Skin Cancer and Pregnancy: What Every Woman Should Know

Here's a breakdown of what's normal, what's not.

During pregnancy, most women experience some kind of hyperpigmentation or skin pigmentation disorder. Melasma, especially common in pregnant women, creates a pregnancy "mask" which can resemble the Lone Ranger.

For me, I not only develop crazy skin tags, which tend to fall off or disappear postpartum, but I also notice more moles and darker freckles popping up on my skin. It's all part of the drill.

According to my dermatologist, the sudden outcropping of cherry angiomas on my upper thighs is a typical reaction to pregnancy as well. These angiomas are tiny, dark red, and, unfortunately for me, persistent. They don't go away after pregnancy.

Since I became pregnant, one red spot on my knee had grown and become raised, which is what led me to visit my dermatologist for a skin check. To my relief, he wasn't worried about the raised red bump. He injected a numbing agent under the spot and removed it, preparing to send it off to a pathologist. The biopsy will ensure it wasn't an errant Spitz nevus, which usually only occurs in younger people.

I stared at that growing spot during the past few months and even looked at the pictures from How to Spot Skin Cancer, thinking it could it be basal cell carcinoma, the most common form of skin cancer.

But the doctor feels certain, based on the enthusiasm with which cherry angiomas sprouted up on my body during this pregnancy, that it's just a large cherry angioma and nothing to worry about. I was glad to have my concerns alleviated, and get that spot biopsied just in case.

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Erica Kain
Last Updated: June 01, 2009

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