Post Pregnancy Acne – Causes, Treatment and Prevention

A woman with acne

During pregnancy the body of the mother changes completely. A host of hormones are released into her blood. Postpartum acne is a real problem that some mothers face. Although acne affects women during pregnancy, it disappears after the baby is born. The hormone levels get back to normal, so the pimples that affect the woman are supposed to go away after delivery. However, postpartum acne occurs when the acne does not reduce even after childbirth, and pimples continue to pop up on her face.

In this article, let us take a look at what postpartum acne is and how it can be treated effectively.

Are Acne after Pregnancy Normal?

Although acne is supposed to reduce after the woman has given birth, it is still normal to have a lot of pimples after pregnancy. This is due to the hormonal changes that have occurred in the body during pregnancy, and the changes that are associated with it. The texture and condition of the skin also change, so acne is quite common in new mothers.

The pimples might simply clear up after delivery, or they might stay- it all depends on how your body functions. The important thing to note is that no two mothers are similar, so you cannot compare your condition to that of your sister or mother and worry about what is going differently for you.

Causes of Acne after Delivery

A woman with acne

There are a few reasons as to why mothers are still affected by acne after their give birth:

1. Changes in Hormonal Levels

This is the main reason why pimples grow in the face of pregnant women. The period of pregnancy is full of rampant hormonal changes, so it is common for acne to affect mothers. These hormones may reduce in levels after the woman has given birth, or they may not go down for a few weeks- this results in acne. Also, breastfeeding can release a few types of hormones that can also contribute to acne in mothers.

2. Water levels

The amount of water in the body is extremely important for the skin, as dehydration can lead to the outer layer of the skin breaking and becoming penetrable. IF the mother does not drink enough amounts of water, she might find herself dehydrated with all the breastfeeding and caring she has to do in the first few days of motherhood. Therefore, her skin becomes susceptible to the entry of foreign particles and thus the number of pimples on her face increases.

3. Stress

The first few weeks of caring for a baby are easily the most stressful periods of every woman’s life. You will still be getting to grips with the arrival of the child, so it is normal to be under a lot of stress in those early stages. This can lead to a loss of sleep or poor sleep quality in the mother. A combination of this condition along with a lack of water can result in pimples affecting the new mother.

Postpartum Acne Treatment

Treating cystic acne after pregnancy must be done with care, as you can still affect the growth of the child if you do not consume the right medicine.

When You Are Breastfeeding

You have to be extremely careful about the medications you consume, even after pregnancy- this is because you can pass on any harmful chemicals to your child through breast milk. In most cases, it is safe to use over-the-counter medicines, although you should read the label once again to confirm. If you have any doubts, visit the doctor just to be sure.

Products which contain salicylic acid, glycolic acid or benzoyl peroxide are sure to help you gain control over a mild bout of acne, although heavy breakouts require topical antibiotics and prescription benzoyl peroxide. The doctor will usually encourage you to try topical treatments since you are breastfeeding.

When You Aren’t Breastfeeding

In this case, you have a host of other medication which can be used to treat the acne. Topical retinoids and oral acne medications may be prescribed by your doctor if you are not breastfeeding. Consuming oral contraceptives as the birth control method can also curb acne outbreaks in women, and reduce pimples. This is possible because those pills regulate hormonal levels in the woman, so pimple outbreaks are less common at this time.

How to Prevent Postpartum Acne?

You can try to prevent the onset of pimples on the face in a lot of ways, by following simple, healthy practices. You have to take care of your skin, and try to follow a skin care routine as much as possible. Also, try to sleep well and drink a lot of fluids. If you ever find yourself stressing out too much, ask your partner to help you out.

Skin Care Tips for Acne after Childbirth

You can go a long way in preventing pimples by following some simple skin care tips.

1. Skincare Routine

Even though you will have your hands full with looking after the newborn child, you should try to take care of your skin as much as possible. Keep it moisturized always, and cleanse it once a day.

2. Products

Skincare products can also help you make great strides towards a pimple-free phase. Your pre-pregnancy products might not work any more so shop around for the suitable one!

3. Reduce UV

Skin becomes extremely sensitive after childbirth, so stay out of the sun as much as possible.

4. Be Stress-Free

Skin health is greatly dependent on how stress-free the mother is- always remember that, and be as calm as possible after childbirth.

5. Balanced Diet

A balanced diet can work wonders towards skin care, so eat healthy even after the baby is born.

When to Consult a Doctor?

You have to pay the doctor a visit if:

  • The pimples are red and inflamed, or painful.
  • The acne shows up in weird places.
  • It does not go away even after you have tried to get rid of it using proper treatment.
  • You have any doubts pertaining to this condition.

Acne after pregnancy is common, and is nothing to worry about- they usually go away after a few weeks, or after you have tried to treat this pimple outbreak. However, you have to consult the doctor if you feel that the situation is getting out of hand, and you need prescription medication.

Also Read: How to Take Care of Skin After Delivery