Pregnancy brings a lot of changes to a woman's body. Skin changes are particularly common, and I recommend that you speak with a dermatologist
. This is due to the hormones the placenta produces during pregnancy. Hyper-pigmentation, or darkening of the skin, occurs in as much as 90% of woman that are pregnant. This is particularly evident in areas that are affected by sex hormones: the breasts, perineum, axilla, belly line and so fourth. Darkening of the skin around the face is called melasma. This is also quite common. These changes occurs gradually during pregnancy. Often times, they will resolve post pregnancy. However, given the degree of changes, many women will see the changes persist during many months post pregnancy. Some skin changes such as striae will never resolve as these changes are permanent scars of skin stretching. Hyperpigmentation, on the other hand, tend to improve over time as the hormones that are produced during pregnancy are cleared from the body. Occasionally, the skin changes may persists. Women will have to see a dermatologist if these changes are still presents after 18-24 months post pregnancy. Dermatologist have a variety of options to help lighten the hyper pigmentation. It is uncommon to new dark areas appear post pregnancy. Thus, a visit to a dermatologist is recommended to make sure this is not a new process that you are attributing to the lingering effects or pregnancy.