Healthy Living

Your Skin After Pregnancy – How to Navigate Postpartum Changes

Eight out of ten women experience stretch marks after giving birth, and those who don’t may notice that their skin isn’t quite the same as it used to be, according to University of Missouri Health Care. With additional postnatal skin changes including dry, itchy skin and even postpartum changes like acne can prove to be stressful to deal with – especially right after having your baby. From the issues that can arise to what causes them – and how you can go about creating a new skincare regimen, here’s what you should know.

New skin challenges and their causes

While many new mothers may expect to experience some loose abdominal skin following pregnancy, other changes to the skin may not be expected. Postpartum dry skin is just one skin issue that many new mothers may experience. According to Baby Center, fluctuations in hormones like progesterone and estrogen can change the skin’s texture, which can cause dryness.  Postpartum acne is another skin-related concern that many new mothers may face. Healthline notes that developing acne – both during and after pregnancy – is a normal occurrence, and states that breakouts are generally due to changes in progesterone levels (as higher hormone levels increase the production of sebum). While sebum is necessary for healthy skin, too much of it can lead to oiliness – and unwanted breakouts. However, Healthline goes on to point out that progesterone isn’t the only cause of postpartum acne, as increased stress levels can also be a trigger.

Making changes to your skincare routine

When looking to address postpartum skin issues, a combination of lifestyle changes and making changes to your skincare regime can help. For example, managing postpartum acne can be as simple as staying hydrated, ensuring to remove any makeup before bed, and regularly washing your face. Healthline notes that doctors typically recommend using topical medications as a first-line treatment for acne when breastfeeding, though it’s important to not apply any to the chest area so that your baby doesn’t come into contact with the medication. 

Regarding dry skin, What to Expect notes that regularly moisturizing (after showering and before bed) and staying properly hydrated can both help. Using a humidifier can also help when looking to remedy dry postpartum skin, and avoiding harsh soaps as well as hot baths/showers can aid in preventing irritation and further dryness. What to Expect also points out that about 5 to 10 percent of women in the U.S. develop a condition called ‘postpartum thyroiditis,’ which is an inflammation of the thyroid gland following pregnancy, making it essential to talk with your doctor in order to determine if this is the case.

Another problem is weight gain, especially cellulite. It is so difficult to combat postpartum cellulite, however, there are a lot of ways worth trying. The first thing you should consider is establishing a healthy and balanced diet. A regular exercise routine of various combinations of exercise can help you lose fat, especially in the legs and abdomen. To support healthy skin you can find more tips on reducing cellulite in the stomach. In order to see results it is necessary to be patient and adopt a comprehensive treatment method.

The benefits of prescription skincare

In some cases, prescription skincare products may be a route worth considering, especially if over-the-counter products don’t seem to help treat your postpartum skincare issues. Prescription skincare products use prescription strength ingredients that are medically tested via studies, medical trials, and research, making for a skincare solution that you won’t be able to find in stores. Skin dullness (which can arise from issues like dehydration, skin texture, and acne) as well as acne, breakouts, and scarring from acne as well as overall skin health are all issues that can benefit from prescription skincare. Strength and effectiveness are the primary advantages of prescription skincare, according to The Cleveland Clinic, which goes on to explain that prescription-grade products are able to work their way past the surface layers of the skin, thus allowing the product to work better. 

Navigating changes in your skin as a new mother can be stressful and even overwhelming, though it’s important to realize that not only are issues like dryness and acne normal, but also manageable. From lifestyle changes to topical solutions, even prescription skincare can offer a solution.

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