From stretch marks to pigmentation, we talk you through the skin changes that can happen during pregnancy.
What are stretch marks?
Stretch marks are thin reddish or purple marks that appear on your skin when your body shape suddenly changes. They often appear in patches, and can form a ripple pattern on your skin.
Stretch marks are caused by the deep layers of the skin having to stretch too fast, either through pregnancy, growth spurts or weight gain. These layers break and tear in places, leaving marks which are visible on the skin’s surface.
How can you prevent stretch marks?
Some people are very prone to stretch marks, while other get none at all. It’s not clear whether or not stretch marks can be prevented. Massaging your skin with oil may help, but this hasn’t been proven.
What products are best for treating stretch marks?
You can buy creams and oils that claim to treat stretch marks, but there’s no proof that they work. However, using a moisturiser or oil is a good way to take care of your skin in general and can be an enjoyable way to pamper yourself.
At what stage of pregnancy do stretch marks appear?
Stretch marks can begin to appear from 13 to 21 weeks. You might notice them at any time after that. Some women even discover stretch marks after their baby is born.
Do stretch marks fade away and disappear?
Over time they will fade to a silvery colour and become less noticeable. But stretch marks will not disappear completely.
Where do stretch marks appear?
Stretch marks may appear on the belly, thighs or breasts, or anywhere you are gaining weight.
Why have some parts of my skin become darker?
Hormonal changes during pregnancy can make parts of your skin darker, for example your breasts, inner thighs and genitals. Some women also get a dark line, called the linea nigra, between their navel and pubic bone. These marks usually fade away within a few months of the birth.
What is pregnancy mask?
Pregnancy mask, also called chloasma or melasma, is a pattern of darker skin on the face, usually appearing over the nose and cheekbones. Like other pigmentation changes, it’s caused by your hormones and should fade away after you give birth. Wearing sunscreen can help prevent the patches getting darker in the meantime.
Does pregnancy make skin more sensitive?
Skin can feel more delicate during pregnancy. There are a few reasons for this – your skin is stretched more, your hormone levels are changing and there’s more blood flowing around your body.
Can pregnancy cause dry, itchy skin?
Itching and rashes are common among expectant mums. They may come and go throughout your pregnancy. If it’s severe, ask your doctor for advice.
Can pregnancy cause acne?
Many women find they’re more prone to spots during pregnancy. This can be because your skin becomes oilier as your hormones change. Wash your skin regularly and use oil-free moisturisers. If you wear makeup, look for products designed for oily skin.