When you become a mother for the first time, every day of pregnancy is a new exciting experience. But all too often your skin joins these sensations, because it also tightens, itches or seems extremely dry.
Sometimes superficial changes are added or redness and other colorings become visible. These skin changes on the pregnancy belly are usually harmless – but what exactly is behind the term Linea Negra?
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These Pregnancy Symptoms Await You
Skin changes on the pregnancy belly are a common phenomenon. They rank ahead of heavy legs and morning sickness, the most common pregnancy complaints. But other than these two problems, skin changes have countless manifestations.
Mostly, they make themselves felt by more or less strong itching. Sometimes they are accompanied by a feeling of tension that gives you the impression that your skin could burst at any moment.
When you touch the affected areas, they react very differently: the itching can decrease or increase, red or white strips form on the skin, and in light areas darker marks suddenly appear, such as the linea negra.
- Pimples or
Usually, these symptoms are limited to a certain area: the abdomen corresponding to pregnancy. However, they can also appear in other areas of the body, show up in several places at the same time or affect your entire skin surface.
Linea Negra: All That Affects The Abdomen During Pregnancy
To track down the triggers, you need to think a little further than your belly. Not everything that happens in the exciting time leading up to birth has to do with your baby’s development. Sometimes there is something completely simple behind a sign that has nothing to do with the pregnancy and the belly.
Skin changes can also have many causes, because your largest organ always reacts to external circumstances – no matter whether it only envelops you or additionally your baby. The reasons mentioned below are strongly related to your pregnancy; however, they can also occur under other circumstances or have a different trigger.
Nutrition-Related Skin Changes On The Pregnancy Belly
The body of a pregnant woman does everything to protect the baby inside and to optimize its development. Your organism also mobilizes all available forces for this task. In an emergency, it will even resort to the extreme – your iron reserves.
This happens secretly, because your body knows exactly where the secret supplies are stored that your baby needs: Teeth, bones, blood and nerve cells are commonly known depots for urgently needed minerals and trace elements. These are the places where your organism taps what your little one is lacking and thus ensures its basic supply.
If you do not replenish the stores or do not replenish them sufficiently, this will sooner or later be reflected in the appearance of your skin: persistent pallor, sudden dryness or increased wrinkling indicate a lack of micro-building blocks. A lack of vitamins and fluids can also be seen 1:1 in your skin.
Most pregnant women counter this phenomenon by developing instinctive cravings. Perhaps you too have had an insatiable craving for pickles or the unreasonable urge to eat lots of fatty, sweet or salty foods. These things consumed in excess cover the acute needs of your body in the shortest possible way.
The fact that their type and quantity are not healthy usually becomes apparent very quickly: many foods consumed in a “gluttonous flash” lead to a skin rash. It shows you once again that there is only one sensible food recommendation for pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Varied food with all necessary nutrients and minerals as well as sufficient drinking are indispensable for you the growing baby. In addition, they are a suitable means to ensure the supply of your skin and to avoid irritations.
Allergic Skin Changes On The Pregnancy Belly
Allergic reactions are closely related to your diet. They can appear anywhere – no matter where the cause of the problem is located. In addition, the substance causing the allergy does not necessarily have to be an “old acquaintance”. Especially during pregnancy, your body is working at full capacity – and can quickly overshoot the target.
Even if it had certain
- Dyes, fragrances or preservatives
- Components of food, textiles or building materials
- Plant fibers
- Animal hair
have not bothered him so far, it may react more strongly to them during pregnancy.
The most effective countermeasure for allergy-related skin changes is to avoid the allergen. However, this requires that you know or can identify the trigger. In addition, some reactions only appear after 72 hours – and thus at a time when the allergen is no longer within your reach.
If you have even the slightest doubt as to which contact substance could have caused the skin change, you should consult a doctor. We advise you to do this especially when an allergic reaction occurs for the first time.
Linea Negra: Skin changes on the pregnancy belly caused by care products
Skin care and cosmetic products can also cause irritations; however, itching and feelings of tension often have a completely different reason: During pregnancy, your skin requires an extra portion of skin care during pregnancy, because your baby puts a lot of pressure on it. Both its surface and the deeper layers are stretched strongly – and can even tear as a result.
The resulting “pregnancy stripes” have no health effects; however, they are considered an aesthetic blemish. Many women feel less attractive because of these marks and suffer mentally.
In addition to a balanced diet, plenty of fluids and regular exercise, plucking massages that promote circulation have proven to be the best remedy for stretch marks. A pleasantly scented oil can effectively support the feeling of doing something good for yourself.
Nervous skin changes on the pregnancy belly
However, itching, clearly visible redness or noticeable dryness are not necessarily due to deficiency symptoms, an allergy or a need for care. It is just as likely that you are more sensitive than other women.
An astonishing number of pregnancies occur under great emotional pressure. Social expectations, a personal crisis or financial worries often have an even more stressful effect “under special circumstances” and can cause a wide variety of symptoms. Skin changes are a clear sign of psychological tension. You should always pay attention to them, especially during pregnancy, because your mental state also affects the baby.
Stimulus-induced skin changes on the pregnancy belly
Have you recently had the feeling of “hearing the fleas cough”? If so, you’ve succumbed to a common and often ridiculed pregnancy phenomenon: heightened perceptiveness. It is an anticipatory trick of nature.
