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In the process of bringing a new life into the world, a woman goes through a lot of emotional and physical changes. Your hair and skin health, in particular, go through immense changes during and post pregnancy. Getting back to normal only seems like a far-fetched dream, at times. But the good news is that none of these changes are permanent. With little care towards oneself, women can go back to looking and feeling like her pre-pregnancy self in due course of time. This article aims at listing out the physical changes women see in their skin post-pregnancy and how to overcome them with basic care towards oneself.
Video: Effective Skincare Tips After Delivery
Changes You See in Your Skin After Delivery
A woman’s skin goes through numerous changes post-delivery. While for some the skin changes are positive, for others it may not be a very happy sight. While some women are fortunate enough to bask in the delivery glow for a lifetime, others may experience acne, pigmentation, stretch marks, puffy eyes and dark circles. With little or no care, it tends to get aggravated and can lead to depression post childbirth.
Self-care after childbirth usually takes a back seat as all the focus is centred on giving special care to the newborn. However, taking out just 10 minutes for oneself can do wonders and help mothers to gain back their glow and confidence too.
Common Skin Problems After Delivery
Some of the common skin problems post-delivery are:
1. Stretch Marks
Due to the gain and subsequent loss in weight, women see stretch marks in many parts of their bodies after the delivery. These stretch marks will not go away completely, but will become lighter with time. Initially, they will be pink, purple, or reddish brown in colour. Eventually, the pigmentation will go away, making them look lighter.
2. Dark Spots
The stress that comes with motherhood can have adverse effects on your facial skin. The development of brownish spots is just one of them. To stop these dark spots from increasing, it is important to be gentle to the skin and cleanse it twice a day with a mild cleanser.
Sometimes, during pregnancy, dark patches develop on the face. These are called chloasma or melasma. This change in the pigmentation occurs due to the high level of pregnancy hormones in the body. These hormones gradually decrease after pregnancy. While some brown patches may become less obvious, others may stay for good. Anyone with this condition must avoid constant exposure to the sun.
4. Dark Circles and Puffy Eyes
Dark circles and puffy eyes are the result of hormonal changes, as well as lack of sleep after childbirth. Your eyes express the tiredness that your body experiences post-delivery. Constantly waking up to feed the baby causes lack of proper sleep, leading to dark circles.
Acne breakouts during or post pregnancy are very common. High progesterone levels post pregnancy can cause pimples to break out. If you have had clear skin throughout the pregnancy, then this may come as a surprise to you.
Many of you may experience sensitive skin after pregnancy. Anything may cause your skin to react adversely. For example, even a little exposure to the sun may cause the skin to burn. Sometimes, your skin may feel irritated towards things like chlorine and detergent.
As mentioned earlier, some of the above skin issues may fade away with time, while some conditions such as skin allergy after giving birth may stay and require medical attention.
Why Skin Texture Changes After Having a Child
It might become difficult to accept so many changes in the skin right after the birth of a baby, especially if you had a glowing skin during pregnancy. But post-pregnancy brings in stress, fatigue and overall hormonal imbalance that causes the skin texture to change. Acne, stretch marks, pigmentation and skin discoloration after delivery are some of the most common changes in the skin that have been observed post pregnancy. All this can become a thing of the past if you take a little care and follow a proper diet and skin care routine after childbirth.
How to Reduce Skin Problems
Skin problems that occur right after pregnancy can be tackled or reduced by following a few healthy lifestyle tips. But if you have been suffering from skin-related issues for a long time, then it is advisable to consult a doctor. Here are a few quick post pregnancy skin care tips.
- Staying away from the sun can prevent the skin from further damage. If you do need to step out in the sun, then use a good sunscreen or cover yourself up with a scarf.
- Drinking lots of water will keep the skin hydrated and bring the glow back. If you can drink eight glasses of water in a day, it will also keep the hormones in check.
- One of the crucial parts of postpartum skin care is to cleanse, tone and moisturise (CTS). Wash your face a few times a day to get rid of the excess oil. Following a CTS routine twice a day can yield great results.
- Exfoliating the skin thrice a week can help to improve the skin texture and remove marks too. Hence, this too is an important step for improving skin conditions after pregnancy.
- Irregular hours of sleep can take a toll on the skin. Getting eight hours of proper sleep is important for coping with skin changes after having a baby. Make sure you catch up on sleep whenever you get time.
- The iron content of leafy vegetables is very good for the skin and can help reduce post pregnancy skin problems. It aids in bringing back the glow and softness of the skin.
- To make the stretch marks fade away, applying oils rich in Vitamin E and cocoa butter can turn out to be very useful. Please remember that stretch marks will not disappear completely, but they will become lighter.
- Vitamin deficiency post-delivery is a common phenomenon. Taking multi-vitamin tablets on the doctor’s advice can make a lot of difference to the skin and body.
