In the second round of skin problems we deal during pregnancy, we are going to talk about pigmentation and hair fall. Sure your hair is going to be all thick and lustrous but postpartum will wreck it and it might fall out more than your pre-pregnancy hair thickness. Hormones don’t level out as evenly as you had wished. Read on to know how to solve this culprit.
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This is commonly known as the ‘mask of pregnancy’. It happens due to increased levels of melanin which is responsible for skin darkening especially around your areola, face and under your arms and thighs. These brown patches of pigmentation that occur around your neck, inner thighs, forehead, cheeks etc. are also known as melasma or chloasma.
Melasma occurs when a group of skin cells that produce melanin, known as melanocytes, are activated and stay that way. It is more common for women with light to medium skin tones. So there are more chances of you getting these dark spots if you are an Indian, Asian, Latino, African-American etc.
Melasma recurs with the subsequent pregnancy. There are also studies which show the effect of genetic disposition on the occurrence of Melasma.
- Cover yourself whenever you are out in the sun. Wear scarf, hats or shades. UV light is responsible for exacerbating melanin production so stay out of the sun especially from 10-3 in the mornings.
- Wear a broad spectrum SPF which is non-comedogenic like this one here.
- Add folic acid foods to your diet like green leafy vegetables, beans, pasta, bread etc. Folic acid deficiency is linked to skin pigmentation in some cases.
- Use home remedies which are linked with skin lightening like papaya, aloe gel, tomato, oats with milk etc.
A dark line might appear on your belly. That’s okay it will go away 2-3 months after postpartum. After pregnancy, most of these effects including pigmentation and dark spots will fade away. Your nipples, however, remain dark even after pregnancy.
Some moms do complain about them even after 6 months postpartum. Ask your doctor for some topical creams or go for treatments such as glycolic peels or laser microdermabrasion. These are some at-home microdermabrasion systems which reduce skin discolorations: Option no.1 / Option no.2.
P.S.- Microdermabrasion or any other chemical whitening system are not safe to use during pregnancy. Even if your gynecologist gives the green signal there is absolutely no point in using them since the hormonal surge will bring them back again. So go for the treatments mentioned above only after pregnancy.
Your hair becomes thicker during pregnancy because of increased blood circulation and a huge surge of estrogen (Yes, hormones can be good to you too). Your body retains 50% more blood than required while you are pregnant. As soon as you deliver you lose a lot of blood and estrogen also tumbles down which causes hair fall.
So let’s understand what actually happens. Our hair goes through three phases growth stage, resting stage and shedding stage.
During pregnancy estrogen level grows higher which is responsible for morning sickness and milk duct development. Estrogen is also linked with the lengthening of growth stage or anagen phase of hair cycle. This increases your hair thickness. Most of the drugstore vitamins also use estrogen to alleviate hair loss.
So hair loss during pregnancy is normal and unavoidable. Your hair thickness will come down to pre-pregnancy volume. However, hair loss can be pretty depressing when you are already struggling with so many physical changes. There are some home remedies and diet changes which you can make to minimize the effects of estrogen levels.
- Eat a balanced diet. DO NOT go on a diet right after pregnancy. Breastfeeding burns a lot of calories itself. Go high on nuts, seeds, whole grains (barley, amaranth, jowar, oats; Eat roti made up of wheat, barley, oats flour, gram flour etc.) and beans ( chole (black-eyed peas) and rajma (kidney beans) ). All of them especially nuts and seeds are responsible for balancing your hormones which are the main reason behind hair fall. The sooner they will balance, sooner hair fall will reduce.
- After 4-6 weeks post delivery starts doing inversion yoga exercises to increase blood circulation of blood to the scalp. Yoga will also strengthen muscles like those of backbone and tummy which have become loose and weak during pregnancy. For beginners start with stand forward bend pose, raised feet pose, rabbit pose, camel pose, downward dog pose, fish pose and neck exercises which include rotations.
- Visit your dermatologist if hair fall continues for more than 6 months post delivery.
- Try DIY’s which worked for you before you were pregnant or try these new ones
- Apply egg and curd on your hair for 15 minutes. Wash off, apply hair oil and shampoo your hair next day.
- Apply hair mask made up of amla powder, curd, and honey. All of them have been proven to reduce hair fall to a major extent.
We hope this post helped you with some valuable information, which you could try safely. If you have any hacks/tricks of your own that can combat the above-mentioned skin conditions, then DON’T FORGET to mention them in the Comments Section below.
STAY TUNED FOR PART 2 – VARICOSE VEINS & SENSITIVITY.