Skin and pregnancy

My belly with the linea nigra

It is said that pregnant women experience the “pregnancy glow”. The skin turns “rosy” and becomes softer.

Well, during my pregnancy neither my skin nor my hair became shiny.

So, moved by my curiosity, I made a literature research and found out the most common skin changes occurring during pregnancy.

Pregnancy is characterized by immunologic, metabolic, endocrine and vascular changes. And skin is not immune to this upheaval.

Skin changes are grouped into three categories:

  1. physiological changes,
  2. specific dermatoses,
  3. other dermatoses.

1. Physiological changes happen to all women, at different levels, but all are affected. Some examples are hyperpigmentation, gengivitis, vascular changes, stretch marks and linea nigra.

2. Specific dermatoses are skin issues, typical of pregnancy, which can bother women. An example is “pruritum gravidarium”, aka itching. Itching can come at any point of the pregnancy, even if it more common during the third trimester and often around stretch marks

3. Other dermatoses, are pre-existing conditions, which can worsen during pregnancy. Typical examples are atopic dermatitis and seborrheic keratoses.

On the bright side all these changes are temporary (with the exception of stretch marks, unfortunately) and they disappear some months after delivery.

References:

Ahmal et al., 2018, “Cutaneous Changes During Pregnancy”, 10.21608/smj.2018.39336

Maya et al., 2006, “Physiological and biological skin changes in pregnancy”, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clindermatol.2005.10.002

Kumari et al., 2007, “A clinical study of skin changes in pregnancy”, http://www.ijdvl.com/text.asp?2007/73/2/141/31910

Tunzi et al., 2007, “Common Skin Conditions During Pregnancy”, https://bit.ly/2VpY5Yo

Published by Martina Bodner

Biotechnologist, PhD Candidate in Food Chemistry, Science Teacher, STEM and autism advocate, mother.

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