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Hello,

After having no more than the occasional pimple ever before, I have suddenly started breaking out in acne on my chin and jawline. I am in my 30s and gave birth three months ago. I am breasfteeding and haven't had a period yet. Even during pregnancy I didn't have more than the odd pimple, but because I'm a new mother and that's the big change in my life now I am guessing my acne breakouts are bound to have something to do with hormones?

So like I said I am still breastfeeding and not planning to stop for at least another three months. Can anyone tell me if these breakouts are definitely hormonal, and then can anyone recommend me a good product to get rid of it that is safe for nursing mothers? I am not in the mood for looking like a teen.

Thanks.

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Oh yes!!! Some ladies will notice they had acne before pregnancy and don't have it any more afterwards, but for some it is the opposite and they will break out after giving birth. It's hormones for sure. The question is, what do you want to do about it? I'd say you deserve some pampering anyway. Schedule a nice trip to the spa and go in for a chemical peel to clear your acne up. In the meantime also avoid using soaps that make the problem worse, which is very tempting because you think they will make the acne dry up. Don't do it. Go for things with Salicylic Acid instead. Yes, it is true you have to avoid them during pregnancy but after you give birth they are completely safe.

Best of luck with your skin and your baby :).
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Yes, that is most likely a hormonal problem and because you are breastfeeding, I would be looking into all-natural products that do not carry any potential risks. One thing I have been reading up about recently is Manuka honey. This is from New Zealand and was proven to have antibacterial and scar healing properties in scientific studies. Tea tree oil, which is also antibacterial, is another remedy you will want to research. Because it is so potent and it can have a burning sensation on the skin, you are going to want to dilute it with water. Both of these things will help reduce and perhaps make your acne go away completely.
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Hiya,

If I was you, yeah, I'd go to see a derm. There's actually different kinds of acne and it can be tricky to tell which you have by yourself. 'Cause different kinds of acne do best with different treatments, I wanna know exactly what I was dealing with before going and putting random products on there, know what I mean? 

Course you just go clean your skin daily and things like that, but I'd really go out there and get a proper idea of what you need to be doing. A derm can also tell you for sure what products you can put on your skin with the breastfeeding. 

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I warmly recommend Vitex for hormonal acne. This supplement helps your body make the right amount of progesterone, which is great for you if you suffer from acne, mood swings especially before your periods (PMS), have a bit of a belly, suffer from excessive hair growth, and have irregular periods. It will take a good few months before you will notice a difference, but then it will likely really help you.
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I think part of the reason these breakouts are so noticeable to you right now is that many pregnant women have such beautiful, glowing skin! Over the course of nine months, you become used to a skin so pretty that it becomes hard to imagine you will ever have skin trouble again!

Still, this is a pretty common occurrence and absolutely hormonal in nature. When you give birth, your progesterone levels change back to the way they were before you got pregnant, and acne can be the result. You are quite right, not all products are safe for breastfeeding mothers. That's why you should ask your family doctor for recommendations if you are going to be using a "serious" product. Instead, you could also attempt to use herbal products which are safe for you. Eucalyptus oil is one many people have luck with, and many women also speak well of tea tree oil. These two will have a calming effect that also helps fight microorganisms. 

Are your periods back yet? If not, you may want to be prepared for the breakouts getting even worse when they do, or when you are done breastfeeding. Don't worry over the long-term in any case, because your acne being hormonal in nature is good news. Once your hormones go back to normal, so will your skin!

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Thanks, everyone!

I'll look into the salycilic acid, the oils, the vitex and the honey. Hopefully among those there will be one product that works for me or perhaps even a combination. Rosie, I have had one half period since the lochia stopped. It was very light and didn't really amount to much, so I assume that my cycle is not back yet. That does have me wondering what products to use. Especially that vitex. I will be Googling that, but I want something to support my normal postpartum balance and not upset it.

OK, so hopefully some of this works. If anyone else has more tips I would be happy to hear though. The more, the merrier!
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Postpartum acne sure does suck!!!

As your skin has changed completely now, you will need to make some changes in your care. Dry skin is one of those things contributing to the formation of postpartum acne, so choose a moisturizer for dry skin types. When you have a new baby, time is a precious commodity and many new parents don't spend so much time cooking, choosing easy ready meals instead. That is a fatal mistake for your skin. Make eating lots of fruit and veg a priority, and that too will lessen your postpartum acne. You need those antioxidants. Some people have trouble with dairy causing acne to their skin so trying to eliminate dairy from your diet (yes, it's safe if you are breastfeeding) may help you a lot as well.

CU.

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My skin was never awesome and I always had trouble with premenstrual outbreaks but the postpartum stage was a whole other game. The good news is that it does return to normal when your cycle comes back again, but the bad news is that that can take an eternity. Alpha hydroxy is what everyone recommends, and thankfully you don't have to worry about safety because that is completely safe for breastfeeding ladies. Actually most of the OTC stuff you'll find in chemists is completely safe if you are breastfeeding. As long as you tell your pharmacist you are actually nursing, you should be absolutely fine.
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Hi,

This is very familiar to me, unfortunately. I had great skin all my life. Then I had a baby. I ended up with severe cystic acne that made me feel terrible. Of course, I tried out all kinds of over the counter products including alpha hydroxy acid and plenty of natural things. Nothing worked. In the end it got so bad that I saw my doctor about it, and she recommended I go back on the pill. I did that. The cystic acne improved very fast. I am on Yaz, which I think is safe to use while you are breastfeeding as well. It was a lifesaver for me, and I am not coming off it until my huz and I decide we are ready for number two.
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So, have you done anything about this yet? Just curious how you're getting along...

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Your acne could definitely be hormonal, something that is very often seen in breastfeeding mothers and new mothers in general. It may be helpful to keep in mind that any acne gets worse when you are under stress. Of course, being a new mother often brings a lot of stress and worries along with the joy. If you are stressed, finding something to relax will help you with your skin as well. It's also important to keep drinking enough water. When you're breastfeeding you need more water that you did before, and if you don't get enough, that will show up in your skin. Further, could it be that you simply don't have enough time to look after your skin? Cleansing, moisturizing and weekly masks are as important as they were before. You can do them when baby sleeps. By the way, Retin-A is the gold standard in acne treatment if your acne isn't really, really, really bad. You may like to hear that this is safe when you are a breastfeeding mother, but you do need a prescription. Erythromycin is another topical treatment that you may like to explore. To be honest, it sounds like you are really bothered by your acne, so I would go to my doctor and ask for a topical treatment if I were you.
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That postpartum period is just the pits, isn't it? Your beautiful pregnancy skin goes away, you have stretch marks if unlucky, your hair starts falling out... Fortunately, you do go back to normal. Of course you should be caring for your skin, I am not saying you shouldn't, but what I am saying is that you might not win over hormones. Every woman who has ever had a baby goes through this period and we also all come out of it the other end looking more rested, with better skin, having lost the baby weight, and with nice hair that we have the time to actually do up. This is meant to be encouragement... this too shall pass. Honestly.
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