10 Interesting Facts About Your Skin When You're Pregnant

It's important to moisturize your skin when you're pregnant, drink plenty of fluids, and avoid heat. Learn more in today's article.
10 Interesting Facts About Your Skin When You're Pregnant
Maria del Carmen Hernandez

Written and verified by the dermatologist Maria del Carmen Hernandez.

Last update: 17 November, 2022

During pregnancy, your skin may present changes or alterations that are characteristic of this moment. Although they’re not serious, it’s good to know about them to know how to handle them. With that in mind, we want to share with you 10 interesting facts about your skin when you’re pregnant.

Are you interested? Keep reading!

10 interesting facts about your skin when you’re pregnant

The skin is the largest organ of the body and has the ability to adapt to different situations and environments. In fact, your skin during pregnancy can manifest various changes that you might not be aware of. Take note!

1. Transient abdominal hyperpigmented line

Before pregnancy, the linea alba is clear and usually goes unnoticed from the navel to the pubis. In contrast, during the gestation period, it darkens and acquires the name linea nigra. This usually appears around the second trimester due to obvious hormonal changes.

2. Increases skin radiance

The skin of pregnant women is characterized by a special glow. On the one hand, this is due to hormonal changes that stimulate the production of sebum by the sebaceous glands, as explained in a publication in the Indian Journal of Dermatology, Veneorology and Leprology. On the other hand, the blood flow in the superficial layers of the skin is increased, which also increases the oxygenation of the skin cells.

3. Heat rashes are common

Skin rashes are triggered by sweating and as a result of heat. It’s also common for itchy rashes to appear in the abdominal region, and they may spread to the legs, buttocks, and arms. However, these types of lesions aren’t serious.

A pregnant woman scratching her belly.
The appearance of rashes in the abdominal area and other parts of the body is common during pregnancy. These are lesions that aren’t serious.

4. Spots or moles appear

Spots of different types are also common, especially in the facial area. Although they usually disappear after childbirth, it’s best to try to prevent them with the daily and frequent use of sunscreen.

Hyperpigmented spots appear, in most cases, during the last two trimesters of pregnancy. They can also occur due to the associated genetic factor.

5. Acne outbreaks are characteristic

Minimal acne lesions are common during the first months of pregnancy. However, in women who already had acne outbreaks before becoming pregnant, the condition may improve with pregnancy.

The probable cause is the excessive stimulation of sebum production by the sebaceous glands.

6. The skin suffers micro-traumas

Stretch marks often appear on various parts of the body during pregnancy. In fact, they’re generated by the rupture of collagen and elastin fibers as a result of abrupt or excessive stretching of the skin.

The areas most likely to appear are the breasts, abdomen, thighs, and buttocks. Initially, they’re purplish and then turn whitish.

7. Stretch marks are differentiated by location

The skin undergoes different healing processes in different parts of the body. In the face of any factor that attacks it, the repair processes begin, but the speed and intensity vary according to the region of the body. The neck and chest areas are one of the areas most at risk of developing hypertrophic or keloid scars.

A pregnant woman putting lotion on her belly.
During pregnancy, stretch marks may appear on different parts of the body due to skin stretching. The abdomen, thighs, and buttocks are usually the most affected areas.

8. Your skin has memory

The spots are caused by the alteration of pigment cells, i.e. melanocytes. When they’ve been treated and their pigmentation has been greatly diminished, their information remains latent and can become pigmented again during pregnancy or sun exposure.

Therefore, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends the constant use of sunscreens and avoiding prolonged exposure to ultraviolet rays.

9. The thickness of the skin varies in different areas

The thickness of the skin surface differs according to the area in question. For example, the skin on the abdomen is thin enough to allow the baby to develop properly, while the skin on the sole of the feet is the thickest.

The skin acts as a protective barrier in the body, which is why its thickness is different in each area. Even along its entire length, other skin characteristics such as color and texture vary.

10. Your best ally is sunscreen

Sunscreen should be used continuously to protect the skin surface and the hyperpigmented spots that may appear. We recommend broad-spectrum filters that provide protection against UVA and UVB rays, with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher.

Mineral sunscreens are the most recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women. They should be applied 15 minutes before exposure to ultraviolet rays and reapplied every 2 hours.

Skincare is fundamental

It’s not easy to know which changes will appear on pregnant women’s skin, however, some can be easily prevented.

It’s best to moisturize the skin daily with creams–especially on the abdomen–drink plenty of fluids, and avoid the heat.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.