Have you ever wondered what all your skin goes through while you struggle to bring a new life into the world? Acne, dark circles, stretch marks and what not! Your skin experiences so many unpleasant changes post pregnancy. So how do you cope with these changes?
Well, the good news is these changes are temporary. With proper skin care and healthy lifestyle practices, you can regain your skin’s health and glow.
In this article, we tell you how you can take care of your skin post pregnancy and bring back its glow.
Why Do Women Experience Skin Issues Post Pregnancy?
Your body goes through several changes when you are pregnant. During pregnancy, you experience hormonal changes, which eventually leads to breakouts on your face. During this time, your body starts producing estrogen and progesterone, commonly known as pregnancy hormones, at higher levels.
Even though these hormones can help support healthy pregnancy, they bring along a few side effects like mood swings, food craving, weight gain, etc.
At the same time, your skin too starts behaving differently. Many of you experience glowing skin during your pregnancy period. This is popularly known as the “pregnancy glow” where increased volume of blood allows more blood to vessels, making your facial skin appear a bit flushed.
Besides, the changes in your hormone levels too trigger your skin glands to produce more sebum. Naturally, your skin appears shinier than usual. Also, excess production of sebum clogs your skin pores thereby leading to acne breakout. Mostly post-pregnancy, your skin feels too dry or oily. Some of you may experience severe pigmentation and dark circles etc.
Dark circle is another common skin issue that you encounter post-pregnancy. This happens while you struggle with your sleeping pattern with the newborn at home. Also, the amount of melanin in your skin rises during the pregnancy period, which explains the reason behind pigmentation. 
What Are The Common Skin Problems During & Post Pregnancy?
1. Acne Breakouts
Pregnancy causes major progesterone production in your body. It stimulates the natural oil production in your skin, making it excessively oily. The excess oil together with dead skin cells clog your skin pores. Hence, you experience acne breakout during or post-pregnancy. But the severity of acne varies from person to person. While some of you may experience acute acne throughout your pregnancy period, others may only have mild acne issues. 
Melasma is a common skin disorder in which the melanocytes of your skin cause unnecessary pigmentation. It commonly occurs during your pregnancy period due to the presence of higher levels of estrogen and progesterone hormones. Studies show that 50% to 70% of women suffer from melasma during their pregnancy .
Dark patches tend to appear on your cheeks, around the mouth, chin and other parts of the body such as armpits and genitals. Thankfully, it does not cause any harm to the unborn child. Usually, these patches fade away post your pregnancy. However, you can resort to treatments, if need be.
3. Dark Circles And Puffy Eyes
Dark circles and puffy eyes during your pregnancy period are mostly due to the hormonal changes in your body. Hormonal imbalances dilate the blood vessels under your eyes and the vessels hold more blood thereby making your eyes look puffy and the skin around your eye dark. However, post-pregnancy it happens due to the lack of sleep and exhaustion.
4. Stretch Marks
Stretch marks during pregnancy are common due to the fluctuation of hormones in your body. Sudden weight gain or loss breaks down the elastic fibres of your skin, leading to stretch marks. These marks can be hereditary too .
90% of the women get stretch marks during their pregnancy and it happens between the sixth and the ninth month. The most affected areas are the breasts, hips and stomach. Initially, the marks look reddish or purple but later on they may appear white or grey. These marks fade away eventually post your delivery.
5. Spider Veins
Spider veins are visibly damaged veins on your skin surface. Women during their pregnancies, are at higher risks for developing spider veins due to the increased blood volume in their body. The blood creates significant pressure on the blood vessels, causing damage. It appears as blue, red or purple veins, however it does not cause any physical pain as such. In severe cases, symptoms like bleeding, pain and swelling may occur. 
6. Linea Nigra
Linea Nigra is a Latin word that means black line. It is a vertical, dark line (linea alba) that appears on your belly during the trimester of pregnancy. The zipper line on the lower abdomen starting from your belly button to your pelvis turns darker as the last few months of pregnancy set in. 
Word of caution
Do not use retinol during pregnancy as it may cause birth defects according to scientific research 
How To Take Care Of Your Skin Post Pregnancy?
1. Tips To Treat Acne
1. Cleanse your face twice a day with a gentle face wash. It’s one of the most important steps in your skin care routine.
2. Use an oil-free, non-comedogenic moisturizer after cleansing your face.
3. Exfoliate your skin at least once a week with soft scrub.
4. Use anti-acne products to reduce acne.
5. Choose natural ingredients like aloe vera, tea tree oil to treat your acne issues.
2. Tips To Treat Pigmentation
1. Pigmentation due to pregnancy starts to lighten after one year post-delivery. But, they do not fade away completely unless you use something to brighten your skin tone. Opt for a cream or gel that reduces skin
2. To control the pigmentation during your pregnancy period, apply sunscreen both at home and outside. The sunscreen should have a minimum of SPF 30.
3. Never forget to apply moisturizer every day. Dry and dull skin makes pigmentation worse.
3. Tips To Treat Stretch Marks
1. The best way to deal with the stretch marks is to control them from the beginning. Starting from the first month, use anti-stretch mark creams or natural ingredients like olive oil or almond oily to manage them. However, make sure to check with your doctor before using any anti-stretch mark cream during your pregnancy. Some of the products may have harmful ingredients.
2. Post-delivery, you can start using stretch marks reducing creams or oils, after consulting your doctor.
3. Eat a healthy diet and indulge in physical activities such as mild exercise, yoga, walks etc.
4. Tips To Treat Dark Circles & Puffy Eyes
1. Sufficient sleep is essential to get rid of dark circles. With a baby at home it can be difficult, but you have to take care of your regular sleep cycle. Ask your partner to look after the baby while you sleep. You can also take short naps when your toddler is asleep.
2. Drink adequate water and eat healthy to ensure good health.
3. Use an under-eye cream to reduce dark circles and manage puffy eyes.
Giving birth to a life is no less than a miracle. Your world turns upside down to bring your child into this world. During this time, your body, primarily your skin and hair goes through a lot of changes. These changes lead to acne, dark circles, stretch marks shown up on your skin, however they are usually temporary. Taking out time from your busy schedule and devoting some of it to practice a customized skincare regimen can work wonders. Also follow a few simple tips to keep your skin healthy and glowing post-delivery.
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