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Your skin and pregnancy

Your skin and pregnancy

Pregnancy affects women's skin in all sorts of ways. It may be greasier than usual, have a rash, stretch marks or pigmentation - all because of the hormones and other changes taking place in your body.

If you previously have had a tendency to get greasy skin just before your period, the same thing might happen now. But more likely, your skin will dry out faster when you are pregnant.

Dry and itchy skin can be eased somewhat by using a moisturiser. Some women feel it helps to drink lots of water – try that.

Itchy skin
If your skin is itching during the last months of pregnancy – particularly under the soles of your feet, in your palms, and on your tummy – although no rash is visible, it could be due to the late pregnancy changes in your liver. This is common, and a few expectant mothers get jaundice. Both the itching and any jaundice will disappear after the birth. Speak to your LMC if you feel you can’t stand it.

Pigmentation
The skin of some pregnant women shows more pigmentation than normal, forming brown, blotchy patches. This is due to increased hormone levels. If you’re in the sun a lot, you increase the risk of pigmentation. Some of the patchiness may stay on your skin after the birth, although often it becomes less noticeable.

Stretch marks
Stretch marks are due to hormone-associated stretching of the subcutaneous stratum of the skin (the deepest layer of skin), a tendency which is often hereditary. Creams and moisturisers unfortunately do not prevent stretch marks. But moisturising your tummy can increase your well-being and give your baby a nice massage.

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