Fact or Fiction: Pregnancy and Skin Care

By: Alison Cooper

Fact or Fiction: Pregnancy and Skin Care
Image: iStockphoto.com/Andrew Unangst

About This Quiz

You always hear about that pregnancy glow, but for every pregnant woman with radiant skin you'll probably find three dealing with acne, stretch marks and itchy bellies. Take this quiz to learn about the causes and care for pregnancy skin conditions.
If you have melasma -- otherwise known as "the mask of pregnancy" -- upping your banana intake will help the hyperpigmentation fade.
fact
fiction
You should limit your exposure to sunlight -- and always use strong sunscreen -- if you have melasma.
almost fact: You'll need to up your intake of anything that contains lots of potassium, not just bananas.

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Melasma is caused by insufficient protein intake during pregnancy.
fact
fiction
Doctors aren't exactly sure what causes melasma, but it could be hormonal.
almost fact: The cause is actually excess protein.

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Melasma is most common in women with dark hair and pale skin.
fact
True. Again, doctors are not quite sure why.
fiction
almost fact: Women with dark hair and olive skin are most susceptible to melasma.

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Don't bother with prescription creams if you have stretch marks -- the best remedy is drugstore lotion.
fact
fiction
Unfortunately, lotions and creams -- prescription or not -- don't seem to work very well at all on stretch marks.
almost fact: The best remedy is actually mayonnaise.

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That "pregnancy glow" is probably caused by increased blood flow in the tiny blood vessels just beneath the surface of your skin.
fact
Yep -- and another factor could be the extra oil on your face.
fiction
almost fact: Blood flow actually decreases in these small blood vessels.

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Eczema is the most common skin problem among pregnant women.
fact
fiction
almost fact: It's acne, not eczema, that's the most common.
Haywire hormones make acne the most common skin complaint for pregnant women.

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Pregnant women should avoid acne products that contain zinc oxide.
fact
fiction
almost fact: Benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid are the ingredients to avoid.
Moms-to-be should steer clear of benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid and retinoids when looking for acne-fighting products. On the safe list are sulfur-based products and remedies that include glycolic acid and alpha-hydroxy acids.

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The linea negra is a dark pigmented area that runs down the center of a pregnant woman's belly.
fact
The linea negra, or "line of pregnancy" appears down the center of the stomach.
fiction
almost fact: The linea negra appears on the cheeks of a pregnant woman.

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One of the most common causes of pregnancy-related belly-itching is a condition called PURRR.
fact
fiction
almost fact: It's called PUPPP.
It's PUPPP: pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy. It's a reaction similar to hives that sometimes hits in the third trimester.

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Stretch marks are most likely hereditary -- there's really nothing you can do to prevent them.
fact
You can slather on all the cocoa butter you want, but most doctors say that if your mom got stretch marks in pregnancy, you probably will, too.
fiction
almost fact: If you exercise frequently and watch your diet, you could prevent stretch marks.

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You Got:
/10
iStockphoto.com/Andrew Unangst

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