Hormonal aspects of skin hyperpigmentation in healthy Kurdish primigravida women in Erbil City

  • Renas Najat Saleem Department of Biology, College of Science, Salahaddin University-Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq
  • Sarbaz Ibrahim Mohammed Department of Biology, College of Science, Salahaddin University-Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq
Keywords: ACTH; Primigravida; skin pigmentation; sex-hormones


        The present study aimed to determine some hormonal and biochemical aspects of skin pigmentation in pregnant women. The longitudinal study included forty-three healthy volunteers; ages ranged between 16-28 years, monitored from the beginning of gestation to delivery of birth. Then, women were divided into two groups (25 pigmented and 18 non-pigmented women) to evaluate hormonal and biochemical criteria. The result revealed a significant elevation in adrenocorticotropic hormones (ACTH), estrogen, progesterone hormone levels in pigmented women, and the progressing gestational period significantly changed the hormonal level, liver function parameters. At the same time, Alanine transaminase (ALT) reduced considerably in the first trimester. We concluded that skin pigmentation in primigravida women is associated with elevated ACTH, female sex hormones level, and liver enzymes. Hyperpigmentation was slightly evident in pregnant mothers with female fetuses than male fetuses.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biography

Sarbaz Ibrahim Mohammed, Department of Biology, College of Science, Salahaddin University-Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq



