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Help For Skin Problems After Pregnancy

Pregnancy is not only a life-changing event, but a body-changing one as well. Hormonal changes that prepare the body for the developing fetus can greatly affect the skin, either in a positive or negative way. Unfortunately for most pregnant women, they are not so lucky in these aspects leading them to believe that the pregnancy glow everybody speaks of is nothing more than a myth.

In most cases, the skin can turn into a nightmare during pregnancy. Thankfully, just like pregnancy, most of these problems are temporary. Most of the time, these resolve on their own, however, some would require special attention to restore its pre-pregnant state.

1. Stretch Marks

This is one of the most common skin concerns women have during and even after pregnancy. Some even joke that stretch marks are not really a problem, but rather it’s just these new moms simply earning their “tiger stripes.”

Stretch marks form when the body grows faster more than the skin is able to keep up. The elastic fibers underneath end up breaking, which results to stretch marks.

According to AmericanPregnancy.Org, almost 90% of pregnant women form stretch marks, and these may appear as either pinkish or reddish streaks. These form in the breasts, hips, thighs, and/or the abdomen. The amount of weight gained and genetics play a role in their formation.

You can minimize the appearance of stretch marks by massaging the skin every day with a moisturizer to improve circulation, which also encourages the growth of new tissues. Applying lotions that contain Vitamin E or creams that contain Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA) are also good preventive measures by improving circulation and keeping skin supple.

To reduce the appearance of stretchmarks, creams and laser treatments like Thermage have been proven to be effective.


Melasma or chloasma is more commonly known to us as “the mask of pregnancy.” It is caused by an increase in the production of our natural skin pigment – melanin, during pregnancy due to hormonal changes. This causes an uneven skin tone as dark gray-brown patches appear on the face. Almost 70% of pregnant women are affected by this. The good thing about melasma is that it will gradually fade on its own once your hormone levels have finally settled after pregnancy.

It is important that you should know that sun exposure triggers melasma. So to avoid aggravating the darkening, it is best that you apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen that is at least SPF15. Make sure that you put it on every day, regardless of the weather.

Also, for women who use the pill as a birth control method, you can ask your doctor if you can go for estrogen-free or progestin-only pills. The reason is that estrogen can worsen your melasma.

There are various treatment options for melasma, and this includes, hydroquinone, tretinoin, corticosteroid, topical medicines, chemical peels and microdermabrasion. But before you choose any treatment, you should first check with your doctor which is the safest and best to work well with your skin.


If feeling bloated and heavy isn’t enough to make pregnancy uncomfortable, acne also wants to get into the picture. Some women suffer acne all throughout their pregnancy, thanks again to hormonal changes which cause the skin to produce more oil.

While pregnant, it is not advised to use anti-acne products because these might be dangerous to the fetus when it gets absorbed into the blood. It is best that pregnant women stick to a strict cleansing routine instead to avoid acne and breakouts.

Even after having the baby, it also pays to be cautious about the acne products you use because it can get into your breast milk. Avoid salicylic acid-based formulas until after you have weaned your baby from breastfeeding.

Skin sagging

Sagging skin is actually one of the most dreaded skin changes that a lot of new moms have after pregnancy. Not only does it limit their clothing choices, but it also affects their self-esteem. That is why a lot of new moms are scouring to find effective ways to manage this problem.

We all know how skin can be so resilient, and pregnancy is the perfect example. Skin can always stretch back after getting pregnant, but there is no guarantee that it would be the same as it was. Some experience severe sagging, while others are fortunate to have it moderately.

Treatments include skin tightening lotions, laser treatments Thermage CPT, Cryolipolysis/ Fat Freezing or an abdominoplasty, which is also known as a tummy tuck. These help the new mom restore her pre-baby belly, reduce the apperance of stretch marks and tighten the skin.

Varicose and Spider Veins

These two are common problems of the skin in the lower extremities during pregnancy. Varicose veins are enlarged that can either be bluish, reddish, or flesh-colored. They bulge from backs of the calves or on the thighs, and may even form around the vagina and buttocks during pregnancy.

This is caused by weak or damaged valves in the veins and is aggravated by the hormonal changes in pregnancy. Other worsening factors include increased age, medical history and lack of movement. The increased blood volume during pregnancy can also cause the veins to enlarge.

Spider veins, on the other hand, are smaller versions of varicose veins, but they tend to be much closer to the skin surface. On inspection, spider veins look like spiderwebs or tree branches due to their short and jagged lines. They usually appear on the face, neck, upper chest and the arms.

Spider veins do not hurt and they often disappear after delivery. It is caused by blood that is goes back up the blood vessels, sun exposure, and hormonal changes.

Treatments include compression stockings, sclerotherapy (a procedure where a chemical is injected into the vein causing it to shut and wither) and surface laser treatments that send strong bursts of light into the skin that causes veins to lighten or disappear.

Kathy Lim writes for Dr Tyng Tan Aesthetics and Hair Clinic – a medical aesthetic clinic in Singapore specializing on various body and skin care procedures.

Kathy Lim writes for Dr Tyng Tan Aesthetics and Hair Clinic – a medical aesthetic clinic in Singapore specializing on various body and skin care procedures.

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