While there’s no guarantee that your skin will look, or feel, different during pregnancy, many women do experience changes. And with everything that’s going on inside your body, these are hardly surprising. Skin changes can include:
- stretch marks
- changes in skin colour (pigmentation)
- broken veins
- itchy, dry skin
- greasy skin
- sensitive skin
But it’s not all bad news! When you reach your second trimester, you may notice other skin changes that give you that celebrated pregnancy glow. Extra blood flow and high levels of hormones can make your skin look plumper and rosier, and iron out fine lines on your face.
For some mums, pregnancy can make existing skin conditions, such as eczema or psoriasis, worse. But for others, these skin conditions improve. You may also find that greasy, oily skin becomes drier. Changes in your hormones and immune system can make your skin more sensitive, so bear this in mind when washing your clothes or using skin products. You may find that soaps and detergents that you’ve been using for ages suddenly irritate you. Try to test products on a small area of skin first, to check that you don’t have a reaction. Pregnancy can also make it easier for your skin to get sunburnt. To protect your skin, wear sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or more. You can also keep yourself cool and protected from the sun’s rays by limiting your time in the sun, wearing loose cotton clothes, covering your face and arms with a dupatta while in the sun, and keep your skin well-moisturised. But remember that some sun exposure is important for your daily dose of vitamin D. Choose a time of the day that is not too hot however and stay out for only between 15 minutes and half an hour.