How Pregnancy Changes Your Skin

How Pregnancy Changes Your Skin

If anyone knows what it means for your body to be resilient - and a tough cookie - it’s the mothers out there. Living through a pregnancy and delivery is very difficult; of course, women are able to pull through. Having been pregnant four times in Nashville, my mind, body. and skin (let’s not forget about those leg veins!) truly went through so much that a fifth child was out of the question. Even though I am in medicine- a Nashville dermatologist, I found it incredibly difficult to explain everything I was going through. 

Resilient though we may be, we are left with stubborn reminders of our time being pregnant: stretch marks, spider veins, melasma, weight gain, postpartum depression, etc. As a dermatologist, I can’t tell you how many patients come into my Nashville office looking for the ultimate cure to zap stretch marks away, and time and time again I have to say that there is no perfect solution.

However, a study carried out by Dr. Baudouin and colleagues of Laboratoires Expanscience, Epernon, France set out to investigate skin mechanical properties of the highly-stressed abdomen and the less-stressed thigh in pregnant women and women before and after delivery. 

While we all know our abdominal skin needs to stretch, contrary to what you might expect, this study also showed that the extensibility of our skin increases more after pregnancy than during pregnancy. In addition, skin on the thigh was tested to see what our skin does in general during pregnancy - and wouldn’t you know it, the tone of our skin decreases in other places, not just the abdomen. So floppy skin isn’t reserved solely for our abdominal area! Fantastic. 

You might be wondering what this all means. Well, while this study may not give us a treatment to work with to tackle the issue of our very stretchy skin, it is an incredibly significant start. No study comparing skin between women who are pregnant, not pregnant or in delivery has ever been done before!  It’s encouraging to see more research being done on women’s issues. As a female dermatologist, it’s difficult to keep telling my Nashville patients there’s limited options for stretch marks - especially when I know how they feel - but I’m excited that researchers are finally addressing women’s issues, and can’t wait to see what treatments become available for dermatologists to recommend for stretch marks in the future.

If you’d like to book an appointment with a dermatologist to discuss how to treat your skin during and post-pregnancy, feel free to visit any of our Skin Solutions Dermatology branches in Nashville, Franklin, Columbia, Smyrna, Hendersonville or Pulaski to chat with our amazing team of dermatology specialists! Take advantage of our online booking system and book an appointment today.

Source: Practice Update


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Dr Pena

About The Author

Dr. Pena is a Board-Certified Medical Dermatologist, Mohs skin cancer surgeon, and cosmetic dermatologist. Her mission is to educate the diverse patient populations she serves, and their communities, on the importance of skin care in decreasing the risk of skin cancer and minimizing the early signs of aging. She founded Skin Solutions Dermatology with numerous clinics in Nashville, Tennessee and surrounding Middle Tennessee.

Dr. Julia Pena, MD