Les 8 changements cutanées liés à la grossesse

The 8 skin changes linked to pregnancy

Pregnancy is a period of profound metamorphoses for the female body, and the skin is no exception to this rule. Under the influence of complex hormonal variations and physiological changes, the skin of pregnant women can undergo a series of transformations that deserve special attention.

A study of 1,935 women who had recently given birth found that 74% of them reported skin changes during pregnancy*.

Skin changes during pregnancy are rooted in significant hormonal variations, immune system alterations, vascular changes and metabolic changes. These profound changes are necessary to support fetal growth and development, but can impact maternal health and well-being.


Skin changes related to pregnancy

Pregnancy and hyperpigmentation
: These changes in skin pigmentation affect a large number of women, often appearing in the first trimester. The most affected areas include the face, areolas, armpits and intimate region. Melasma, also known as the "mask of pregnancy", is one of the most concerning hyperpigmentations, affecting up to 56% of pregnant women*. This problem is linked to an increase in melanin production, under the influence of hormones such as ɑ-MSH (alpha-Melanocyte Stimulating Hormone), estrogen and progesterone. Prevention, including limiting sun exposure and using sunscreen products with a high SPF (50 or 50+), is key to reducing the appearance of melasma.

Pregnancy and stretch marks : Up to 90% of pregnant women develop stretch marks*, due to excessive stretching of the skin during pregnancy. Stretch marks, which usually appear on the stomach, buttocks, breasts, thighs and arms, may be red or purplish when fresh, then fade over time. Although their treatment is limited, using emollients early in pregnancy can help fade the appearance of stretch marks, while postpartum treatments such as topical or oral retinoids may be considered.

Pregnancy and redness or other vascular disorders : Hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy can lead to reddened skin, dilated blood vessels and varicose veins. These manifestations mainly affect the face, neck, décolleté and arms. Treatments recommended by your healthcare professional are generally aimed at relieving symptoms and preventing complications. At the same time, you can also adopt certain actions, in particular by avoiding staying still for too long and performing blood circulation exercises.

Pregnancy and blemishes : Hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy can stimulate the activity of the sebaceous glands, sometimes leading to the appearance of excess sebum production in some women. These hormonal variations disrupt the skin's natural balance and can clog pores.

Pregnancy and sweating : During pregnancy, the eccrine glands, responsible for secreting sweat, may be more active, sometimes leading to excessive sweating in some pregnant women. This increase in sweating is often linked to hormonal changes during pregnancy.

Pregnancy and Hair : Pregnant women may also experience hair changes, such as hirsutism (excessive hair growth) and an increase in the number of growing hairs. These changes are often temporary and usually disappear after giving birth. However, increased hair loss may occur in the weeks following delivery, followed by hair regrowth in the months afterward.

Pregnancy and Nails : Nails can also be affected during pregnancy, often becoming brittle due to a possible decreased intake of proteins, vitamins and minerals. It is recommended to maintain a balanced diet and take dietary supplements if necessary to prevent these problems.

Pregnancy and itchy skin : Some women may experience discomfort that may be a sign of skin problems. In case of severe itching or other significant skin symptoms, do not hesitate to consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Finally, during pregnancy, pre-existing skin disorders can experience varied developments, with some conditions being alleviated and others worsened. Understanding and anticipating these transformations is crucial for the well-being of pregnant women. Particular attention to skin care and appropriate medical consultations allows these skin changes to be better managed.

*sources cited: Ciechanowicz et al., 2018; Putra et al., 2022; Barnawi et al., 2021; Tunzi and Gray 2007; Putra et al., 2022; Barnawi et al., 2021; Vora et al., 2014; Tunzi and Gray 2007.

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