Abdullah, G.A. 2020. Hyperpigmentation in primigravida pregnant ladies in relation to fetal gender. Scholars literature. 107 (3)
Alves, G. F., Nogueira, L. S. C. and Varella, T. C. N. 2005. Dermatology and pregnancy. An Bras Dermatol. 80 (2): 179-186.
Alonso A. G., (2006). Effect of pregnancy on pre-existing liver disease physiological changes during pregnancy. Annals of hepatology. 5 (3): 184- 186.
Bieber, A.K., Martires K.J., Stein J.A., Grant –Kels J. M., Driscoll M. S., and Pomeranz, M. K. 2017. Pigmentation and pregnancy: Knowing what is normal. Obstet Gynecol; 129:168–73.
Bolanca, I., Bolanca, Z., Kuna K., Vuković A., Tuckar N., Herman R. and Grubisić G., 2008. Chloasma- the mask of pregnancy. Uni. Dep. of Obstetrics and Gynecology. 32 (2): 139-141.
Brenner, M. and Hearing V. J. 2008. Modifying skin pigmentation – approaches through intrinsic biochemistry and exogenous agents. Drug Discov Today Dis Mech. 5 (2): 189–199.
Breymann, C. 2015. Iron deficiency Anemia in pregnancy. Semin Hematol; 52:339–47.
Brody, S. M., Stuebe, A., Dole, N., Savitz, D., Rubinow, D., and Thorp, J. 2011. Elevated corticotropin releasing hormone (CRH) during pregnancy and risk of postpartum depression (PPD). J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 96 (1): E40– E47.
Cario, M. 2018. How hormones may modulate human skin pigmentation in melasma: An in vitro perspective. Experimental Dermatology WILEY.
Chaudhary, R, Nirali, M., Ankur, C, and Khushbu, M. 2015. Dermatological Disorders in Pregnancy: A Cross-Sectional Study. International Journal of Scientific Study, 3(8).
Ciechanowicz, P., Mariusz, S., Karol, T., Agnieszka, R., Adriana, R., Bozena K., Miroslaw, W., Lidia, R. 2018. Skin changes during pregnancy. Is that an important issue for pregnant women? Via Medica 89 (8), 449–452
Costin, G. E. and Hearing, V. J. 2007. Human skin pigmentation: melanocytes modulate skin color in response to stress. The Faseb Journal. 21: 976 -994.
Damoa, A. S., Lambert, W. C. and Schwartz, R. A., 2006. Melasma: Insight into a distressing Dyschromia. Aesthetic Dermatology. 8 (1): 1- 6.
Elliott K. J., Cable N. T., Reilly T., Sefton V., Kingsland C. and Diver M., (2004). Effect of supra-physiological changes in human ovarian levels on maximum force production of the first dorsal interosseus muscle. Exp Physiol. 90 (2). 215-223.
Fernandes L.B., and Amaral W.N. 2015. Clinical study of skin changes in low and high risk pregnant women. An Bras Dermatol; 90:822–6.
Fisher, A. L. and E. Nemeth 2017. Iron homeostasis during pregnancy. Am J Clin Nutr; 106 (Suppl):1567S–74S
Friedman, E. B. Richard, A S., and John, F. T. 2019. Management of pigmented skin lesions during pregnancy. AJGP. 48(9).
Gallego, M. J., Porayette, P., Kaltcheva, M. M., Bowen, R. L., Meethal, S. V. and Atwood. C. S., 2010. The pregnancy hormones human chorionic gonadotropin and progesterone induce human embryonic stem cell proliferation and differentiation into neuroectodermal rosettes. Stem Cell Research & Therapy. 1 (28): 1-13.
Gohel, M. G, Anant G. J., Jitendra S. A., Jemil S. M., and Chandrakant P.K. 2013.Evaluation of changes in liver function test in first, second and third trimester of normal pregnancy. Int J Reprod Contracept Obstet Gynecol; 2(4): 616-620.
Guerra, A. G., Neufeld, L. M., Cordero, S. H., Rivera, J., Martorell, R. and Ramakrishnan, U., 2009. Prenatal multiple micronutrient supplementation impact on biochemical indicators during pregnancy and postpartum. Salud pública de méxico. 51 (4): 327-335.
Hurst, H, and Jennifer, L. 2016. Diagnosing Dermatologic Conditions of Pregnancy. The Journal for Nurse Practitioners – JNP. 12(2).
Ibrahim, W. H., Heba, M. M. and Walaa, H. A. 2020. Relationship between Fetal Sex and pattern of Nausea, Vomiting and Cholasma among Pregnant women at Assuit city. Assiut Scientific Nursing Journal. 8 (20), pp (191-199)
Jamjute, P., Amer, A., Tarun, G., and Philip, B. (2009). Liver function test and pregnancy. The Journal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine. 22(3). 274-285.
Karaca, Z., Tanriverdi, F., Unluhizarci, K. and Kelestimur, F. 2010. Pregnancy and pituitary disorders. European Journal of Endocrinology. 162: 453–475.
Khatun, M. R., Amina Kh., Nowshad A. 2020. Comparison of Liver Function Tests in Normal Pregnancy with Non-pregnant Matched Controls. TAJ; 33(1)
Kristiansson, P. and Wang J. X. 2001. Reproductive hormones and blood pressure during pregnancy. Human Reproduction. 16 (1): 13-17.
Lindsay, J. R. and Nieman, L. K. 2005.The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in pregnancy: challenges in disease detection and treatment. The Endocrine Society. 26 (6): 775–799.
Loy, S. L., Li, M. L., Shiao-Yng, C., Pei T. T., Yen, L. C., Phaik, L. Q., Jerry, K. Y. C., Kok H T, Fabian, Y., Keith, M. G., Lynette, P.C. S, Mary, F., Michael, S. K., Yap-Seng, C., and Claudia, C. 2019. Iron status and risk factors of iron deficiency among pregnant women in Singapore: a cross-sectional study. BMC Public Health 19:397
Mahmood, K., Nadeem, M., Aman, S., Abdul-Hameed and Kazmi, A. H. 2011. Role of estrogen, progesterone and prolactin in the etiopathogenesis of melasma in females. Journal of Pakistan Association of Dermatologists. 21(4): 241-247.
Maranduca, M. A., Daciana, B., Dragomir, N. S., Daniel, C. B., Gabriela, S., Nicuta, M. and Ionela, L. S. 2019. Synthesis and physiological implicationsof melanic pigments (Review). ONCOLOGY LETTERS 17: 4183-4187
Mishra, N. V. N. Mishra, Parineeta, T. 2016. Study of Abnormal Liver Function Test during Pregnancy in a Tertiary Care Hospital in Chhattisgarh. The Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology of India; 66(S1): S129–S135
Motosko, C. C., Amy, K. B., , Miriam K. P., Jennifer, A. S., Kathryn, J. M. 2017. Physiologic changes of pregnancy: A review of the literature. International Journal of Women’s Dermatology 3; 219–224.
Muller, I. and A. Rees. 2014. Melasma and Endocrine Disorders. Journal of Pigmentary Disorders; S1
Mutua, D. N, Eliud, N. M. N., and George, O. 2019. Liver Function Tests in Normal Pregnant Women. J Liver. 7 (2)
Petraglia, F., Imperatore, A., and Challis, J. R. G. 2010. Neuroendocrine mechanisms in pregnancy and parturition. Endocrine Reviews. 31 (6): 783– 816.
Rofiq, A, Shw, T., Widiatmoko, A. and Dyah, A. S. 2019. Correlation of Estradiol and Estriol Serum Levels to Melasma Severity in Pregnant Women. Skin Diseases & skin care. 4(3).
Sandru, F., Mihai, C. D., Simona, E. A., Mara, C., and Ana, V. 2019. Hyperpigmentation and ACTH – an overview of literature. Ref: Ro Med J.;66(4)
Sanson, R. M. L., Keyzer, Y. D. and Bertagna, X. 2003. Proopiomelanocortin, a polypeptide precursor with multiple functions: from physiology to pathological conditions. European Journal of Endocrinology. 149: 79–90.
Slominski, A., Tobin, D. J., Shibahra, S., and Wortsman, J. 2004. Melanin pigmentation in mammalian skin and its hormonal regulation. Physiol Rev. 84: 1228-1155.
Suresh, L. and Radfar, L. 2004. Pregnancy and lactation. Endod. 97 (6): 672-682.
Tran, H. A. 2006. Biochemical tests for abnormalities in pregnancy. Aust Prescr. 29: 48–51.
Tyler, K. H. 2015. Physiological Skin Changes During Pregnancy. Clinical obstetrics and gynecology, 58 (1), 119–124
Urasaki, M. B. M., (2010). Skin physiological alterations perceived by pregnant women attended at public health services. Acta Paul Enferm. 23 (4): 519- 525.
Venugopal, S., and Rajamma C K. 2015. Liver function tests in first and third trimesters of normal pregnancy in a population of North Kerala. Journal of International Medicine and Dentistry; 2(3): 215-221
Villaseca, P., Campino, C., Oestreicher, E., Mayerson, D., Ferre, M. S. and Arteaga, E. 2005. Bilateral oophorectomy in a pregnant woman: hormonal profile from late gestation to post-partum: Case report. Human Reproduction. 20 (2): 397–401.
Zen, M., Ghirardello, A., Iaccarino, L., Tonon, M., Campana, C., Arienti, S., Rampudda M., Canova M. and Doria, A. 2010. Hormones, immune response, and pregnancy in healthy women and SLE patient. Swiss Med WKLY;140(13–14):187–201
How to Cite
Najat Saleem, R. and Mohammed, S. (2021) “Hormonal aspects of skin hyperpigmentation in healthy Kurdish primigravida women in Erbil City”, Zanco Journal of Pure and Applied Sciences, 33(5), pp. 95-104. doi: 10.21271/ZJPAS.33.5.11.
Biology and Medical Researches