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Skin changes during pregnancy

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​You may notice dark or reddish streaks that are slightly indented in the skin of your abdomen, breasts, or buttocks during your ​​​pregnancy. 

They are commonly called stretch marks or striae and are the result of tissue stretching.

After pregnancy, these marks fade in color and decrease in size. A lanolin cream may be rubbed on the skin. This does not prevent or decrease stretch marks but the massaging is comforting and relaxing, while the cream helps relieve dry skin.

Areas of darkened (pigmented) skin on the face and neck are referred to as chloasma or “mask of pregnancy”. This is caused by the high levels of pregnancy hormones and will fade after delivery. Exposure to sunlight aggravates the skin color changes.

Other parts of the body already pigmented become darker, for example the area around your nipples. You may notice a darkened line down the middle of your abdomen extending from the navel to the pubic area. This is normal and will fade after delivery.