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Pregnancy Skin Problems
by Rebecca Garland

If you had a smooth transition during puberty, your lack of facial blemishes then has nothing to do with how you’ll hold up now during pregnancy. In fact, it also seems as though those who get off pimple-free during high school have to face more serious skin conditions during pregnancy – it must be Mother Nature’s way of keeping a balance in the world of women.

Common Skin Complaints
During pregnancy, your skin takes a beating, and it’s not just the skin on your tummy that has to undergo transitions. Hormones wreak havoc on all of your skin from your scalp to your feet. The body you thought you knew so well is changing, and you’ll want to put yourself on the defense as your skin seems to develop a mind of its own.

Acne – One of the first signs of skin problems during pregnancy is acne. Your skin

that has been clear for years is suddenly breaking out – and these zits aren’t the tiny kind. Hormones are out of control during pregnancy, and for many women, this means your face will take the brunt of the chaos. You can expect serious acne not just on your face, but on all the oily areas of your body including your chest and back. Bathe regularly and avoid oily lotions and crèmes, especially on your face. If your current cleaner doesn’t seem to have an impact, try a few others. One might work to clear some of the redness, but if you can’t seem to fight it, invest in a good concealer and wait for the hormonal roller coaster to cease.

Dry, Itchy Skin – It doesn’t seem fair to have an oily face only to have dry skin everywhere else. Again, hormones are at work to suck the moisture out of your skin on your belly, arms, legs, hands and feet. In fact some skin might start cracking on your hands or feet while other skin is flaring up with excess oil. It’s all natural, if annoying. Use intensive creams on the dry skin, but be careful to avoid letting the oils get into acne-prone areas.

Your belly is one area especially that will get itchy as it grows. Your skin will start to stretch to accommodate the baby and that stretching causes itching. Rather than giving in and scratching, soothe your skin with oils and lotions designed to maximize moisture. This will hopefully keep the itching down. If you do scratch, do so very lightly – your stretched skin is very thin and you can actually draw blood if you scratch too vigorously.

Oily Scalp – It’s not just your face that’s oily, the oil glands in your scalp might be working overtime thanks again to hormones and all that extra hair (your hair follicles don’t shed at their normal rate during pregnancy). To keep the oil at bay, wash your hair regularly and avoid putting conditioners close to your scalp.

Stretchmarks – The mother of all pregnancy skin complaints, stretchmarks are a permanent addition to your tummy, and that’s not the only place they strike. You can see stretchmarks on your tummy, hips, back, breasts and thighs. They occur when the skin expands rapidly, which is common in many areas of your body during pregnancy. You can keep your skin supple using lotions, but for the most part stretchmarks are genetic. Try to gain weight slowly, but know that if you are going to get them, you’ll likely get them at some point regardless of your efforts. The lotion, however, is always good for itchy skin and the stretchmarks do fade from red to pink to silver over time.

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