Any Advice for Breastfeeding Mom with Acne?

Updated on April 14, 2008
A.F. asks from Kingsburg, CA
60 answers

Ever since getting pregnant with my second son, now 13 months, I have had terrible acne breakouts on my face and neck. I have tried Proactiv, Murad and just about every other over the counter treatment I could get my hands on because my doctor won't prescribe anything as long as I am breastfeeding. Nothing has helped, and I'm tired of feeling ugly all the time. I won't leave my house without make-up, but even that only partially masks the problem. I had planned to wean at a year and then go see my doctor for help, but neither baby nor I are ready to give it up quite yet. I have decided that continuing to breastfeed is more important than my insecurities about my skin, but I would love it if anyone has some advice on a natural remedy that might help.

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A.B.

answers from Sacramento on

Nutrition can impact acne a great deal. If you would like to talk to some people that have overcome acne issues, please call A. at ###-###-####.

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H.T.

answers from San Francisco on

If you have been breastfeeding for 13 months, isn't it ok to stop? How long should one breastfeed a child?

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A.O.

answers from San Francisco on

I found that getting regular facials helped tremendously with my acne. In addtion I drink more water and eat more fruit and I rarely have breakout. Good luck!

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A.K.

answers from San Francisco on

My partner had horrible acne as a teen and his doctor did this treatment for him and apparently it worked really well.

get a small piece of dry ice and put it on a large piece of gauze with a tongue depressor (or other appropriate stick to use as a handle)tie the gauze around the stick so that you end up with a dry ice "popcicle" wrapped with gauze. Holding on to the stick gently rub the ice over your acne (you don't want the ice to touch your skin directly, hence the gauze) the supper cold air tightens your pores so much that it pushes out all the junk in them. Then just clean with a little astringent and you're good for about a week.

The best part is that there are no harmful chemicals (dry ice is just super cold carbon dioxide,the same stuff you exhale) so there's no harm. You can usually get large blocks of dry ice at the grocery store but since you want small peices I would call local ice houses or chemical/lab supply companies to see if they carry the pelleted ice. Dry ice is best stored in a plastic cooler but there is one important safety tip (other than don't touch with your bare skin) never store dry ice in an air tight container. Dry ice turns to gas as it warms up and that gas takes up a lot of space. if you put it in an airtight container (like a cooler with a latch) it will eventually explode. I've used dry ice for lots of things over the years and have an old playmate cooler with the sliding lid that works really well.

Good luck,

A.

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A.H.

answers from Modesto on

I used to work for the Body Shop and saw tons of success with people using their Tea Tree Oil system for acne. It's not cheap, but certainly less expensive than a dept store. In fact, I was just in the other day and I think skin care was on sale.
I don't know where you live, but try online at www.bodyshop.com to find one close to you.
My suggestion is a face wash, the toner, and the moisturizer 2 times a day and the scrub 2 times a week. If you are prone to large, painful pimples I suggest the actual tea tree oil. I actually use that on cuts and scrapes on my kids.. it's fabulous.
Best of luck to you.

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R.M.

answers from Sacramento on

A.,
Be sure to drink a lot of water! I have had cystic acne off and on since I was a teenager - yeck. And, now, at 42, if I don't drink the water I need, I will no doubt start getting cystic acne.
If you are iterested in trying another product, I have found Arbonne's RE9 system to work well for me and my cystic acne... the first time I tried it, I was in a break out; my break out went away quick! I can get you a sample if you are interested.

Have a great weekend.
R.

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K.U.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi A.,

I have had intermittant acne problems and I can only tell you what finally worked for me after years of trying different products.

NUMBER 1: keep yourself from picking at your face at all costs! Just don't touch it except to wash! It's hard, I know!

NUMBER 2: Cut back on sweets, because (if I understand this correctly) excess sugar will make your body produce more androgens, and you will be more susceptible to acne, and more painful acne at that.

NUMBER 3: Eat tons of fresh fruit and vegies, and replace your grains with only whole grains, because healthy skin needs good nutrients fed to it. Also hugely important is to keep your body well hydrated (big issue for breastfeeding too), I'd suggest monitering your water intake for a bit to make sure it's sufficient.

