It is often said that the skin becomes more beautiful during pregnancy. "In many cases this is actually the case, because theincreased estrogen, characteristic of this period, makes the more hydrated, smoother and more radiant skin, and even shinier, thicker hair. At the same time however, other hormonal changes but also the activity of the immune system and blood circulation can lead to some less positive changes to the skin, such as hyperpigmentation and the appearance of angiomas and stretch marks. "Word of Caterina Chiarini, a dermatologist at the city's Medlight Institute of Aesthetic Medicine and a freelance practitioner, as well as a specialist in food science.
Hyperpigmentation and skin blemishes
In pregnancy there is not only an increase in estrogen: "There are many hormonal changes typical of this period and among these theincrease in MSH, the melatonin stimulating hormone, resulting increased skin pigmentation”Explains Chiarini.
This then explains the characteristic darkening of the mammary areola, of the linea alba (a vertical line that goes from the navel to the pubis and which tends to become darker or "nigra"), of the mucous membranes in general (genitals, lips and oral mucosa) , of the inguinal and axillary folds and, in those who have them, of freckles and scars. “In addition - adds the dermatologist - other types of spots may appear, such as the famous one chloasma gravidarum: a widespread system of spots that occurs on the face and in particular on the forehead, cheeks, nose and above the lips, especially in women genetically predisposed or with a slightly darker complexion ".Read also: Chloasma: how to prevent skin blemishes in pregnancy
"The increase in sweating and alterations in blood circulation, with a notable increase in the flow rate can favor the appearance of dryness, further favored in the abdominal area by the distension caused by the growth of the belly".
Read also: Itching in pregnancy: how to relieve it, when to worry
It is small red or purplish ramifications caused by the dilation of small superficial blood vessels, in turn caused by alterations affecting the blood circulation. "They typically appear on the décolleté or on the limbs and often have the appearance of stars or spiders, so we speak of star or spider angiomas".
"I'm a consequence of both dryness and tension to which the skin is subjected, especially in the abdomen area "explains Chiarini, underlining that it is basically a matter of scars, initially reddish in color which then turns to white. “Not all women have them, because their appearance is strongly linked to the degree of skin elasticity, therefore to the content of elastic fibers present in the dermis, which in turn has a strong genetic basis ".
Changes in the appearance and size of moles are very common in pregnancy. “Generally these are absolutely physiological alterations, linked to the fact that appearance and size of moles are typically kept in check by the immune system, which however in pregnancy is less efficient than usual, because it has to 'tolerate' the presence of the baby which is in fact a foreign body ”explains the dermatologist. "So basically you don't have to worry, but for safety it is always good to have a dermatologist check moles that change appearance, both during pregnancy and after childbirth".Read also: Pregnancy, this is how your body changes Pregnancy and skin diseases
Pre-existing chronic skin diseases can also undergo changes during pregnancy. "L'acne, for example, it tends to improve, because the action of the androgenic hormones that cause it is balanced and corrected by an increase in estrogen ”says dermatologist Caterina Chiarini. “In some cases, however, it could on the contrary worsen, due to the involvement of the immune component as well as the hormonal one. And the same thing can happen for other conditions like the Psoriasis, which may improve in some cases and worsen in others ".
1 Photoprotection, always
“My first advice is to always use - both in summer and in winter - a photo protector 50+, especially for the face, because the sun's rays favor and worsen hyperpigmentation and the appearance of spots on the face ”recommends Chiarini. Specifying that this advice does not clash with the indication to guarantee an adequate supply of vitamin D, which is important for pregnancy, even with sun exposure: "In the summer 20 minutes of face and limbs exposure a day are enough to ensure adequate intake. And there is no need to cook under the midday sun: early morning or late evening exposure is fine ”.Read also: Vitamin D: 13 things to know
2 Moisturizer right from the start
"For reduce dryness and help maintain elasticity, preventing stretch marks, it is important to treat the whole body with a moisturizer rich in substances such as ceramides and fatty acids (such as hyaluronic acid) and it is important to do so from the beginning of pregnancy ".
“The ideal is to apply the cream in the first few minutes after a bath or shower, when the skin, being moist, is even more receptive to the emollient components of the cream. Which are very important for reinforcing the skin barrier, reducing the risk of dehydration ”says Chiarini.
3 Mild detergents for bath and shower
And to wash? “Better to prefer delicate, oily, low foaming detergents, which help keep the skin soft ”advises Chiarini.
4 Face masks
“For the skin of the face - says the dermatologist - in addition to photoprotection and daily hydration, I also recommend Vitamin C-based masks (antioxidant and lightening, for the prevention of spots, as well as an important co-factor for the production of collagen) or of vitamin E (antioxidant and elasticizing), to be done once or twice a week ".
5 Healthy diet rich in water
In addition to skin care with specific products, to keep it as healthy and "fit" as possible during pregnancy is also diet is very important, “Which should be as rich as possible in water, minerals and vitamins and therefore in fruit and vegetables. The Mediterranean diet is therefore ideal ”says Chiarini.
“By the way, a healthy and balanced diet helps maintain a adequate body weight, without excessive increases, which reduces the risk of stretch marks and heaviness on the lower limbs ".10 PHOTOS
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6 Physical activity
Unless there are specific contraindications, Chiarini also recommends one modest physical activity, which helps blood microcirculation and the maintenance of an adequate body weight.Read also: Weight gain in pregnancy: neither too much nor too little, but the starting weight also matters a lot
“The first thing to do is do not rush, because in the vast majority of cases hyperpigmentation and skin spots fade and disappear on their own within a few months after delivery ".
If the stains don't go away, they can be done after a few months depigmented (lightening) treatments, with creams and peels. "But even in this case it takes patience, because you have to work slowly" declares Chiarini, recommending the continuous use of a photoprotective cream, both in summer and in winter. "Instead, no to the use of lasers in these cases, because it can accentuate the inflammatory response of the skin and therefore the problem".Read also: Pregnancy, swollen legs and feet sos
"Since it is scar tissue that has replaced the healthy one, eliminating them completely is practically impossible, but a lot can be done to attenuate them until they are almost invisible" says the dermatologist, arguing that the treatment to be done in these cases is the laser therapy. "We resort to fractional lasers to be done once a month for 4-6 sessions. It is important to start as soon as possible, when the stretch mark is still "fresh", reddish in color, because with the passage of time it becomes more difficult to treat ".
However, it is essential to try to prevent them from the very beginning of pregnancy with the constant application of a moisturizing and elasticising cream.
“Also in this case, the advice is to wait a few months after giving birth, because in most cases they undergo spontaneous and complete resorption. If they stay, they can deal with vascular lasers: the resolution tends to be complete ".12 PHOTOS
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- stretch marks
- angiomas in pregnancy
- moles in pregnancy