SKIN CHANGES IN PREGNANCY

Chloasma

Increased pigmentation of the skin especially on the cheek bones is common in pregnancy. There is dark, blotchy, brown, confetti-like patches of skin on forehead, upper lip, and cheeks.The cause is largely unknown and appears complex but many differences have been noted between chloasma and normal skin. There is an increase in the level of melanin, large numbers of melanocytes which cause pigmentation under effect of oestrogen and progesterone. It is more common in darker skin types and less common in fair or very dark skin. It may occur in any population but is more common in those of East Asian, Indian, Pakistani, and Middle Eastern etc.

 

Treatment during pregnancy is to avoid exposure to sun, sunscreen and light massage. However, depigmentation creams are not used during pregnancy

Linea Nigra

Linea nigra (Latin for "black line") is a dark vertical line that appears on the abdomen in about three quarters of all pregnancies. The brownish streak is usually about a centimeter in width. The line runs vertically along the midline of the abdomen from the pubis to the umbilicus, but can also run from the pubis to the top of the abdomen. Linea nigra is due to increased melanocyte-stimulating hormone made by the placenta.

Stretch Marks

Increase in weight stretches the skin and causes some destruction of the underlying dermis, which heals by scarring. These are called the stretch marks and prevention is by applying any massage creme or oil, so as to allow the skin to stretch. Stretch marks can be visible on body parts including the tummy, thighs, hips, breasts, upper arms, and lower back.

Skin changes are common in pregnancy with stretch marks occurring in over 70% of pregnant women, usually after 25 weeks of gestation.

Creams, gels, lotions, laser and cosmetic surgery have all been proposed as treatments for stretch marks, although there is little medical evidence to support the efficacy of such treatments.

Often stretch marks fade over time and become unnoticeable.

Hair Growth/Loss

Increase in hair blood flow can lead to either growth/or loss , depending on which cycle the hair is at. The hair lost usually grows back.