Why do beauty marks change during pregnancy?

During pregnancy, your body is constantly changing, which is why if any moles change – in shape, size or colour – it can be quite difficult to notice.

Keep an eye on moles, but don’t worry about them too much. If, however, they change significantly, as outlined below, you will need to see your GP to get them checked out.

Hyperpigmentation in pregnancy

Pregnancy hormones stimulate the development of cells that facilitate the formation of moles. So as a result, around 10 per cent of pregnant women will experience hyperpigmentation of their beauty marks, especially during the first months of pregnancy.

The size and shape of moles

Moles located on the breasts or on the tummy often change shape and become larger, but this happens because the skin in these areas is stretching. Beauty marks on other parts of the body shouldn’t change their size, so if you notice a mole on your back or legs getting bigger, you should go see your GP.

New beauty marks

During pregnancy, new moles may appear on your body but they should disappear after birth. However,  for peace of mind, you can always ask your GP to refer you to a dermatologist, as they are the only ones who can confirm whether it’s a normal or a high-risk mole.

What changes should you look out for?

In pregnant women, as with all other patients, moles are observed by the ABCDE method. Seek medical help immediately if you notice changes related to:

  • Asymmetry – one half of the mole looks different than the other half, in terms of shape, colour or texture
  • Borders – one of your beauty marks has irregular edges;
  • Colour – there is more than one colour or shade in a mole;
  • Diameter – a mole with a diameter larger than 6mm;
  • Evolution – a mole that has changed its aspect over time or looks completely different from other moles on the body.

If you are referred to a dermatologist, they will examine the mole and then he or she will decide whether they need to do a biopsy. This procedure can be performed without any risk during pregnancy and it determines whether the mole is benign or cancerous.