During the nine — 10 — months of pregnancy, your body goes through a massive upheaval. Not only is your belly swelling, but your hormones also take you on a rollercoaster ride. These hormonal fluctuations can cause several symptoms, including nausea, sore breasts, and changes in your skin.
Among these potential skin changes are stretch marks and discoloration. These developments can be disheartening. Try not to let them get you down, though — there are ways to treat these conditions. Some treatments are topical, while others are more involved. Keep reading for things to try to regain your pre-pregnancy skin.
If you have dark spots that appear during pregnancy, using the right daily cleanser can help keep them from getting darker. Doing this can even lighten the scars. When choosing a cleaner, look for one with glycolic or salicylic acid on the ingredients list. These alpha and beta hydroxy acids can reduce hyperpigmentation. Seek cleaners free of excess chemicals, dyes, and scents because these can further irritate your skin.
An exfoliating cleanser can assist if you’ve developed melasma, a dark, patchy skin discoloration. It most often appears on the face, but it can also appear on other areas of your body, such as your armpits. The solution is the same regardless of where melasma rears its ugly head. Using an AHA- and BHA-containing cleanser when you wash your face or shower will minimize its prominence.
While setting a habit of using a daily cleanser, add a moisturizer. Using a lotion every day that is free from those extra chemicals and dyes can rejuvenate your skin. It can also reduce the appearance of those spots above. Using cream daily can relieve dry skin and heal it if your skin is dry. As you combat dry skin with moisturizers, you can get to a place of maintenance versus healing.
Even if your skin is acne-prone, don’t skip the moisturizer — choose an oil-free formula. Hydrated skin has more elasticity, and this can cause you to look younger. It can also reduce those fine lines and wrinkles. If you have stretch marks, this can also aid in fading them.
Add sun protection as long as you’re adding a daily skin revitalization technique. It’s hard to heal your skin while continuing to damage it simultaneously. And let’s face it — as nice as the sun’s rays may feel, they damage your skin. So apply sunscreen each time you are out in the sun to prevent the signs of aging and the development of skin cancers. For added protection, wear a hat and cover your arms and legs.
You’re trying to take care of your skin and help it to regain its luster. Choose a product that will protect you from the sun’s ravages without irritating you. As with cleansers and moisturizers, look for gentle sunblocks without dyes or scents.
When dealing with hormonal shifts, patients should talk with their medical team about their medications. Certain prescriptions can make dark spots more prevalent. High estrogen levels in your birth control pills, for example, can worsen those dark patches. Check the medications you’re taking to see what their side effects are. You might have to switch prescriptions if they are making things worse.
When you use contraception again after your child’s birth, see whether your spots are getting darker. If so, consult your healthcare provider about finding a birth control method with lower estrogen levels. For example, you could take mostly progesterone birth control pills or switch from the ring or the patch. The IUD and the birth control shot also offer low doses of estrogen.
Suppose you’ve tried the less-invasive tips to no avail; research other options that might work for you. Discuss bleaching treatments with a dermatologist or consider a chemical peel. Bleaching creams such as hydroquinone can help lighten the dark spots. A chemical peel will remove the top layer of your skin, revealing — after recovery — smoother, less blemished skin beneath. A dermatologist will need to perform this procedure, which promotes skin cell growth to achieve a younger, brighter, and lighter appearance.
Laser treatment may be just the ticket if you have smaller dark spots. This method works by killing melanocytes, the cells that produce skin pigment, without harming the surface of your skin. You may need to repeat the procedure once or twice to get the desired results.
After the long processes of pregnancy and birth, you’d think the upheaval would be done. But growing a human creates many changes in your body, from the musculoskeletal to the hormonal. The hormonal shifts can really wreak havoc, not least on your skin. It takes a while for things to heal and go back to normal.
Following the tips outlined above can help you regain your pre-pregnancy appearance. Start with small changes to see whether they make a difference. If not, consider bringing out the bigger guns. Above all, don’t despair! You do have options for rejuvenating your skin.