Jeannie & Mike
We Have Been So Greatly Blessed, And After Only 39 Days of Waiting! We brought our new baby boy home from the hospital on News Year Day! We met the birthmother through our Parent Profile on the ParentProfiles.com website only 39 days after our Profile was posted. Thank you so much for all your help! more ...
When you're pregnant, your entire body changes, not just the part around your waist. You're bathed in hormones, and you should expect to see some significant differences. Skin changes during pregnancy you should expect include stretch marks, of course, but you're also likely to experience acne breakouts, newly-sensitive skin, and even darkened patches of skin. Almost any skin change you experience will be caused by your crazed hormones.
Everyone who's dealt with it as a teen knows that hormonal changes can cause acne. Even if you've never had acne, you can get it when you're pregnant. Pregnancy dermatology often recommends treating acne during pregnancy with benzoyl peroxide. No matter what you use for acne, you MUST speak to your doctor about it. Accutane can threaten your fetus, and many acne treatments contain a form of aspirin, which can be dangerous to you and the baby in late pregnancy by causing breakthrough bleeding.
Stretch marks are probably inevitable for some women; it's a function of the elasticity of your skin, and not everyone has skin elastic enough. But you can treat it with cocoa butter and other soothing, elasticity-enhancing treatments. Your pregnancy dermatology specialist can recommend further treatments. There is some evidence that women very susceptible to stretch marks are also likely to need episiotomies, so you might want to discuss this with your doctor.
You may develop a linea negra -- that's a line running straight down from your bellybutton of darkened skin. Or a mask of pregnancy (chloasma) -- that's considerably more distressing as it involves darkened patches of skin across your nose, forehead, and cheeks. Or perhaps just pregnancy spots, patches of dark skin that can appear anywhere on your body but generally on your torso. Any of these can be made worse by sunlight exposure. Some women try to self-treat with skin lighteners, but a pregnancy dermatology specialist will advise against it. Skin whiteners and lighteners can damage your skin and potentially cause harm to the baby. Your best treatment is to leave the patches alone, and cover them up with makeup as well as you can if they are on your face. You can talk to a dermatologist for other options, but there is little you can do about these.
This is an itchy rash with no known cause that erupts on the belly and often elsewhere of a pregnant woman, but generally clears up after the baby is born. Pregnancy dermatology treatments may include oral antihistamines, topical antihistamines, some steroids, and other medications that may include moisturizers, antibiotics, and old remedies. Question any doctor who recommends baths; there is some evidence that a warm bath during pregnancy can cause birth defects. Some itching may be more serious, caused by a form of herpes (not simplex), hypothyroidism, or a buildup of bile salts. Since these other causes are life-threatening for your baby, you should see your doctor about any uncontrollable itching.