After Birth: What Does Pregnancy Do To Your Skin


Hormonal imbalance in pregnant women can cause a lot of skin changes. Most of them may disappear after giving birth, but others may be left behind. For most ladies who aim at having perfect skin, this can be a great shock. It can be frustrating, especially to those who long to have their original look back.

However, do not be harsh to your body; it gave you a bundle of joy. Also, these skin changes are easily treatable, and there is no need for panicking. If you are a new mom or maybe planning to have a kid in the future, expect the following skin changes


Melasma, also commonly referred to as the mask of pregnancy, occurs as a result of the overproduction of melanin. It is usually caused by a combination of genetics, hormonal factors, and sun exposure.

Melasma is more prevalent in Asian communities than in any other. It is generally characterized by brown patches on the forehead, nasal bridge, and jawline, among others. Fortunately, melasma can fade away after a few months of giving birth. Nevertheless, it can take years for some women.

To avoid this condition when pregnant, use broad-spectrum sunscreens. You can also continue to use the cream after birth to prevent its reappearance.


Development of acne after childbirth can be emotionally draining. Even so, always keep in mind that you are not alone; it is a common condition. Acne is usually caused by estrogen fluctuations and skyrocketing of progesterone levels, which maintain healthy uterine during the pregnancy.

These hormones then stimulate secretion of sebum from the oil glands, and this leads to clogging up of the skin pores. As a result, an inflammation on your face takes place. Acne tends to affect the neck and the lower face area. It presents itself in the form of a red bump, which can be painful to touch.

In many cases, acne may clear by itself. Even so, medical attention may be required to prevent the risk of scarring. In this case, there are many topical agents that you can utilize to get rid of this problem. Some of them are safe, even with breastfeeding. As for severe cases, antibiotics may be vital.

Stretch Marks

Many women tend to develop stretch marks, mainly in the last trimester. The condition occurs when the skin stretches. Stretch marks appear red when one is pregnant and turn white after the childbirth. They mostly appear in the stomach area and the upper thighs or breasts. They may not disappear immediately after delivery, but they can become less noticeable with time

You can prevent this condition from worsening during pregnancy by applying moisturizers. Moreover, there are also special stretch mark creams in the market that you can continue utilizing even after delivery. In severe cases, dermatologists can prescribe tretinoin cream, which you can use when not breastfeeding.

Additionally, you can also try some skin tightening laser treatments; they are safe even with breastfeeding. However, they require multiple treatment sessions. Even so, stretch marks are not harmful, and they do not cause any medical condition. So, do not sweat about it.

Spots Break Out

With all the stress, hormonal imbalance, and tiredness that comes with being a new mom, spots break out may be inevitable. It does not matter whether you had clear skin before giving birth or not. However, do not be harsh to your skin.

Wash your skin twice a day with a mild cleanser. Nevertheless, avoid scratching your spots because it can irritate your skin. You can try soft clothing or use your hands to clean your face. Afterward, use a water-based moisturizer if you have dry skin.

Some of the contraceptive pills can also be used to clear the spots. Even so, it can affect the milk supply for your baby. Therefore, the right thing to do is to wait until the baby is six weeks if you want to start taking the combined pills. Charcoal peel-off masks can also help you to achieve the right skin balance, which is clear and bright.

Dry Skin

Dry skin is a common condition that occurs during and after pregnancy. When pregnant, it can be caused by stretching and tightening of the skin as it tries to accommodate the growing belly. In respect to this, it can lead to itchiness, flaky skin, or any other symptom that is associated with dry skin. The condition mostly appears around the stomach area for many women.

On the other hand, postpartum dry skin may take place as a result of the hormonal changes which sap the skin lipids. Consequently, the moisture sapped patches appear on the face.

Your skin can get its healthy complexion back once you restore its moisture level. That can be achieved by utilizing mild cleansers and lots of moisturizers. For the raw areas, you can use hydrating lotions with natural lipids such as shea butter. As for the red areas, sea buckthorn products can work wonders.


If you have dealt with eczema before, then you are most likely to experience a flare-up during your pregnancy. Even so, the disease is not infectious. So, you do not have to worry about spreading it to your baby.

The new mothers may get eczema as a result of frequent hand washing. Nevertheless, you can use a moisturizer to soothe inflamed and itchy skin. Moreover, there are topical steroid creams that are safe to utilize even when you are breastfeeding. A gentle soap can continue to moisturize your skin even after settling of the skin rashes.

Topical calcineurin inhibitors are, however, not recommended for nursing mothers. Nevertheless, there is still no clear evidence to show the amount of medicine that goes through the milk up to now.

The above list contains some of the most common skin changes to expect after giving birth. They may be distressing if not well addressed. All the same, you should note that these changes are not permanent. Your skin can return to normal four to six weeks after delivery.

Resources –  Healthline, Thomson Medical, Healthgk, Parents, Today’s Parent, Baby Center