harsh cleansers will only leave skin more open to irritation. Use a Detox Mask once a week and finish off with an non-comedogenic hydrating moisturiser. Overly stripped skin is more prone to breakouts.
Look for the word “noncomedogenic” when you’re buying skin-care products for oily skins. Lighter products will be less likely to add excess oils and clog up pores. This good if your skin oily. But if your skin is dry, then to choose deeply nourishing & moisturizing products.
If you see a dermatologist, always tell him or her that you are pregnant
Many drugs & skin care ingredients commonly used to treat acne, like isotretinoin and Retin-A, should not be used while you’re pregnant. Also, some essential oils are not allowed during the first trimester of your pregnancy. Find a list of skincare ingredients to avoid during pregnancy.
Take short showers. This is good training for actual motherhood. However long showers can strip your skin of its moisture. For very dry skin – ensure you moisturise immediately after a shower.
Speak to you doctor or use a gentle, nourishing moisturiser that soothes the skin.
This condition disappears after you give birth. But do speak to your doctor about this to ensure there’s no other sinister cause for the redness.
These usually appear during pregnancy and disappear after delivery. If they don’t disappear then a dermatologist can remove them easily post pregnancy.
Stay cool. Use light skincare products. Sprinkle on a bit of corn-starch after a shower and avoid tight or overly warm clothing. In colder weather, dress in layers so you can peel down if you get too warm.
Dark Spots, Melasma, Pigmentation, PUPPP
If these get rapidly darker or are painful, please speak to your doctor. However, they usually go away after delivery. To reduce the appearance of skin discolouration use an organic serum to helps to the skin heal and lighten dark spots.
Can I prevent skin changes during pregnancy?
Not really. But you can use the correct skincare products to minimise the symptoms. This will help you feel confident and joyful throughout your pregnancy.
When can I expect my pregnancy skin to go back to normal?
Many of your skin changes will resolve soon after delivery. Some, like skin tags, may be permanent. Talk to your skincare expert if these really bother you.