We all know the popular pregnancy glow, but other unwelcoming skin issues during pregnancy are rarely talked about. Hormonal surges and your growing body can cause many changes in your healthy skin.

With all the attention converging on the unborn infant, it is common for mothers to neglect general skin issues.

Here are 4 skin problems expecting mothers can face, along with their solutions.

Stretch Marks

Known as Striae gravidarum in medical terms, this skin condition is the numero uno of maternity related skin troubles. Some pregnant women start complaining about stretch marks in the second trimester, while others may notice these unpleasant lines on their skin when they are nearing the end of pregnancy.

Stretch marks are pink, red, or purple lines that appear when the skin growth cannot cope up with the rapidly growing body. While there is no prevention for stretch marks, they can be cured later with retinoid ointments when you’re not breastfeeding. Other solutions include laser treatments and dermabrasion. The idea behind treatment of stretch marks is to boost collagen production so the skin can become smoother.

Skin Tags

Skin tags are common in pregnancy because their appearance is often linked to weight gain. They are small growths of skin that are a few millimeters long, and do not cause itchiness or discomfort. However, skin tags need to be removed because they do not have a pleasant appearance.

While some tags fall off on their own after pregnancy, others need removal. Surgical removal of skin tags is an option, but it can be difficult to undergo with an infant, and may result in side effects. The other option is the use of naturally made skin tag removal products that are gentle on the skin. The advantage of such products is that you do not have to go through painful processes like freezing and pulling off the skin tags. Natural skin tag solutions can be directly applied on the affected areas without any pain or scarring.

Hyper-pigmentation (Melasma)

Just about all women suffer from hyper pigmentation when they are pregnant, but in some cases there is higher or more widespread degree of pigmentation. The condition is commonly known as Melasma, and it mostly affects areas like the areola, abdominal areas, and genitals. In severe cases, Melasma may also appear on the face.

The best prevention measure for Melasma is to stay out of the sun. Using a broad spectrum sun screen in pregnancy can help, but it’s important to choose the right products. Creams that contain oxybenzone, homosalate and avobenzone can pose a threat to the growing fetus, so make sure you read the labels before choosing a sun screen. Any use of oral contraceptives postpartum can also cause Melasma. Severe cases of hyper pigmentation that continue after pregnancy can be resolved with prescription topical medication like corticosteroids, tretinoin, and hydroquinone.

Pregnancy Acne

The culprit behind this maternity skin issue is high levels of hormones, mainly androgens. The androgens prompt an increased production of sebum, causing pregnancy acne or making existing acne worse. Although there is no way to prevent this condition completely, it can help if you keep your skin free from excess oil during pregnancy.

Cleanse and moisturize with oil free products on a daily basis. Avoid any prescription drugs for acne like isotretinoin, tetracycline, doxycycline, and minocycline during pregnancy because they can cause serious birth defects and complications. However, topical prescription ointments can be a safer solution for severe cases of gestational acne.

By following these treatment options, your skin is also likely to look healthier and refreshing.