Pregnancy is a joyful time filled with changes—even in your skin. Here are three common skin changes that pregnant women experience.
Many women notice a degree of increased pigmentation (skin coloring) when they are pregnant. Some experience melasma—or “the mask of pregnancy”—patches of darkened skin on the face that develop with exposure to ultraviolet sunlight. The best way to minimize melasma is to avoid sun exposure and to use broad-spectrum sun protection that blocks UVA and UVB rays. Others notice that moles and freckles get noticeably darker. In general, these mole changes are symmetrical and go back to the way they were after delivery. However, any asymmetrical changes in a mole’s size, shape or color should be checked out by your dermatologist, just to be safe.
During pregnancy, increased blood volume can cause blood vessels that are close to skin’s surface to swell and burst, causing “spider nevi.” These are red bumps with lines radiating out, resembling a spider’s legs, and they’re common on the face, neck and upper body.
You may notice that your palms, nail beds, gums and face are strikingly red. This happens because of the increased blood volume in your body—and it may be responsible for giving pregnant women that special glow.