|Changes To The Integumentary System During Pregnancy
The integumentary system is the largest system in the human body. It protects the body and we take very good care of it. The integumentary is what we commonly call the skin. It also comprises of hair and fingernails.
One of the major changes is undergoes during pregnancy is the way it has to stretch at an impossibly fast rate. Around 50 percent to 90 percent of the women are not able to withstand this enormous stretching, and it causes stretch marks in them. It is also known as striae gravidarum. Stretch marks also occur on the skin in the breasts, arms, thighs, hips and buttocks. Almost all women fear the appearance of stretch marks. The sad part about this is that it cannot be prevented. You can hope to have your skin stretch well if it is healthy and well hydrated.
It occurs when the collagen in the skin separates. It may not be painful but will be itchy, and may tingle a lot. The stretch marks can be seen as small depressions in the skin. Light skinned women will have pinkish lines, while dark skinned women will have them lighter than their skin color.
Some women will also get pigmentation which is a condition caused by excessive production of melanotropin. You can find it occurring in the cheeks, nose and forehead. It might spring up unexpectedly during the 4th or 5th month of pregnancy.
You might also find a linea negra, or a dark line, extending from the pubic bone to the vagina.
Spider veins might also occur due to increased production of estrogen. You might witness their appearance on the face, neck, arms and chest.
Anther change in the skin is the break out of acne.
Some women will also get a reddening of their palms again due to increased levels of estrogen.
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