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Pregnancy Skin Issues

Pregnancy is a joyful experience, and some women actually feel the most beautiful during this nine months gestation. For some however, it’s an exasperating game of trying to guess what on earth is happening to their skin. Relax, mama… whatever’s going on, it’s not uncommon and most of these changes are only temporary!

There’s something about being pregnant that makes women feel really special. After all, the ability to carry a baby inside one’s womb and give birth is really something. On the other hand, there is another side of pregnancy that many women often experience — skin changes, the unbecoming kind!

Yes, while everyone seems to talk about the famous ‘pregnancy glow’, there are other skin changes that women generally loathe, and they happen quite promptly during pregnancy for a good many women.

If you happen to notice your skin acting up during pregnancy, there is no need to stress out, for these dermal issues are caused by fluctuating hormones and as mentioned earlier, are only temporary.

Here are some of the skin changes you may experience, in random order.


Remember that really long bout of oily skin, plus those annoying acne and pimples during your teenage years which were caused by raging hormones? Well, it’s not really that different this time around either, for hormonal fluctuations are still the culprit if you find your face breaking out all over again. Déjà-vu indeed, but do resist applying over-the counter pimple medication for now, for your skin may also be way too sensitive for the active ingredients in these medications. Let your doctor take a look at your complexion if it bothers you that much. He may be able to prescribe a safe and effective remedy or refer you to a dermatologist for treatment if the condition is really bad.


Melasma is characterized by dark patches on the skin and it usually occurs on the face of pregnant women, gaining its infamous name The Mask of Pregnancy. It is a form of hyper pigmentation. Be sure to consult a dermatologist for a proper diagnosis and advice on possible treatments. In the meantime, if you have melasma, limit your exposure to direct sunlight, especially between late mornings and early evenings, and be diligent with sun-protection if you have to be outside during those times.

Pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy (PUPPP)

PUPPP appears as an outbreak of pale red bumps and even lesions on the skin, and they can be alarming if you do not realize what they really are. What’s worse, these skin lesions may itch, burn or sting. They can dramatically differ in sizes and may appear on the abdomen, arms, legs and buttocks. When they form together in a large area, they are called plaques.

Treatments may vary from antihistamine to relieve symptoms, or topical corticosteroids, prescribed by your doctor. Do not use soap on involved skin, since it will cause more dryness and itching. Instead, try an organic body wash and use it while having a quick, warm shower. You can also try cool compresses on the affected areas for immediate relief from itching and burning. Tip: Wear cool, lightweight cotton clothing for added comfort.

Pregnancy Cholestasis

If your hands and feet feel extremely itchy, be sure to see your doctor, for it could be a condition called pregnancy cholestasis, a liver disorder that most often occurs late in pregnancy, typically during the third trimester. Pregnancy cholestasis occurs in just one to two pregnancies in 1,000, and while it may not endanger the mother, it can cause complications in a newborn — which is why it’s important to recognize the symptoms and talk to your doctor. Early diagnosis and active management by your doctor can help bring this condition under control.

Skin tags

Of all the many weird things that happen to a pregnant woman’s skin, the skin tag must be one of the most mysterious. A skin tag is a small flap of tissue that hangs off the skin by a connecting stalk. They are usually found on the neck, chest, back, under the breasts, and in some cases, on the groin. Unless something rubs hard against them, skin tags are usually painless and most are only really noticeable by the one who has it.

Some skin tags may fall off on their own while some may not. If the tags actually do bother you, talk to your doctor about safe methods to have them removed.

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