Treating Your Skin During Pregnancy

Treating Your Skin During Pregnancy : Pregnancy is an incredible and challenging experience for mothers. Everyone knows about that lit-from-within glow that expectant mothers get. But there are a number of changes that happen to our skin and body that are well…unwanted.

Please keep in mind that not all pregnancies are the same and can be wildly different between your first and second child. So, if you are planning a pregnancy or are already well on your journey to motherhood read on to find out how to treat stretch marks, which melasma treatments are pregnancy safe, and more!

Stretch marks

These are one of the most common skin changes that can occur during pregnancy. Almost 90% of pregnant women will experience stretch marks, which appear as pinkish or reddish streaks running down your abdomen and/or breasts.

Stretch mark prevention and treatment

Keeping active with exercising and maintaining a healthy skin barrier by applying lotions that contain vitamin E and alpha-hydroxy acids can help prevent stretch marks. If you find that nothing is working to reduce their appearance, you can be set at ease knowing that these streaks will fade to silvery faint lines after delivery.

You will be able to find creams, oils, and lotions that are specifically made to help minimise stretch marks such as the Mother & Baby range by Palmer’s.

If your stretch marks don’t fade away, or your skin tone makes them more visible you can try tattooing! Medical camouflage is a tattooing method where scars and stretch marks are camouflaged with different flesh toned pigments to disguise the area that is missing pigment or colour.

The ‘mask of pregnancy’

Melasma treatment and management
Melasma treatment and management

Melasma, which is also known as chloasma, is patchy, brown hyperpigmentation on the face and neck (and sometimes the chest and arms) in symmetrical patterns. When pregnant, your body produces more hormones, which causes an increase in pigmentation. Around 50-75% of pregnant women experiences some darkening of the skin over the course of the gestation period.

What’s more, skin that’s already more pigmented – such as your nipples, freckles, scars, and the skin of your genitals – may become darker during pregnancy. This also tends to happen in areas where friction is common, such as your underarms and inner thighs.

While melasma should fade once you have given birth, in some cases topical melasma treatments or in-clinic therapies may be needed to fade any lingering unwanted hyperpigmentation.

Melasma treatment and management

Due to its complexity, melasma treatments usually include brightening and fading active ingredients, hydroquinone, topical retinoids, and chemical peels. In addition, certain in-clinic abrasion, laser, and light therapies have been shown to be safe and effective melasma treatments.

Telehealth providers are creating personalised melasma treatments for their patients, like Qr8 MediSkin, based on their lifestyles, and current skincare routines. After a video consultation with a doctor, they will custom blend a prescription-only cream base or serum that is then delivered to your door.

While some pigment fading treatments for melasma are not recommended during pregnancy (such as hydroquinone, and tretinoin). Qr8 MediSkin has several effective, pregnancy and breastfeeding-safe melasma fighting active ingredients to fade unwanted pigmentation: azelaic acid, hydrocortisone (which is safe when used for short periods of time under medical supervision), kojic acid, and tranexamic acid.

Exposure to the sun will darken melasma, making it more pronounced. Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher on your face and neck every day. Stay out of the sun when it is harshest (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.). Buy yourself some statement sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat for garden parties and beach days and don’t forget to reapply your sunscreen once every two hours.



If you currently have an acne problem, the chances that your acne may become exacerbated during pregnancy are high. The extra hormones surging around your body cause your oil glands to secrete more oil, which can result in breakouts.

Treating and preventing acne

Hormonal acne should clear up after your baby is born, however managing it is a must to ensure that it doesn’t progress. Having a simple and gentle cleansing routine, followed by an oil-free moisturiser will go a long way. Remember not to over-cleanse your face, which can leave it irritated, dry, and even more prone to acne.

Use an astringent to remove any remaining oil. Stay away from any acne medicated astringents; they can contain medications that are not recommended for pregnant women. Pregnancy and breastfeeding safe ingredients include: niacinamide, kojic acid, and resveratrol.

Varicose veins

These bulky, bluish veins appear on the legs during pregnancy as the body tries to make room for the extra blood flow that is going to the baby. Varicose veins can be uncomfortable and sometimes painful.

Treating and preventing varicose veins

Avoid standing for long periods of time and walk regularly to help blood return to your heart. When sitting, prop your feet up on a stool and elevate your feet higher than your head for at least 30 minutes a day. Avoid sitting for long periods of time and wear support stockings. Make sure you get enough vitamin C, to keep your veins healthy and elastic. Ensuring you don’t gain an excessive amount of weight will also help prevent varicose veins.

If you do develop varicose veins during pregnancy, they generally improve without medical treatment three to 12 months after delivery. In instances where they do not improve, you can seek in-clinic treatments such as sclerotherapy (injecting chemicals to block the veins), laser or ablation therapy (using heat to seal the veins), or surgery (to remove the veins through small punctures or cuts).

Linea nigra

Linea nigra
Linea nigra

Linea nigra is the dark line that runs from the navel to the pubic bone. This line may have always been there, but during pregnancy, this line darkens as a result of the hormonal surge. It usually appears around the fourth or fifth month of pregnancy.

Treating and preventing linea nigra

There is nothing you can do to prevent it from happening, but it usually fades after pregnancy. Creams with active ingredients used to fade hyperpigmentation and melasma can be used to reduce the appearance of linea nigra.



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