Common skin issues in pregnancy
This is really common in pregnancy and is caused by a temporary increase in melanin. You may notice blotchy patches of brown skin on your forehead, upper lip and cheeks, this is often called the ‘mask of pregnancy’ and can be especially prominent if you have darker skin. Often it fades after pregnancy, but it’s vital to protect yourself from the sun with a good broad-spectrum sunblock every single day as UV exposure will make it worse.
You may also get a dark line running vertically down your abdomen called the Linea Nigra. This line has actually always been there, but is darkened by pregnancy hormones, which are also responsible for the darkening of your areolas. These changes in colour will also mostly fade a few months post birth.
Stretch marks & itchy skin
Naturopath Erin O'Hara, founder of Goldern Yogi (goldenyogi.co.nz) says ‘Stretch marks happen when your body grows faster than your skin can keep up with’. ‘This causes the elastic fibres just under the surface of the skin to break, resulting in stretch marks. Your belly and breasts are the two areas that grow the most during the pregnancy.’ Unfortunately there is no way to guarantee the prevention of stretch marks but it’s a good idea to keep the skin hydrated and applying preventative oils twice a day can support the skin in feeling better and becoming more toned. ‘It can help reduce any skin itchiness, and when applied early enough in pregnancy (from 12 weeks) can help reduce stretch marks by keeping skin supple,’ says Erin. ‘Plus, the action of rubbing in the cream encourages better circulation to the skin, be it your breasts, abdomen or hips.’
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