Skin changes during pregnancy


Skin changes during pregnancy include both improvement in the condition of the skin and various skin problems.

During pregnancy, women go through great physical stress, but also strong hormonal changes, which can also be reflected in the outside world. Skin changes are a normal accompaniment to pregnancy. Not every mother-to-be is affected and the skin changes can vary in severity. They mainly have negative effects, but can also have positive effects on the skin. Often all abnormalities disappear sooner or later after the birth. However, permanent changes can also occur, but most of them are harmless. Most of the undesirable changes are of cosmetic rather than medical relevance. Nevertheless, from a psychosomatic point of view, they must be given attention.


Various aspects play a role as the cause of skin changes during pregnancy. The skin is mostly due to the ever-growing belly increasing weight increasingly stressed. The Hormone levels rise and the Supply of nutrients changes to an adolescent living being. More is demanded of the female body - and the body adapts to it. For example pregnant women sweat moreincreasing the risk of skin irritation.

Skin changes during pregnancy include both improvement in the condition of the skin and various skin problems. The most common skin changes are presented below.

Improvement of the skin condition

estrogen is the feminine Sex hormone and is in the Ovaries (Ovaries) produced cycle-dependent. If the woman is pregnant, more estrogen is released and the Hormone levels rise. The increase causes the increased water retention in the skinwhich makes it appear firmer and wrinkles can be repaired.

also Estrogen increases blood flow, what a healthy complexion generated. Through the better supply of oxygen and nutrients blemishes can disappear. In addition, expectant mothers report fuller and healthier looking hair- also an effect of estrogen, which makes the hair fall out later.

Puffy skin and flushing of the face

Does the estrogen have too strong an effect on the skin? and if too much water is stored, this can happen face looks puffy. In addition, you can due to the increased blood flow Reddening of the skin that existed before pregnancy worsens or new redness forms. When exercising, the cheeks usually turn red faster than usual. Experience has shown that this phenomenon disappears quickly after the pregnancy has ended.

Water retention

The already described effect that estrogen stores water in the skin, can also be transferred to other areas of the body. Mostly the water is in the Legs stored and leads to a bulging swellingthat is localized around the ankle. Also in the hands or in the face can store water. The skin is stretched in these areas, but the top layers do not receive enough water due to the redistributed storage - it is created dry skin.

During the treatment it must be strictly observed that no drainage medication (Diuretics) as they are harmful to the unborn child. Conservative therapy through Put your legs up and much rest is preferable for the benefit of the child. Edema of pregnancy can also be partially occurring during pregnancy high blood pressure (Gestational hypertension) related.

Linea nigra

The tendons of the lateral Abdominal muscles are connected on both sides in the middle with a thick seam made of connective tissue. This so-called Linea alba (white line) runs from the sternum (Xiphoid process) over the navel to the pubic symphysis (symphysis pubica). In the second trimester (4th - 5th month of pregnancy) must the Linea alba stretch heavilyto the growing baby enough space to be able to offer. There the skin becomes discolored above the Linea alba darker and forms one straight line from the navel to the pubic bone out. This is known as Linea nigra (black line). The reason for this is that a hormonewhich the pigment cells (Melanocytes) the skin is stimulated and produced more. It disappears in the first few weeks after delivery Linea nigra already again.

Chloasma gravidarum

As with the creation of the Linea nigra is also at Chloasma gravidarum, the so-called "Pregnancy mask“Too much pigment (melanin) is produced and in the skin stored. In fair-skinned women arise from it dark spots on the face and neck. Does the woman tend to have one darker skin typeso can the spots too lighter than the surrounding skin appear. When exposed to sunlight, the pigment cells (melanocytes) are stimulated even more to produce skin pigment and the spots appear even more contrasting to normal skin. Within the first three months after giving birth the majority of all "pregnancy masks" disappear.

