If you’re currently pregnant or have been pregnant before, you know that pregnancy brings a whole slew of changes to your body. Some of these changes are amazing, like the amazing new life you’re growing inside of you. But other changes, like the ones to your skin, hair, and teeth, can be surprising and not always in a good way. Here are some unexpected effects of pregnancy on your appearance and what you can do about them:
Darker nipples and areolas
One of the first changes you may notice during pregnancy is that your nipples and areolas (the dark area around your nipple) get darker. This is caused by an increase in melanin production and is perfectly normal. However, if you find that your nipples are getting very dark or blotchy, you should consult with your doctor, as this could be a sign of hyperpigmentation. Some treatments can help lighten dark nipples and areolas after pregnancy, so definitely speak with a dermatologist if this is bothering you.
Another common change pregnant women notice is that their nails become brittle and may even start to peel. This is caused by hormonal changes and an increase in blood flow. To help keep your nails healthy, eat a balanced diet rich in biotin (a water-soluble vitamin that helps strengthen nails) and consider taking a biotin supplement. You should also avoid harsh nail treatments like acrylics and gel manicures during pregnancy.
During pregnancy, many women notice that their hair becomes thicker and shinier. This is due to increased estrogen levels, which stimulate hair growth. While thicker hair may sound great, it can also be a bit of a hassle to deal with. If you’re finding that your thicker hair makes it difficult to style as usual, try switching to a gentle shampoo and conditioner formulated for thick hair. You may also want to invest in new hair styling tools that can help you tame your mane, like a ceramic flat iron or boar bristle brush.
Dry skin is a common problem during pregnancy, affecting as many as 90% of pregnant women. There are several reasons why pregnancy can cause dry skin. For one, the increased levels of hormones can lead to changes in the oil glands, producing less moisture.
In addition, the skin stretches as the belly grows, which can also contribute to dryness. Finally, the increased blood volume can cause the blood vessels to dilate, resulting in a loss of fluids from the skin. While there are several ways to combat dry skin, such as using moisturizers and taking shorter showers, it is important to consult with a doctor if the problem persists, as it could be a sign of a more serious condition. Fortunately, for most women, dry skin is only a temporary problem that will resolve itself after delivery.
Spider veins are a common pregnancy symptom. These small, red, or blue veins often appear on the legs and can be uncomfortable. While the exact cause of spider veins is unknown, they are believed to be the result of increased pressure on the veins. This pressure is thought to be caused by the extra weight of the baby and the increased blood flow during pregnancy.
Although spider veins usually disappear after delivery, some women may need treatment to get rid of them. If you are pregnant and have spider veins, you can do a few things to help relieve your symptoms. Wear loose-fitting clothing and avoid sitting or standing for long periods. You can also talk to your doctor about special support stockings that can help to reduce the pressure on your veins.
Tooth loss or decay
Hormonal changes during pregnancy can also increase plaque and bacteria in the mouth, leading to tooth decay or even tooth loss. Be sure to brush and floss twice daily and visit your dentist regularly during pregnancy. If you notice any changes in your oral health, don’t hesitate to bring it up with your dentist or OB-GYN.
If you already have tooth loss because of pregnancy, you can consider getting tooth implants after labor. Tooth implants are a popular tooth replacement option that can give you a beautiful, natural-looking smile. Unlike other tooth replacements, such as dentures or bridges, implants are anchored directly into your jawbone, providing a secure and stable foundation for your new teeth. In addition, implants are made from materials compatible with the human body, so they are unlikely to cause any allergic reactions. Implants can last for many years with proper care. By getting tooth implants, you can have a confident, beautiful smile once again.
Pregnancy brings about lots of changes—some amazing, some surprising, some not-so-great—to your appearance. But don’t despair! With a little bit of knowledge about what’s happening to your body and how best to take care of yourself during this special time, you can rock that “pregnancy glow” with confidence!