Friday, June 4, 2010

Yummy/Yucky Pregnancy Side Effect #4: Skin Changes

The pregnancy glow.  Increased blood flow and increased secretions of the oil glands give many women a rosy/waxy sheen during the first trimester.  You may not notice it, but others do. 
Every other skin side effect.  If you’re lucky you’ll only experience a few of these.  If you get hit with all, sorry about that! 
Prego Mask
Red Palms
Spider Veins
Skin Tags
Linea Nigra
Seriously, these are too depressing for me to review.  So I’ll let Dr. Sears do it for me
But in the interest of full disclosure, I developed no less than four (4) of these during my first pregnancy: prego glow, spider veins in one leg, skin tags (yuck), and linea nigra.
Some other fun skin changes: 
Armpit Lumps
Ok that's not the medical term, but I don't know what they're really called.  I developed a whole bunch of lumps under my left armpit last pregnancy and they’ve made an appearance again this pregnancy--it’s like a BMX bike park under there.  Mine were innocuous but if you develop them show your doctor in case it is something more serious.  My doctor told me it was excess breast tissue.  Good news is they go away. Bad news is that they get bigger before they get smaller and go away!
Some women get a horribly itchy belly rash called PUPPS (Pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy ).  It's harmless to mother and baby, but its annoying and terribly itchy.  It usually only effects women during their first pregnancy, but my friend was lucky enough to get it with #2.  Bad news is it might last until you deliver.  Interestingly enough studies have shown that 70% of women who get PUPPS during pregnancy give birth to a boy.
 Also, watch out for changes in existing moles/freckles.  Your skin goes through rapid changes during pregnancy and some women’s moles may get larger or become dysplastic nevi (atypical) that could become cancerous.  Melanoma is the second most common cancer in women aged 20-29.  If you notice changes in your moles see a dermatologist immediately.  A biopsy can be done safely at any stage of pregnancy.
Next week:  Yummy/Yucky Side Effect 5: Nails
Past Yummy/Yuckys:
Yummy/Yucky Pregnancy Side Effects #2 & #3: Boobs & Back
Yummy/Yucky Pregnancy Side Effect #1: Hair

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