Spider Ripper / Spider naevi

When capillaries (tiny blood vessels) expand or break, spider veins form. During pregnancy, these are mostly localized on the cheeks, but also, for example, on the legs. The tendency for the vessels to widen is increased by the increased blood flow to the skin under the influence of estrogen and the usually slightly increased blood pressure. Women who developed such skin symptoms before pregnancy are at an increased risk. In order to protect the skin and not favor the spider veins, extreme heat and cold should be avoided. Spider naevi can also occur with other diseases, such as liver damage, but are a harmless side effect due to pregnancy.

Pimples and acne

Women who suffered from acne in their youth are at a higher risk of retraining than expectant mothers.

The increased Estrogen levels can the activity of the Sebum glands increase in the skin. The Production of skin oil is driven and the Gland ducts and pores clog more easily. Without a possibility of drainage, inflammation can develop quickly, as it is a perfect breeding ground for bacteria arises. The inflammation shows up as Pimples or worse than acne. Women who suffered from acne in their youth are at a higher risk of developing it again than expectant mothers with healthy skin. When treating the Blemishes Strong acne medication should be avoided, as these can in many cases be harmful to the child.

Rash and itching

Smaller rashes and associated itching are usually harmless during pregnancy. The skin becomes more irritable due to the high levels of estrogen and is now also sensitive to substances that could previously be touched or used without reaction.If itching all over the body, with particularly strong sensation on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet, there is a risk of pregnancy cholestasis.

Read more about this under Rash under the breast

Stretch marks

Because the skin in pregnancy very sensitive and irritable is, it reacts visibly in the majority of women strain - be it because of the baby, which is spreading, or due to pregnancy Weight gain. The skin changes turn out to be reddish to red-blue stripes they arise mainly on the stomach and on the breasts, but are also often at the hip or to the Thighs to find.

Also through water retention the skin is additionally stretched and that connective tissue, which is responsible for the elasticity of the skin, is overused. This creates Cracks that cannot heal completely. Often there is no pain or itching, but it is possible. The danger, too Stretch marks training increases if the mother already had this problem.

Very rarely do women have particularly elastic skin, which allows such enormous stretching without tearing the tissue. After pregnancy, the reddening of the stripes will decrease and the color of the skin will gradually fade. Mostly light streaks remain, which can be seen more or less clearly. A complete disappearance is unlikely and can also not be brought about with "special creams". Expectant mothers shouldn't put too much trust in these cosmetic items as they have no proven therapeutic effect. Instead, you should watch your weight after giving birth, eat healthy, exercise and keep your skin moist so that it can regenerate.

Pregnancy dermatoses

There are Skin disorderswhich only occur in pregnant women and have their own clinical picture. So for example PUPPS, the "pruritic and urticarial papules and plaques in pregnancy". That means there is one itchy, lumpy rash, characterized by spots and nodules in the skin. The disease affects approx. one of 100 mothers and heals again after delivery. It arises in the second half of pregnancy, but could The cause of the outbreak has not yet been found become. The rash that begins on the stomach is usually preceded by itching, which increases as the disease progresses. Depending on Expression, can they Breasts, poor or legs to be affected.

A There is no danger to the child. The use of Creams against the annoying itching is recommended. In addition, a Therapy with glucocorticoids (the immune system oppressive Medicatione.g. Cortisone) Provide relief.

Another pregnancy dermatosis is that Pemphigoid gestationis. Be used in this very rare disease Antibodies against structures in skin cells formed, which means that the immune system itself destroys the cells. The disease shows itself clinically swollen, ring-shaped rashesthat are with groups inflamed blisters are offset. The affected areas itch extremely. Since the antibodies also reach the unborn child, it can also become ill. Poses a life-threatening danger Pemphigoid gestationis for the child. The rashes heal in the newborn without therapy. Even with this dermatosis you can Glucocorticoids be prescribed. In addition, the inflammation areas are kept dry and regularly disinfected.


Treating most skin changes in the pregnancy can be done conventionally and does not require medical intervention. If the expectant mother is attentive to her body and the changes it is going through, most problems can be averted. Of the Most of all changes also disappear after delivery. To achieve the same skin condition as before pregnancy is, as in all situations, one healthy eating, lots of exercise and enough relaxation necessary. The latter can of course be neglected after the birth.