More than 90% of women experience skin changes during pregnancy. However, a lot of women are unaware of this fact and often feel disappointed when some of these changes take place. Therefore, we have compiled the following list of various changes that occur in a woman’s skin during pregnancy.
The most common skin issue during pregnancy is generalized hyperpigmentation or pigmentation of inner thigh, genitalia and axilla. Besides this, Melasma which is a well defined brownish pigmentation of the face is another common skin feature of pregnancy. These pigmentations are due to high levels of circulating hormones and may gradually fade after delivery.
Most pregnant women notice stretch marks which are red-blue depressed streaks seen on areas with high fat deposition such as abdomen and breasts.
Swollen Hands & Feet
Also water retention during pregnancy may lead to Swelling of hands & feet or some women may develop varicose veins on the legs.
Some other common skin issues during pregnancy include
- Aggravation of Acne
- Increase in facial hair growth
- Excessive Hair fall
- Brittle nails
Aggravation of Autoimmune Diseases is also commonly observed during the pregnancy.
Besides these skin changes that can happen to anyone, there are four Pregnancy specific skin diseases also for which you must consult a dermatologist. These diseases include:
- Besnier's prurigo or prurigo of pregnancy- which is an allergic, eczematous rash on belly, arms and legs that happens during first trimester of pregnancy and is more common in women with family history of atopy.
- Pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy or more commonly known as PUPPP- it happens in the third trimester, characterized by urticarial rash and red bumps on the abdomen and stretch marks.
- Pemphigoid gestationis- pustular rash with burning and itching on the skin.
- Intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (ICP)- in which pregnant women complain of sudden onset of itching on the palms and soles and later spreading to the whole body. 20% of these women have jaundice, therefore it is recommended to get the liver function test done in all women with these symptoms.