What your skin goes through when you’re pregnant

The “pregnancy glow” is not just a term coined by sentimental old wives. It does have a basis in biology. That sought-after glow is a result of the increased volume of blood in your body during pregnancy. Your cheeks especially, because of the many blood vessels present below their surface, appear attractively flushed. And to complement that redness, your skin takes on a waxy sheen, thanks to the overdrive mode your oil glands are in.

“Only a handful of expectant mums get lucky with the glow,” says Dr. Hoda Elsaid Shemais from the kaya skin clinic team. Sadly, some experience every skin problem in the book instead. Is yours one such pregnancy? Are you being taken back to those best-forgotten memories of teenage acne or those undesirable summer rashes? “Fortunately for most mums, a few weeks after junior makes his or her way into the world, these skin changes will be a thing of the past,” adds Dr. Shemais.

Your skin goes through mood swings, too.

Those pregnancy hormones running all over the place can melt the joy of your “mum-to-be” status. And before you know it, your skin will lose its cool, making it vulnerable to unpleasant eruptions. Now these are going to do you no good. Especially with that little bundle of joy you will soon be wrapping warmly in your arms, the last thing you’d want to be bothered by is skin troubles. While this may not make for comfortable reading, it is important for you to understand what your skin goes through when you’re pregnant.

The return of the unwelcome guest – acne.

Oh! The intensity with which your oil grands produce sebum in your first trimester! It’s an open invitation to acne. The excess secretion clogs pores and leaves behind a greasy feel, making your skin prone to breakouts. “Ditching your skin care routine might be the easiest thing to do at a time when all you can think of is your baby. But cleanse regularly and you can prevent acne from scarring the joys of pregnancy,” says Dr. Shemais.

The mask of pregnancy could mask your beauty.

 The pregnancy hormones estrogen and progesterone influence certain melanin cells to produce excessive amounts of the pigment, resulting in the appearance of dark spots and patches, especially over the face. Dr. Shemais points out, “If you spend too much time in the sun, the pigmented areas could worsen and possibly stay with you longer than they’re supposed to.” So make sure you never face the sun without your shield – sunscreen with SPF 15 or more.

 Itch, itch! Scratch, scratch! Oh, so dry!

 As your belly grows, your skin stretches, gets thinner and begins to feel tighter, causing uncomfortable dryness and itching. Moisturising the area can keep dryness at bay and help soothe the itching. But do remember that the itchiness could also be a result of heat rash. So if you notice red eruptions on your skin, head straight to the dermatologist and don’t look back.

 Skin tags could tag along.

 While caressing your bump, you might notice small, loose growths of skin right where your bump begins. These are known as skin tags which also appear under the arms, between neck folds or under bra lines on the chest. But there’s no need to raise an alarm. Skin tags are a perfectly normal occurrence during pregnancy. They disappear a few months after delivery. If they don’t, or if they bother you too much, you can always have them excised in a flash by a professional dermatologist.

Stretch marks can stretch you to the limit.

 Almost every expectant mum’s dilemma, stretch marks decide to appear for two simple reasons. One. As your belly keeps getting bigger, your skin stretches faster and to an extent it has never before, causing collagen fibres deep down your skin to snap. Two. Your hormones (oh no, not again) cause your skin’s protein balance to fluctuate, making skin thinner. The result shows through your skin as stretch marks. Left alone, they tend to become a pregnancy keepsake. But with a little help from the expert dermatologists at kaya, stretch marks can be made a thing of the past. Your skin’s saviour? kaya skin resurfacing, a combination of the latest technology with Mesotherapy, which tightens skin, stimulates collagen production and brings back youthfulness.

Prepare to be a proud mum.

 Now here’s the thing. Skin problems of any kind are a harbinger for stress. But with that little one growing inside of you, stress is best kept at an arm’s length. Here are a few tips Dr. Shemais recommends you keep in mind.

Tip # 1 – Ensure you follow a healthy, balanced diet especially because you’re eating for two. Foods with Vitamins E and C can keep your skin healthy during pregnancy and long after.

Tip # 2 – Massage your bump daily with oil or cream. This will keep the area well moisturised and also encourage tissue growth.

Tip # 3 – With all your energies focused on nourishing your baby, cleansing, toning and moisturising tends to take a back seat. Make sure that doesn’t happen. When your skin is taken care of, you’re in best shape to take care of your little one.

Tip # 4 – Wear cool and comfortable clothing, your skin needs room to breathe. Take a cue from maternity couture. The stylish line up of clothing cut especially to accommodate your bump will keep your fashion quotient high even during pregnancy.

Tip # 5 – Water is a miracle drink. A minimum of eight glasses a day will keep you hydrated, your baby healthy and your skin in good shape.

 When you need more than your gynaecologist…

 Sure, you could run to your “mommies-to-be” club for advice, but what works for other expectant mums, may not necessarily steer you clear of skin troubles. “Which is why you need a customised skin care regime,” says Dr. Shemais. At kaya skin clinic, we have the region’s largest pool of dermatologists. They combine their expertise with the latest technologies and advanced formulations to give your skin the best care so that you in turn can give your little one your undivided attention.

Being pregnant is a great part of womanhood and a special time in any woman’s life. Remember that most of these conditions are common and inevitable occurrences which will pass. And if they don’t, they can always be treated. So, try not to stress yourself out or you might end up with fine lines, too. There’ll be so much clicking and instagramming once baby beloved comes along, the proud mum will have to look fabulous for the shutter bugs.

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