- Eating a healthy and timely diet can also help in bringing a new mother’s skin back to normal after pregnancy.
- Consult your doctor and include basic exercises in your daily regime like brisk walking or yoga. This helps the skin to breathe and brings the glow back.
Skin treatment post-delivery may only be required if the problems continue to persist. Any treatment must only be started after consulting the doctor. Issues like dry skin accompanied by other symptoms may be an indicator of an underactive thyroid. If the changes in your skin are disturbing you and don’t improve even after following the above tips, then consulting a physician is advisable.
Easy Ways to Take Care of Your Skin
Skin darkening or acne breakouts post-delivery is not an uncommon phenomenon. You can get your baby-glow back by following a few simple steps.
- Use a cleanser and cleanse your face twice a day
- Use an oil-free moisturiser for morning as well as for night skin regime.
- Scrub your face with a mild scrub once in a week. Ensure that the scrub you use has small granules.Try to pick skin products that comprise natural ingredients like aloe vera and eucalyptus.
- To keep the pigmentation on your skin under control, use sunscreen regularly and avoid direct exposure to the sun.
- Whether you stay indoors or outdoors, use of sunscreen is necessary. If you stay indoors use a sunscreen with SPF 15. If you step out for a short time then a sunscreen lotion with SPF 30 will help. But if you are stepping out for longer periods of time, then a sunscreen with SPF 50 must be used.
- Always use a moisturiser that is meant for pigmented skin.
Dark Circles and Puffy Eyes:
- Lots of water and healthy diet is the key to getting rid of dark circles and puffy eyes.
- Take short naps along with the baby. That is the only way your body will get the required rest.
- Use a good under-eye cream before going to sleep, to combat puffy eyes and dark circles.
- Stretch marks after pregnancy appear in a majority of pregnant women. Hence, as soon as you are pregnant, start using oils rich in Vitamin E or anti-stretch mark creams in the stretch marks prone areas. Use it regularly during and post pregnancy to keep the skin around the belly and breast free of stretch marks.
- Post birth, consult your doctor and use a good stretch marks cream on the affected areas.
- Post-delivery, healthy diet and exercise is the key to reducing the visibility of stretch marks. Consult your doctor and start with mild exercises such as brisk walk or basic yoga.
Skin Care Home Remedies
Accepting skin changes after childbirth can be difficult. However, usage of chemicals may have an adverse effect on your health. Here is a list of home remedies or skin care rescue tips for new moms. These are chemical-free, safe and cheap too.
- Applying aloe vera gel every day on the pigmented skin can gradually lighten dark spots. Leave it for 15 to 20 minutes, and then wash it off with lukewarm water. This will do wonders to your skin.
- Cucumber and tomato juice, when mixed with milk and applied on dark patches or pigments, can bear great results. It also soothes your skin and makes it soft.
- Make a fine paste of almonds and honey and apply it on the skin. Keep it for 15 minutes and then wash it off.
- Eating a Vitamin E-rich diet has proven to be very effective. Also, applying Vitamin E oil is highly beneficial for the skin.
- Take papaya, honey, and aloe vera pulp in a bowl, and mix it well to make a face pack. Apply it on the pigmented skin and wash it off after 30 minutes. Papaya helps to break down the dead cells and treats pigmentation.
- Papaya mixed with yogurt also makes a great face pack. Mash some papaya, honey, yogurt, and lemon juice in a bowl and use it as a face pack. Wash it off after 30 minutes with warm water.
- Rubbing a slice of potato or applying its juice on the skin also helps in the reduction of pigmentation.
- If you apply a paste of mint leaves on the dark spots twice or thrice a week, you should be able to see positive changes in your skin.
- Sandalwood has been used for centuries and by generations for skin care to reduce pigmentation and dark spots. Mix sandalwood powder, turmeric powder and milk together to make a fine paste. Then apply it on the affected area, leave it for 15 minutes and wash it off.
- Avocado juice can also help in the lightening of pigmentation if applied once a week.
- Crush orange peel into a powder and mix it with raw milk to make a face pack. Apply this on the skin and leave it for 15 minutes. Wash it off with normal water when done.
- If you are not allergic to lemon juice, then you can apply it directly on the pigmented skin for visible results.
- Papaya pulp when applied directly on the skin bears great results.
- Make sure you drink plenty of water and exfoliate your skin regularly to remove dead cells.
- Also make sure you eat healthy so that the skin is replenished with the nutrients it needs to recover.
The skin care remedies mentioned above may not give you instant results, but have proven to be effective over a period of time. These remedies, coupled with good diet and plenty of rest, will help you to overcome post-pregnancy skin ailments without any hassle. Enjoy your new role as a mother, but remember to love yourself too.