A drastic change in hormone levels after giving birth can cause changes in your skin and hair.
During pregnancy, your estrogen and progesterone levels were at an all-time high. But, soon after giving birth, mothers will experience an abrupt drop in hormone levels that causes the following common skin and hair problems.
Skin and hair problems after childbirth
Dry Skin: Dry skin is a common problem experienced by many new mothers after childbirth. This change is not alarming and will usually disappear after their hormones begin to stabilize. If you have dry skin, try moisturizing with a hydrating, natural lotion to alleviate any itchiness.
Oily Skin: Some mothers find that the skin around their face becomes extra oily and acne-prone. This change is also temporary and will go away over time as your hormones gradually balance out. In the meantime, use oil-blotting papers to eliminate excess oils and avoid oil-based makeup and facial products.
Acne: Some mothers may start breaking out more often after giving birth. Rest assured, this isn’t permanent, and the irritating acne spots will gradually disappear in a few weeks to a few months. If you opt to treat your breakouts with pharmaceutical products, make sure it isn’t chemical-filled and safe for breastfeeding.
Melasma: Melasma is a condition that describes random brown facial patches and occurs in approximately 50% of Asian mothers postpartum. These harmless patches can appear anywhere on the face and darken when exposed to sunlight. Melasma cannot be prevented and will go away in due time. Dermatologists recommend that new mothers with melasma apply a paraben-free sunscreen before going outdoors to keep the spots from darkening.
Hair loss: You may find that the thick luscious locks you had during pregnancy have started to fall out after giving birth. Postpartum hair loss happens from the drastic decrease in estrogen levels after delivery, which slows down hair cell rejuvenation. Some mothers end up losing as much as 5 times the amount of hair! This change is temporary, but in the meantime, use a delicate brush or comb and avoid tight ponytails.
Your body may be going through many changes, but always remember that these changes are usually not permanent. With a diet that is rich in omegas and irons (think whole foods, fruits, and vegetables), you’ll eventually lose that big belly, your hair will strengthen, and your skin abnormalities will go away.
Dr. Piyawut Kreetapirom, MD. (31 March 2021)