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Skin changes when pregnant

Skin changes are very common during pregnancy, and can take many forms. Stretch marks, acne, and varicose or spider veins are all different skin changes that can occur during pregnancy.

What causes it?

Different skin conditions have different causes, so let’s break them down:

  • Stretch marks happen as your skin expands to meet the demands of your growing body, and growing Baby
  • Acne, like most of the aggravating symptoms, is caused by the excess hormones coursing through your body, which results in extra oil production
  • Spider veins are a result of swelling blood cells due to increased pressure on their walls, and appear in red or blue spider web patterns, usually found on the legs or face
  • Varicose veins are swollen veins, and may be a bit painful, though they usual subside after Baby is born

Whether hormonal or physical, there are lots of conditions that could spark skin changes to appear.


  • Stretch marks There is no treatment that has been shown to effectively prevent or treat stretch marks, though some believe that staying active and keeping skin moisturized can help
  • Acne is best dealt with by implementing a gentle face-washing routine, using an oil-free wash. And because it’s hormonal, it will probably subside following delivery
  • Spider veins are more difficult than the other skin conditions to reverse, so prevention by exercise is your best bet. Following delivery, laser treatments could help remove their appearance
  • Varicose veins can be treated with support stockings if they are overly painful or bothersome, but it's important that you still allow adequte blood flow

Read more
  • S Vaughan Jones, C Ambros-Rudolph, C Nelson-Piercy. "Skin disease in pregnancy." British Medical Journal. 348:g3489. Web. 6/3/2014.
  • "Skin Conditions During Pregnancy: FAQ169." ACOG. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, 6/14/2015. Web.
  • "Body changes and discomforts." U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 9/27/2010. Web.
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