Skin Changes During Pregnancy

Your Feet and Legs: Skin Changes During Pregnancy
Your body undergoes remarkable changes during pregnancy.  These natural changes often affect your feet and legs as they are required to adapt to surging hormones in your body and to support increasing weight during pregnancy.  There are several commonly seen skin changes during pregnancy.  While most of these changes typically resolve after you have your baby, there are safe and effective treatments available during pregnancy to ease your symptoms.

Increased Sweating
Hormonal changes and increased blood flow to your skin stimulate the activity of sweat glands.  This can lead to excessive perspiration of your feet.

To keep your feet comfortable, it is important to wear thin socks made of a breathable, natural/synthetic blend of materials.  Consider changing your socks more frequently.  Use a talc-free foot powder to absorb excess sweat.  A topical antiperspirant may also be used.  And don’t forget to stay hydrated.

Dry, Itchy Skin
Changing hormones can also lead to excessively dry skin.  This dryness combined with the stretching of your skin may cause an itchy sensation especially on the soles of your feet.

These symptoms may be relieved with the use of a non-soap skin cleanser and the avoidance of long, hot showers or baths.  A moisturizing cream should also be applied at least once a day and immediately after bathing.  If your symptoms do not improve, you may have a fungal skin infection.

Fungal Skin Infections
The combination of increased sweating and your altered immune status during pregnancy creates the perfect environment for a fungal infection of your feet.  Fungal skin infections cause itching or burning sensations in addition to a dry, scaly appearance of your skin.

Treatments include controlling excess sweat and the use of an antifungal soap or topical antifungal cream.  Although topical antifungals are generally considered safe because of their minimal absorption through the skin, check with your doctor before beginning any new medication.

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