By revving up your sensory performance, you perceive smells and nuances of taste or touch and thermal stimuli much more strongly than before pregnancy. “From the belly” your body protects itself against accidentally ingested harmful substances or prevents overstimulation.
This phenomenal performance can make itself felt through a rash. As a highly sensitive organ, your skin reacts to even imagined perceptions with redness or itching. These symptoms can be compared to phantom pains: they actually exist; however, they do not have a concrete cause.
It is quite possible that as a pregnant woman you experience spontaneous episodes of herpes because you perceive an unpleasant odor or that your atopic eczema flares up because a piece of clothing is too tight.
Hormonal skin changes on the pregnancy belly
However, the latter only happens under certain conditions: You must have already been infected with herpes viruses or have developed neurodermatitis. In such cases, your pregnancy acts like a catalyst, because it releases an extremely refined cocktail of hormones.
The mixture was prepared at the moment you conceived your baby. Immediately afterwards, it allowed the fertilized egg to implant in the uterus; right now, it maintains and promotes pregnancy. Through continuous admixtures, the composition of the mixture changes and continues to have an effect well into the breastfeeding period.
In addition to its actual tasks, the hormone cocktail is also effective in other areas – by influencing the condition of your skin and hair. It increases blood circulation and increases water retention – which makes most pregnant women glow and gives them a clean fresh look.
Sometimes, however, the hormone concentration is accompanied by increased sebum production – and thus a significant deterioration of the skin’s appearance: the surface shines greasily, the pores are clogged and pimples, pustules or blackheads appear.
Normally, the hormone level harmonizes itself after birth and the skin changes subside. Until then, however, your body may show more hormonal reactions.
Atopic dermatosis on the pregnancy belly
If you have a hereditary predisposition to atopic diathesis, this disease can break out again and intensified by pregnancy hormones. Mostly this happens in the first or second trimester.
The signs are strong itching and dry areas. In addition
- Redness in the neck and face area as well as in the bends of the arms and legs
- Nodules on the upper body and back, and on the extremities.
may occur. Your baby is not at risk from these skin changes; however, he may carry the predisposition to atopic diathesis and later pass it on to his own children.
Polymorphic dermatosis on the abdomen of pregnancy
This condition is also known as Pruritic Urticarial Papules and Plaques of Pregnancy – or simply as PUPPP syndrome. This is a rash that 2-7% of all pregnant women experience.
It usually occurs in the second half of the first pregnancy and begins with severe itching, followed by redness and swelling of the subcutaneous tissue. Within a few days, reddened nodules and / or raised lumps form. As the disease progresses, the skin scales over a large area and crusts and pinhead-sized blisters develop.
The symptoms of pregnancy accompanied by PUPPP show up preferentially on the abdomen; however, they can also spread to the extremities and buttocks. They are not pretty, but are harmless and disappear on their own shortly after birth.
Intrahepatic cholestasis on the pregnancy abdomen
The so-called pregnancy jaundice suffers about 0.2% of all women. It is a liver disease that usually occurs in the last trimester. The first sign is very severe itching on the soles of the feet and palms of the hands, which quickly spreads over the entire body. Occasionally there is discoloration of the skin and / or in the whites of the eyes.
But while intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy is only an annoying skin problem for you, it can be life-threatening for your baby. The jaundice impairs your liver function, which leads to vitamin K deficiency. This increases the risk of insufficient supply and can trigger premature labor.
For this reason, you must urgently seek medical advice if you suspect intrahepatic pregnancy cholestasis.
In this very rare autoimmune disease, doctors also speak of herpes gestationis; however, it has nothing to do with herpes viruses.
Symptoms include blisters around the navel in the second or third trimester, which soon cover the rest of your body. Occasionally the skin reacts with overheating, redness and the formation of wheals. However, there is always a strong itching.
Pemphigoides gestationis is not curable, but can be treated with corticosteroids. In some cases, the symptoms disappear completely. To prevent pregnancy complications or maldevelopment of your baby, you must be closely monitored until birth.
Linea negra, the literal lifeline
This skin change is a vertical line that extends from the navel to the pubic area. Outside of pregnancy, the abdominal line is light in color and is referred to as linea alba. Increased hormone production causes an increase in melanin count. The skin’s own pigments not only change the appearance of the linea alba – but also make your armpits, nipples and intimate area look darker.
Infectious skin changes on the pregnancy belly
Last but not least, there are numerous infectious diseases that are associated with discoloration, itching, rashes and similar skin changes. Some of them are harmless or can be treated well; others can endanger the continuation of the pregnancy or harm your baby.
This is especially the case if an infection is located in the genital area. From here, pathogens can easily ascend to the cervix and cause maldevelopment or organ damage, or trigger a miscarriage or lead to infertility.
In addition to “classic” sexually transmitted diseases, there are also hidden dangers lurking in this regard for you and your baby. For example, the altered hormone and vaginal environment increases the likelihood of contracting candidiasis or trichomoniasis – infectious diseases that make themselves felt through characteristically colored discharge.
Linea Negra: Increased Attention To Rash On The Abdomen Of Pregnancy
You see or read: Skin changes during pregnancy are extremely diverse and have a wide variety of causes. The Parents’ Compass can only provide you with information and point out possibilities. You should always seek medical advice for concrete clarification or confirmation.
This can be done during regular check-ups, but also in between. In case of doubt or suspicion you should not hesitate, because with the pregnancy belly you also carry the responsibility for a second life – your baby!