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Blood vessel changes during pregnancy: a review.

The profound endocrine upheaval of pregnancy is frequently associated with changes in the function and structure of the blood and lymph microvasculature of the skin and mucosae. Palmar erythema is frequent but rarely severe and is associated with burning sensations. Spider telangiectasias develop in the majority of pregnant White women but are less often identified in women with darker skin. Hemangiomas and glomus tumors occur in one-third of women. A firm edema may develop on the face and extremities in the final months of pregnancy. Venous hypertension and varicosities of the lower limbs are common. Gingivitis, gum hypertrophy, and pyogenic granuloma are common in the oral cavity. The vaginal mucosa is also affected, showing a violaceous aspect, at times accompanied by varicosities of the vulva. Many gestational vascular changes regress spontaneously in the postpartum phase. Some vascular tumors may need to be treated with a vascular laser or intense pulsed light.

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