The following is a guest post from Tracey Montford – Like many women out there, Tracey Montford is an exceptional multi-tasker! Apart from steering a global business, managing 2 young boys & keeping the clan clean and fed, Tracey still finds time to provide creative inspiration and direction to the exceptional designs of Cake Maternity. From the branding, presentation and delivery, creativity is a big part of what Tracey does so naturally and effectively. Find out more at www.cakematernity.com or catch up with her on social @cakematernity
Most women will experience some type of skin change or condition during their pregnancy.
The good news is that most changes are short-lived as they are caused by an increase in hormone levels during pregnancy. Soon after a woman has given birth, most changes will disappear and her skin will return back to normal. Here are some of the crazy skin changes you may experience.
One of the most common skin conditions are stretch marks. They are a pinkish, reddish mark that appears in downward lines on the skin. Approximately 90% of women will develop some type of stretch marks during pregnancy. Stretch marks usually occur on the belly, thighs and or breasts. These are areas where the skin tends to stretch and grow rapidly during pregnancy.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for stretch marks nor can we avoid getting them as some women are genetically predisposed to getting them.
TIP: To help minimize the appearance of stretch markstry using a cream or oil on the belly, breasts and thighs during pregnancy. Drinking plenty of water and keeping your skin well hydrated and will help to keep the skin supple and reduce the damage that can occur.
Women who are not normally prone to acne can develop it during pregnancy on the face, chest and back. Higher levels of hormones during pregnancy encourage a substance called Sebum to be produced in excess. Sebum is oil that helps to keep the skin supple. Excess sebum on the skin can cause the pores to block, thus resulting in acne.
TIP: Use a good cleanser and avoid wearing too much makeup. This will allow the skin to breathe and reduce breakouts.
That Dark Line
The dark horizontal line that runs down from your belly button is called the ‘Linea Nigra’. It usually appears in the second trimester and is caused by pigmentation of the skin due to changes in hormone levels. The dark line will disappear in time after birth.
Some women are lucky enough to get a pregnancy glow. During pregnancy, increased hormone levels cause an increase in the blood flow throughout the body. The increased blood flow causes the body temperature to rise resulting in plumper skin that smoothed out fine lines and wrinkles. The skin appears radiant and youthful.
Veins on Cheeks
Some women will develop fine veins on their face and chest area. These fine, sometimes red veins are commonly known as “Spider Veins” and are caused by the extra blood circulating in your body. The increased blood flow puts pressure on your blood vessels causing them to burst.
Approximately 50% of women will experience some skin pigmentation while pregnant. Skin pigmentation is when dark, patchy areas appear on the skin on the face, neck, arm pits, inner thighs and belly. This skin issue is called Chloasma Melasma or is more commonly known as ‘Mask of Pregnancy’. This skin condition is caused when the body produces too much melanin – which is known as the tanning hormone. Skin pigmentation will fade in time after giving birth.
TIP: Avoid exposing pigmented skin to the sun, as it can only darken and worsen the condition.If you do go out in the sun wear a high SPF sunscreen and a broad brimmed hat.
Areas such as the areolas, moles, freckles, armpits, and inner thighs and in and around the belly button may darken during pregnancy. This condition is more common in darker skinned women.
Most women will find that the areas will lighten after they give birth, however, areas such as the areolas may stay darker.
Itchy irritable skin is common and is caused when your skin stretches excessively.
TIP: Avoid wearing restrictive synthetic or abrasive fabrics. Loose fitting natural fabrics such as cottons and modals will feel soft and comfortable and allow your skin to breath.
Drink plenty of water and keep moisturized to help keep the skin supple. Your skin will stretch easier and is less likely to get dry and itchy.
There are many different types of rashes that can occur. Some are harmless and are due to increased hormone levels. Others may be more sinister and can be caused by underlining issues such as stress.
TIP: Always consult your healthcare p rovider should a rash appear. Getting medical advice will ensure that the rash can be diagnosed correctly and treated to avoid it spreading.