Are you feeling troubled over the appearance of acne, stretch marks, or even pigmentation after delivery? Rest assured as these issues are relatively common amongst mothers who have just given birth and usually happens due to post-pregnancy hormonal changes. Fortunately, there are simple skincare tips that can help you regain your glow and confidence by spending some extra time on yourself daily.
Note: Do check with your doctor or dermatologist regarding skin care products before incorporating them into your routine.
Common skin problems after childbirth and how you can improve them
The gain and subsequent loss in weight after delivery cause the appearance of stretch marks, which tend to appear on your tummy, breasts, thighs, and groin as purple, pink, or red wavy streaks. Though these marks will gradually lighten over time, they do not fade completely. However, exercising as well as the use of emollients (non-cosmetic moisturizers) on affected areas can expedite the fading process and minimize the appearance of more stretch marks. You can also consider applying low potency vitamin A creams, which are useful in improving the appearance of stretch marks as well.
You may have noticed dark patches, commonly known as melasma, on your cheeks, forehead, nose or chin. This usually happens due to an increase in melanin deposits around your body but do not worry as these will gradually fade after delivery. In the meantime, the application of sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 15 to 20 can help these blemishes fade more quickly and prevent them from becoming darker.
Hormonal acne and oily skin
Are you experiencing oilier skin and an increase in acne on your face post-delivery? If so, this is generally due to hormonal changes causing an increase in sebum production. Though you may be exhausted after a long day of taking care of your child, you should still follow your daily skincare routine as much as possible. Additionally, you may also want to incorporate skincare products containing benzoyl peroxide, which is safe for use during breastfeeding to unclog your pores and remove impurities. If your acne issue persists or worsens, do visit a dermatologist for a prescription of topical antibiotics and cream.
The overgrowth of fibrous tissue may lead to a raised scar known as keloids. Hence, if you had a C-section delivery, use a silicone gel sheet or apply a silicone-based cream on your incision to minimize the likelihood of forming keloids.
If your nipples feel tender from breastfeeding, you may want to look into your latching technique and feeding position to ensure they are correct. Do seek help promptly to learn the correct latch-on technique to prevent tender nipples if you are unsure. You may also consider using lanolin cream on the sore area to ease the healing process.
Dark under-eye circles
Postnatal hormonal changes, coupled with a lack of sleep, may lead to dark eye rings. As such, try to get adequate sleep to allow your skin to recuperate from childbirth and maintain your physical and emotional wellbeing.
Even though your current priority may be taking care of your newborn, you certainly should not neglect self-care or feel guilty for spending time taking care of yourself. Paying attention to your body is especially important to ensure you stay healthy and happy while caring for your child.
Bruckner, L. 2018. Acne after pregnancy and other postpartum skin conditions. Retrieved from: https://www.todaysparent.com/baby/postpartum-care/post-pregnancy-skin-conditions/
HealthHub. 2016. 4 Skincare Tips to Keep Your Pregnancy Glow. Retrieved from: https://www.healthhub.sg/live-healthy/1576/4-skincare-tips-to-keep-your-pregnancy-glow
HealthHub. 2016. Essential Post-Baby Skin Care Tips. Retrieved from: https://www.healthhub.sg/live-healthy/1669/essential-post-baby-skin-care-tips
HealthHub. 2019. Breastfeeding. Retrieved from: https://www.healthhub.sg/live-healthy/1038/pregnancy-breastfeeding
HealthHub. 2020. Skin Care Tips During Pregnancy and After Birth. Retrieved from: https://www.healthhub.sg/live-healthy/998/pregnancy-skin-care-tips-during-pregnancy-and-after-birth