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Touching Lives with Caring Hands. We Proud to Care
May 02, 2016 / By Dr. Sweta Patel

Skin Problems during Pregnancy

Often women experience various skin problems during and after pregnancy. These problems include:

Oily Skin

Due to hormonal changes, certain skins may secrete more oil, leading to skin eruptions and pimples.

What you can do:
Wash your face more often during pregnancy. Avoid using greasy creams and make-up, and go easy on the moisturizer. Drink plenty of water.

Dry Skin

On the other hand, it may also happen that your skin dries up during pregnancy, and it may start itching. Heaters and air-conditioners dry out skin even further, so if you sit in an air-conditioned or heated room, apply heavier moisturizer and keep a humidifier in the room. Even a wide-mouthed bowl filled with water helps increase the level of humidity in a room. If you neglect your skin during this time, it may lose some of its elasticity and fine lines could appear on your face.

What you can do:
Apply calamine lotion to soothe the itchiness, and apply moisturizer regularly. Use a humidifier in air-conditioned or heated rooms.

Darkening of Skin

Skin darkening during and after pregnancy is totally normal, and around 70% of women report some form of skin darkening or dark patches. Very often the areola and the linea nigra or the line running down your stomach, (women have a line running down their stomach which is not noticeable until it gets dark during pregnancy) gets darkened at this time. The darkening gradually fades away on its own after pregnancy.

What you can do:
Make sure you apply sunscreen daily, and avoid stepping out in the sun as the sun only serves to darken these dark patches. Consequently, they will take longer to fade. Evidence suggests that skin darkening during pregnancy is caused by a lack of folic acid. It is thus a good idea to continue with your prenatal vitamins throughout your pregnancy, as most of these vitamins contain folic acid.
Eat plenty of green vegetables and drink eight-to-ten glasses of water daily.
Avoid stepping out in the sun.
If dark patches appear when you are not pregnant, they may be as a result of a hormonal contraceptive such as the pill. Consider getting off such contraceptive.
Perfumes, colognes and other scented soaps also irritate the skin and may cause or increase such discolouration. Use basic, non-scented, natural products. Wash your face with a gentle face wash and avoid using harsh soaps or scrubs that may irritate the skin further.

Rash

If you develop a rash during pregnancy, always consult the doctor before applying medicated creams or indulging in any other form of self-medication as it may affect your unborn child.

Stretch Marks

Stretch marks are caused due to sudden weight gain during pregnancy. The skin gets stretched beyond capacity, and 'tears', causing stretch marks. Stretch marks fade with time, but often never completely disappear. The best thing to do therefore is to avoid developing stretch marks.

What you can do:
Make sure you put on weight gradually during pregnancy. Similarly, supple and elastic skin does not develop stretch marks, so eat a well balanced diet and exercise regularly to ensure your skin stays elastic during pregnancy. Apply body cream regularly.
All skin disorders that appear with pregnancy usually fade away with time. The fading is gradual, and it may take a while before your skin is back to normal. Look after your skin during this time and make it a point to avoid sun exposure if you have pigmentation issues, as even a little exposure may set you back by months.

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