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Pregnancy can be an amazing experience, filled with anticipation and joy. But it also brings physiological changes that affect every part of your body, including the skin. Some skin conditions arise due to hormonal fluctuations, other disorders crop up for lesser known reasons. As you monitor the rest of your body during pregnancy, it is important to pay attention to the health of your skin. While most skin conditions are temporary minor irritations or a cosmetic concern, some symptoms may indicate a potential risk. Here are some common skin conditions related to pregnancy.
While some women may experience a pregnancy glow, others may suffer from flare-ups. Hormonal changes can affect oil production, putting the skin out of balance. During pregnancy, the skin may also be more fragile and sensitive to certain products. Exfoliating products and scented creams may irritate the skin more easily, so it is important to choose soothing treatments and treat the skin with care.
As the baby grows, the skin stretches to accommodate the expanding belly. When the skin stretches quickly, it can cause tears that expose the deepest layers of the dermis. Medically known as striae gravidarum, these bands of discolored skin can be a source of frustration. There is no surefire way to prevent them, but there are some post-pregnancy treatments, such as laser treatments, that can help them fade.
Discolorations and hyperpigmentation, known as melasma, is often seen in pregnant women. The uneven skin tone is due to increased levels of hormones, including MSH (melanocyte-stimulating hormone ), which affects pigment production. Sun exposure can worsen the condition, so it is important to protect the skin against harmful rays–a skincare habit that should be practiced everyday.
Itchy skin, rashes on the abdomen, bumps and lesions with painful pustules (blisters) are all examples of pregnancy-specific dermatological disorders. Often rare, these skin problems are often benign and resolve themselves after pregnancy. However, if you suffer from intense itching, particularly on your hands or soles of your feet, it is important to contact a doctor. It may be a sign of intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy, a condition that poses little risk to the mother, but presents a danger to the baby.
Do you have moles? You may notice more of them as your pregnancy progresses. Although new moles are common, you should beware of any suspicious-looking or unusual spots. Skin tags are fleshy protrusions commonly crop up during pregnancy. Attributed to hormonal changes, skin tags tend to appear on areas of the skin that are warm and moist, such as the folds in the neck. Fortunately, these skin growths are benign and can easily be removed after pregnancy.
From breakouts to dry and itchy skin, the doctors at Advanced Dermatology can help you find relief. Our doctors understand how pregnancy can exacerbate existing skin problems, as well introduce new . If you are pregnant and experiencing a change in your skin, contact one of our offices to schedule an appointment. Our offices are conveniently located throughout New York and New Jersey, including Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and Nassau and Suffolk Counties in Long Island.