Skin During Pregnancy – Dr. Acky Friedman
During pregnancy, there are vast changes in various systems of the woman’s body. Some are visible and some are not. We will discuss the impact of pregnancy on the skin:
The hormonal changes are significant due to an impressive rise of the estrogen and progesterone hormone levels. In addition, towards the end of the pregnancy there are more hormones that perform at the end of the pregnancy and during delivery. Pigmentation changes in skin, moles (beauty marks) and nipples is common, as well as pigment marks in the face and a unique pigment line on the stomach. Some of them pass after delivery and the return to normal hormone level. Sun exposure during pregnancy may increase the pigmentation make it more permanent, such as when taking birth control pills and being exposed to the sun. Pregnancy also impacts blood vessels, and in some cases new blood vessels that were not seen before are found. Sometimes blood vessels that were apparent in the past suddenly expand or start to hurt due to degradation in the quality of blood flow in the area of this blood vessel.
The attachment tissue of the skin goes through massive stretching and sometimes a tearing of elastin and collagen fibers due to overstretching. This tearing of fibers is expressed in the appearance of “stretch marks” that seem pink at the beginning and then turn brighter white. By the way, there are no rules about stretch marks and they may show after the third delivery while not appearing after the first two deliveries.
A woman’s hair usually looks good at the beginning of the pregnancy but eventually there is hair loss that occasionally gets quite severe after delivery as a result of blood loss at birth or a long breastfeeding process. This hair loss is reversible but for that, the treatment should begin at the start of pregnancy and continue much after the delivery.
There is sometimes a phenomenon of significant improvement in diseases such as psoriasis or acne but to the same extent, there can be a degradation of these conditions in other women during pregnancy. This is unpredictable.
Although these phenomena are limited to pregnancy and some occur spontaneously afterward, it should warrant a doctor’s visit especially when there are new and unknown problems.