How to safely treat postpartum acne and other skin conditions

The glow of pregnancy doesn’t last forever. For many women, the time after childbirth is marked by skin conditions such as acne, melasma and dry skin. And it’s totally Ordinary.

Pregnancy and postpartum are times when hormones skyrocket, and with excess hormones come from acne and other skin conditions. Pregnancy skin clears up soon after birth in some women. However, this is not the case for everyone. Do not worry; Postpartum skin acne does not last forever. You can treat it safely and effectivelyeven while breastfeeding.

What is postpartum acne? Why does this happen?

When your period comes, do you notice any acne breakouts? Acne breakouts during menstruation occur due to hormone progesterone. During the last period of menstruation, the body produces more progesterone to build up the uterine lining. When you are pregnant, the same is true: your body is flooded with progesterone and other hormones to ensure a healthy pregnancy. An increase in progesterone can trigger your sebaceous glands at overproduce sebum — the oily substance that protects your skin. Too sebum can mix with dead skin cells and clog your pores, which leads to acne.

Progesterone levels drop after giving birth, and they don’t fully normalize until your period returns. As it subsides, hormonal acne disappears in many women. But again, there is no magic calendar. Your body works at its own pace. It may take longer for some.

The roller coaster of hormones your body goes through plays a huge role in postpartum skin. However, other factors related to being a new mother can make your skin worse and worse. Sleep is a common acne trigger. It’s no secret that new mothers don’t get the best sleep, which can be bad news for your skin. Sleep deprivation is associated with acne.

Stress, which new mothers know all too well, is another major acne trigger. Although it does not directly cause acne, stress tells your body to release cortisol. Excess cortisol in the body causes sebaceous glands to produce more sebum – see the trend?

Drinking enough water can be difficult when you have to take care of a baby. However, being dehydrated also has a direct effect on your skin. When your skin is not as hydrated as it normally is, dryness and irritation can happen.

Woman using skin care products

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How long does postpartum acne last?

There is no single answer as to how long postpartum acne or skin conditions last. However, we can tell you that it is usually temporary. For some, it goes away soon after giving birth. For others, it can last for months, especially since breastfeeding increases your hormones. It is how your body reacts to hormonal changes in your body.

How to Get Rid of Postpartum Acne

Before investing in a new line of facial products, you can start with some simple lifestyle changes:

  • Make your skincare routine an important part of your day and maintain good skin hygiene.
  • Keep your skin as clean as possible by avoiding touching your face. You should too clean your phone as often as possible.
  • Stay consistent with your skincare routine.
  • Stay hydrated and drink plenty of water to ensure your skin is hydrated.

If the acne does not go away on its own, additional steps may be necessary. When breastfeeding, it’s best to be careful about any medications or acne treatments you take. Most topical acne options are safe to take after childbirth. Usually they contain ingredients like salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide, which unclog pores and exfoliate dead skin.

There are times when this will not be enough and a prescription is needed to help treat the skin condition. Before starting a new skincare regimen, talk to your doctor about treating your acne if you’re breastfeeding. birth control can help reduce acne. Painful, postpartum cystic acne that won’t go away warrants a visit to a dermatologist. If you are not breastfeeding, your doctor may prescribe oral antibiotics or isotretinoin to treat postpartum cystic acne. Isotretinoin has been associated with birth defects and should to avoid during pregnancy.

Young woman applying skincare products

Getty Images/Aja Koska

Other skin conditions that occur after childbirth

Postpartum acne is one of the most common skin conditions in women. However, it is not the only one. Below are other common events and how to deal with them.

spider veins: Spider veins are swollen veins that become visible under the skin. This happens due to increased hormone levels and blood circulation. During postpartum, they are most commonly found around the nose, on the cheeks, and on the legs. In healthy women, spider veins shrink and some disappear after a few months postpartum.

melasma: 15% to 50% of pregnant women live melasma, or mottled patches on the skin around the cheeks, nose, chin, and forehead. It is even called the “pregnancy mask”. High levels of estrogen and progesterone can lead to overproduction of melanin in the body. Melasma is harmless; however, to help the spots fade, you will need to wear sunscreen and minimize sun exposure.

Dry skin: Hormonal changes can cause persistent postpartum dry skin all over the face. To treat dry skin, start by washing your face and moisturizing it. If you have sensitive skin, it’s a good idea to stick to fragrance-free and additive-free options. Remember to drink plenty of water, especially while breastfeeding.

oily skin: Your sebum-producing glands were pushed to the limit during pregnancy. For some women, this can lead to oily skin after childbirth. You should avoid moisturizers and makeup with oil to make sure you don’t clog your pores during this time.

Too long; did not read?

Postpartum acne is extremely common, and for most people, it goes away naturally over time. There is no set timetable for better skin. You can help the process by making a few lifestyle changes, like incorporating a skincare routine or cleaning your phone. Of course, if it doesn’t go away after months of waiting, talk to your doctor about medications that can help.

The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute medical or health advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have about a medical condition or health goals.

Patricia J. Callender