Pregnancy and Your Skin July 26, 2016 coleaesthetics Those nine months of pregnancy bring many changes to your body, but did you know they can also lead to changes in your complexion? Hormonal fluctuations are often the culprit in those changes. Cole Aesthetic Center has the facts about the changes you might see in your skin during pregnancy, preventative steps you can take and treatment options available once your little bundle of joy arrives. Mask of Pregnancy The “mask of pregnancy” is characterized by brown patchy spots that appear on your face, usually around the forehead and cheeks. Also known as melasma, these spots are caused by increased pigmentation in the skin, due to increased hormones. Prevention Tips: You may be able to ward off that dreaded “mask” by hunkering down with your sun protection. In addition to wearing a sunscreen on your face daily, add a wide-brimmed hat to offer further shelter from the sun’s powerful UV rays. Treatment Options: Most women will see the brown patches fade after their baby is born. If yours lingers longer than you’d like, an IPL photofacial may be just the ticket for eliminating those discolorations and restoring your skin to its usual tone. Acne and Oily Skin Hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy can also lead to extra oil production and acne breakouts for some women. The problem is particularly pronounced if you had acne issues prior to pregnancy, but can also affect some women for the first time since the teen years. If you skin is usually dry but develops some oily spots prone to pimples, the problem can be even more complex to treat. Prevention Tips: Now is the time to switch out your normal skin care regimen to one that is specifically geared to oily skin. Dr. Cole offers his own line of medical-grade skin care with formulations for oily, acne-prone skin. Treatment Options: If your acne lingers after pregnancy, Cole Aesthetic Center offers a number of professional cosmetic treatments that can help reduce breakouts. One option is a laser or chemical peel that can help to clear up oily skin and restore your healthy glow. Darkening of Freckles and Moles When hormones increase melanin in the skin, current freckles and moles can also be affected by the change. You may notice those lesions actually darken during pregnancy, due to the extra pigmentation that forms. Prevention Tips: There is nothing you can do to prevent these spots from darkening during pregnancy. However, if you notice other changes, such as the size, shape or color of the mole, it is important to have the lesion examined by your physician as soon as possible. Treatment Options: If moles and freckles do not fade after your pregnancy, a professional treatment may be needed to reduce their appearance or even eliminate them entirely. IPL photofacials, fractional laser resurfacing and laser peels are all good options for treating these lesions. Dr. Cole can help you determine the best procedure for you based on the size and color of the mole, as well as your desired results. Skin changes are something to expect during those nine months, but the good news is most of them will be temporary. Proper preventative steps can help keep some of those visible changes at bay, while professional treatments after pregnancy can restore your complexion to its previous state. To learn more, contact Cole Aesthetic Center at 360.613.2600.