Throughout both of my pregnancies, people constantly praised me for my “glow.” But after giving birth, things seemed to change rather quickly, and not in a way that I anticipated. My coveted glow quickly faded, and the dreaded acne from my teen years resurfaced on my skin. Having a baby changed my body in many ways, and while some of the alterations were good (you’ll never hear me complain about my post-pregnancy boobs), others were less welcome. Needles to say, I wasn’t prepared for the ways skin changes after giving birth (nor was I very pleased with it.)
In a perfect world, your body would bounce right back after pregnancy, without an extended recovery period or extra work on your part. But the reality is, women’s bodies continue to change long after the delivery. From spider veins to acne, most women experience some kind of change to their skin in the “fourth trimester.” But the good news is, that with time and just a little effort (because you have your hands full these days) most of them won’t last too long. Here are seven surprising changes your postpartum skin may encounter, and a few simple ways to handle them.
In the first few weeks of postpartum, many women lose their glow and gain something entirely unwanted — acne. According to Today’s Parent, this flare up is caused by heightened levels of progesterone and estrogen, which often leads to oilier skin and clogged pores. To get your skin under control, Mayo Clinic suggests washing your face twice a day with a quality face wash. You may even consider seeing your dermatologist about a medication if the acne seems problematic, but remember to always consult your doctor before making any changes to your skincare regime.
In an interview with mom.me, dermatologist Cybele Fishman explained that dry skin often occurs in women who had low thyroid levels during pregnancy. Using a high quality moisturizer should take care of this, and your skin should improve with time.
The Linea Nigra
Many postpartum women notice dark patches of skin on their face during their pregnancy and after giving birth. This is a condition called chloasma, sometimes referred to as “the mask of pregnancy.” According to Pregnancy.org this hyperpigmentation of the skin is caused by an increase in melanin which rises as your reporductive hormones rise. As your hormones balance themselves out, though, the patches will start to fade on their own.
Spider and Varicose Veins
The Office on Women’s Health notes that varicose and spider veins are caused by weakened valves,in your veins. Because of the increase in blood flow during and after pregnancy, these unwanted marks are likely to occur. There are several treatment options for varicose veins, depending on their severity, but oftentimes adopting a more active lifestyle to get that blood flowing is all it takes.
Though there is no true way to prevent stretch marks from happening, using a good moisturizer and maintaining a healthy weight are potential ways to ward them off. If you were one of the many women who noticed stretch marks during her pregnancy, don’t worry. According to BabyCenter, stretch marks fade on their own.
Skin Tags, Moles or Warts
Glamorous right? Mom.me writes that new warts or skin tags surface after a dramatic weight loss. If you notice a mole has enlarged or changed colors, contact your doctor immediately. The good news is, like most postpartum skin changes, all you need is a little patience while your body fixes things on its own.