Postnatal mothers often worry about their skin because after giving birth, they tend to be affected by issues such as dehydrated skin, stretch marks, sagging and melasma.
A number of new mothers ask whether laser treatment would be a safe option for them in this respect due to them still being required to breastfeed their child.
The answer to this question is that various treatments, including laser techniques are not categorized as unsafe for breastfeeding mothers. However, injecting substances or medication, such as lipolysis or whitening agents, Botulinum toxin and fillers or any treatment involving the introduction of vitamin A into the facial tissue, can all place the mother’s health at risk.
Nevertheless, other forms of laser treatment aimed at providing solutions to facial skin problems may be carried out due to the absence of medical evidence to suggest that the energy resulting from the lasers can be stored and transferred into the mother’s breast milk, thereby posing a danger to their child. Hence, postnatal mothers concerned about looking their absolute best can select a treatment depending on their individual skincare needs as follows:
Stretch marks, or striae, are a form of scarring that affect the surface of the skin, clearly differing in color to the surrounding area, and formed as a result of tearing in the epidermis layer, which occurs as that area of skin stretches and expands rapidly. Up to 90% of all pregnant women sustain stretch marks around their abdomen due to the progression of their pregnancy. As the unborn child grows, so do the woman’s abdomen and thighs, resulting in stretch marks, which may be found on the chest, abdomen, around the belly button, breasts, upper arms, thighs, hips and calves.
Tips: Fractional laser treatment can help restore skin tone to newly stretched skin, leaving it firm while also reducing the appearance of red and black stretch marks. The treatment also involves massage by radio frequency wave lasers, such as Exillis, which helps to provide extra lift to the skin by expelling excess fluids. The epidermis layer is therefore able to recover as the stretch marks lose their tone. However, it is recommended that postnatal mothers ensure they exercise regularly and maintain a healthy diet in addition to undergoing such treatments.
Around 2 weeks after giving birth, a mother’s body will begin to experience dehydration issues as the body flushes out the fluids accumulated during pregnancy. This dehydration leads to skin problems, including dehydrated skin and, if mothers do not take on enough water at this time, the skin dehydration could worsen significantly. The most obvious signs to look out for are cracking or flaking on the lips, a sticky throat, dry skin, blemishes, mild hair loss, and decreased breast milk production.
Tips: Dehydrated skin can be treated by drinking plenty of water, and being sure to apply moisturizing creams regularly. Regarding specific skin treatments, select those which provide care for the skin, such as collagen masks or Oxy-Life treatments.
Skin sagging may affect the face, neck, abdomen, upper arms and thighs, with the individual’s genetics playing a part in determining the extent to which any sagging may occur. However, environmental and lifestyle factors may also contribute to the functioning capabilities of the cells located just under the skin that help to keep the skin firm.
Tips: Laser treatments can reduce sagging that results from decreased skin collagen levels or age-related skin deterioration, for instance, Collagen laser, Long pulse, Nd:YAG, Ulthera (Ultrasound Laser) and Ultralift treatments (HIFU).
The causes of melasma are not limited to sunlight exposure as they can also be a result of hormones and genetics. The rapid change in hormones that occurs during a pregnancy can lead to melasma both during the pre and post-natal periods, often occurring without any warning whatsoever.
Tips: There are laser treatments available that destroy the pigmentation or reduce the discoloration caused by melasma. Pico Laser treatment is a technology that utilizes the short-pulse laser rays – measured in Picoseconds (1 billionth of a second) – carefully penetrating thick pigmentation and breaking up the affected skin pigment into tiny pieces, which the body can then flush out naturally. Another option available is V beam laser treatment, which is suited to treating blood vessel disorders that leave various types of red blemishes on the skin, especially vascular melasma (blemishes that have the appearance of red, vessel-like spots, often containing brown dots within them, as well as spots that are pink, red or black in color).
Additionally, undergoing Elos Laser and Crystal Bright treatments are other options for reducing the darkness of any blemishes, and revitalizing the skin, leaving the whole face looking clean and bright, making these forms of treatment popular choices among medical professionals.
M.D., Faculty of Medicine Rangsit University. , 2012