As your body gets ready to welcome the baby, not only do changes occur inside your body but externally your skin and hair change in a lot of ways. Few of these are normal and at times they can indicate a serious issue behind. Few issues are temporary while few can even affect your baby. Have a look below to know in detail about the changes your skin and hair undergoes and how you can deal with them.

Changes that occur in your skin:
         Due to increased levels of hormones, your skin is at risk of having acne. You will have stretch marks. There will be darkening of skin, especially on the breast and inner thighs. You might also have brown patches on your face around the cheeks, forehead, and nose. The oil glands work excessively during pregnancy. So if you have dry skin you will look glowing and bright but if you have oily skin it makes your skin look more oily. Nails grow faster during pregnancy but break very easily.

How can you care for your skin?
         Many of the marks usually disappear post-delivery. Applying lotions or moisturizers that contain Vitamin E and Alpha hydroxy acids makes the stretch marks less visible and easily fade post-delivery. Wear sunscreen which has a SPF of at least 30 and reapply every two hours once if you are outdoors. Use oil-free cleanser and wash your face twice a day if you have oily skin. If you have dry skin avoid washing your face and skin more frequently. And use an oil-free moisturizer. Change your towel and pillow cases frequently. Do not scratch, squeeze or try to remove if there is any growth on the skin. Use mild soap and avoid scrubbing hard. Use a gentle exfoliator or soft washcloth. Use fragrance-free products. Remove makeup before going to bed.

Changes that occur to your hair:
         For the first 15 weeks of pregnancy your hair becomes thicker and after which you will experience hair fall and it continues for 3-4 months post-delivery. Hair becomes dry, brittle, and frizzy during pregnancy. And due to the increased activity of oil glands during pregnancy, your hair will look shinier and oily.

How can you care for your hair?
         Have a good massage with oil twice or thrice a week to improve blood circulation on your scalp. Intake of protein-rich foods such as eggs, nuts, fish, etc. helps in strengthening your hair follicle. Regularly trim your split or damaged ends to prevent breakage of your hair.

What are the things you should avoid doing to your skin and hair?
(1) Avoid heavy chemical treatments like straightening and keratin
(2) Avoid dyeing and coloring your hair
(3) Keep away from hair care products that contain salicylic acid (It is commonly found in anti-dandruff shampoo)
(4) Avoid using skin care products that contain retinoids, salicylic acid, hydroquinone, parabens, and formaldehyde since they can result in birth defects in babies.
(5) Avoid using a chemical sunscreen.

What are the symptoms which could be abnormal and need immediate medical help?
(1) If there is itching all over the body do not ignore them since they could indicate certain liver and kidney diseases.
(2) If there are sores on the skin that doesn’t heal or bleeds or changes its size or color and spreads all over the body, don't ignore it since they can indicate certain skin conditions or autoimmune diseases.