Common Postpartum Skin Issues

Health & Medical Blog

The experience of being pregnant and giving birth is amazing, but it can take a toll on your skin. The end of pregnancy does not necessarily mean that your skin will immediately return to normal. Many women report a number of skin problems after giving birth. Some of the most common postpartum skin issues include:


Both during and immediately after pregnancy both estrogen and progesterone levels fluctuate wildly, which can cause sebum production to increase which can result in clogged pores and numerous pimples and blemishes. In most cases hormonal acne subsides within a few months of giving birth as hormone levels regulate. Using a facial cleanser with benzoyl peroxide can help clear out pores and reduce outbreaks. While hormonal acne is mild to moderate in most postpartum women, some women will experience painful cystic acne. If you are suffering from cystic acne after giving birth, it is a good idea to see a dermatologist to explore more aggressive treatment options to help clear your skin.

Stretch Marks

As your stomach expands rapidly in size during pregnancy your skin is stretched quickly, which results in stretch marks on the abdomen for many mothers. Stretch marks may look very prominent after birth, but they will fade over time to a light color. If you are greatly bothered by your stretch marks, your dermatology professional may be able to prescribe a vitamin A derivative cream which may help with the appearance of stretch marks if treatment is started immediately. You may also ask about laser treatments that can help make stretch marks much less noticeable.

Super Dry, Flaky Skin

Another side effect of hormone fluctuations after birth is super dry, flaky skin. This condition is typically temporary, and your skin should return to normal after a few months. In the meantime, increase your water intake to help with hydration. Use a mild cleanser that is scent-free and additive-free, and apply a facial moisturizer designed for dry skin regularly. Avoid using any products that contain ingredients, such as benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, that will dry out your skin further.


Often referred to as the mask of pregnancy, melasma is a condition where hyper-pigmentation occurs on the face, creating dark patches on the skin. Melasma may fade on its own a few months after pregnancy, but if you are suffering from postpartum melasma it is important to wear sunscreen every single time you are exposed to sunlight. For some women the pigmentation caused by melasma is permanent, but your dermatologist may be able to do a chemical peel to help the pigmentation fade. 


1 April 2015

Seniors Deserve the Best

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