Some women are lucky during pregnancy and have glowing healthy skin, the well-known 'pregnancy glow'. While many women also have unwanted skin problems during pregnancy, such as stretch marks, pregnancy mask, itching or pimples. We list the 5 most common skin problems during pregnancy below.
1. Pigment spots (melasma or pregnancy mask)
Did you know that changes in hormones during pregnancy cause the body to produce more pigment? The hormone oestrogen stimulates the production of melanin (pigment) during pregnancy, and the increase in pigment can cause light to dark brown spots on the face, better known as pregnancy mask or melasma. Often these spots appear on the forehead, cheeks or form a 'moustache' on your upper lip.
How can you prevent pregnancy mask?
In most cases, pigment spots disappear on their own in the months after giving birth, however, melasma can be persistent in some cases. Prevention is better than cure and therefore apply sunscreen with at least SPF 50 to your face every day and avoid unprotected sun exposure as much as possible as it only makes this form of pigmentation worse.
2. Stretch marks (stretch marks)
Especially towards the end of your pregnancy, the chances of developing stretch marks, also known as stretch marks or nicknamed 'tiger stripes', are highest. Stretch marks from where the skin is stretched rapidly over a short period of time, such as during a growth spurt, weight gain or during pregnancy. Stretch marks during pregnancy are therefore most common in the belly, breasts and hips. Depending on your skin colour, stretch marks are usually pink, red or purplish at first, and over time they become lighter and less visible.
How can you prevent stretch marks and striae?
Whether you get stretch marks depends on many factors such as hormones, whether you grow fast, but genetic predisposition also plays an important role. To reduce the chances of getting stretch marks, it is important to keep the skin of your growing belly, hips and breasts moisturized and supple. Applying a special nourishing cream daily from the beginning of your pregnancy can help prevent striae. Once you have stretch marks, they will become less visible over time, but since they are a form of scar tissue, they never completely disappear.
3. Itching during pregnancy (pregnancy itch)
Itching and the constant urge to scratch? Maddening! Many women suffer from itching during pregnancy. Pregnancy itch is a collective term for several causes that can cause itchy skin. It can be due to changes in hormones, skin stretching during pregnancy, or changes in your immune system, among others. Most forms of pregnancy itching are harmless and mostly very annoying.
Can you prevent itching during pregnancy?
You can already feel it coming, firstly by not scratching, no matter how crazy it makes you feel. Scratching only makes your skin more irritated. Also, try not to bathe too long and too hot, because hot water dries your skin and dry skin itches faster. Drink enough water to hydrate your skin from the inside out, and regular application of a special care cream or natural body oil can help prevent pregnancy itch and relieve any symptoms.
4. Pregnancy eczema (atopic eczema)
Eczema during pregnancy is usually a form of atopic eczema and usually develops in the first 3 months of pregnancy. It can develop because your hormone balance changes, but if you are predisposed to atopic eczema, you are also more likely to suffer from it during pregnancy. Symptoms range from just mild itching, to dry and flaky skin or red rashes.
How can you prevent eczema during pregnancy?
Unfortunately, pregnancy eczema cannot always be prevented, but there are things you can keep in mind. Moisturize your skin and avoid dryness, as this can worsen eczema and itching. Do not use products that contain irritants such as alcohol or perfume. Moisture and heat can worsen symptoms, so preferably wear light cotton clothes, so your skin can 'breathe'.
5. Pimples during pregnancy (pregnancy acne)The changes in your hormone levels also cause increased sebum production, which can clog your pores. As a result, you may suffer from pimples, especially during the beginning of pregnancy. Pregnancy acne usually occurs on the face, but pimples can also appear on your back, shoulders, chest or bum.
What can you do for symptoms like pregnancy acne?
We all would rather have glowing skin without acne, luckily pimples often disappear after the first trimester. It is a myth that pregnancy acne is caused by poor personal hygiene, but it is better not to touch the pimples because bacteria on your hands can worsen the symptoms. Take care of your skin with mild care products that won't clog your pores.