Due to the increase in estrogen and progesterone during pregnancy the cells in the skin that make melanin (pigment) called melanocytes are stimulated in certain parts of the body and may become noticeable.
This darkening or increase in pigmentation can be seen around the face (Melasma or mask of pregnancy), in existing scars, the nipples, existing moles/freckles, and a line that exists from the belly button to the pubic hairline – the Linea Nigra.
In addition, there can be redness of the palms of the hands, spider veins can develop and acne can worsen.
Most of these skin changes will resolve within 2-4 months after delivery.
The hair also changes during pregnancy – it may appear darker and thicker.
However, 1-5 months after delivery, these hair changes may result in a thinning and potentially a loss of hair for some. This process will resolve by 15 months after delivery.
Nails grow faster and small grooves might develop. In addition, the nail plate may become softer and thinner.
Lastly, if you are concerned or notice a change in size or color of a mole during pregnancy, please bring this to the attention of your obstetrician.