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How do hormone levels during pregnancy affect the skin?

Dr. Ellen Marmur, MD
Dermatology
Wildly fluctuating hormones during pregnancy can create an awful complexion or a radiant glow, often in the same woman. For the first twelve weeks, the growth hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) surges to prepare the placenta and increase the blood volume in the body. (This can create a flushed, healthy complexion as the blood flow becomes more robust.) In the second trimester, progesterone is on the upswing, which can generate acne. Another possible, and common, consequence of increased progesterone and estrogen is melasma, a brown discoloration above the upper lip and on the cheeks and forehead, which is why it's known as "the mask of pregnancy." On the other hand, many women find that their complexion remains clear and their skin tone is beautiful during their entire pregnancy. It really is the luck of the draw when it comes to unpredictable hormones, and every woman's skin will display different reactions. 
Simple Skin Beauty: Every Woman's Guide to a Lifetime of Healthy, Gorgeous Skin

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Simple Skin Beauty: Every Woman's Guide to a Lifetime of Healthy, Gorgeous Skin

What if a leading dermatologist just happened to be your best friend and you could ask her anything? DR. ELLEN MARMUR, a world-renowned New York City dermatologist, answers all your questions with...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.