NUMBER 4: I have had great results with a castile soap which contains some great botanicals, it's called Desert Essence Thoroughly Clean Face Wash, but you have to be very careful to rinse all of it, and rinse the edges of your face and neck with a washcloth. I get it in a large refill bottle at a natural food store, lasts forever. I also use Neutrogena Healthy Skin Formula with Salycilic acid and Vitamins, it has been very good to me. I didn't think I needed moisturizer for a long time because I had oily skin but I was wrong, and I've been using Aubrey Organics Green Tea with Ginkgo and SPF 15 and that keeps my face from being out of balance. Also, I only do all of this at night and don't put any products on my face in the AM.(FYI I am not a distibutor of these items, I just have found them to work.)

Also important is to love yourself even when you break out! You are a unique and beautiful woman doing a sacred thing, nourishing your baby through your own body! Revel in that and be good to yourself and remind yourself that the acne is temporary, but your relationship with your growing child is being cemented through this most sacred of communions! Celebrate that!

All the best.

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D.C.

answers from San Francisco on

A., I had the same problem when I was pregnant with my daughter - it was a nightmare. I just had another baby 5 weeks ago and this time was completely different because I saw a different dermatologist. I bought a product called Exuviance Professional from his office (in Livermore). It is a moisturizing antibacterial facial cleanser with 4% Polyhydroxy Acid with Triclosan. I am not sure where you can buy it but the phone number on the back is 1(800)225-9411. I brought it into my OB to double make sure it was safe and she was fine with me using it. I am happily still using it now while breastfeeding although my skin is now changing from super oily to super dry. I hope this helps. Good-luck!

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C.H.

answers from San Francisco on

A.,

As a MaryKay Beauty Consultant I have a cleansing bar, with a moisturizer that would even out the PH imbalance in your skin. We also have a Acne treatment gel that contains 5% Benzoyl Peroxide which is an Acne Medication. It contains NO warnings against Breast Feeding and is only to be used sparingly once or twice a day.

If you are interested I can send you a sample of the cleanser and moisturizer.... no cost.

I understand your frustration - this product has worked Miracles on teenage acne for my son and Nephews as well as very affordable. (besides that as a member of Mama source you get a 20% discount!!)

Please feel free to give me a call to discuss further.

Take Care,

C. Halbig
Independent Mary Kay Beauty Consultant - and mother to a 15 yr old son and 11 year old daughter!!

home # ###-###-####

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N.S.

answers from San Francisco on

Accupuncture helped me safely balance my hormones. Acne is a result of hormone levels being out of whack. I see Dr. Susan Fox in Mill Valley, Marin County

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C.B.

answers from San Francisco on

I use Skin Ovations in Danville for all my acne problems. I get whatever facial Victoria recommends. She is not pushy but has some great products. Your doctor will probably put you on Erithromyacin...yuck! Good luck and be patient. Getting old is great, huh? Oh, sorry...I think the term is "adult acne."

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N.L.

answers from Salinas on

i'm assuming you are in the monterey area. if so, go see brooke at saving face in carmel ###-###-####). she is a brilliant esthetician who cleared up my face. she will take into account your skin type and breast feeding concerns and create a solution especially for you. it's all topical, no pills. after dealing with acne for 15 years and trying everything from dermatologists to home remedies, brooke was the only person who could clear my face!

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T.L.

answers from Dallas on

I had that problem after my second child. I found a gentle cleanser called Purpose.I used it every morning and night using a light oil free moisterizer during the day and no moisterizer at night. I aslo stopped using makeup for a while too so as not to clog pores. When I do wear makeup I use Arbonnes tinted moisterizer instead of base. It heped me. I did not put any kind of acne fighting cream on. Hope it works for you. I know it is embarrasing but you are awesome for sacraficing your good looks for your kids health:) good luck and your hormones are sure to balance out eventually.

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S.K.

answers from San Francisco on

i would highly recommend lumiplexion in walnut creek. they went by the name "acne treatment clinic" for years, but recently changed their name...probably because it just sounds more grown up for those of us that have been going there since we were teenagers! they can create a skincare program that will work for you. i promise! these products are the only products that have kept my skin clear, and i have tried everything. and the products are affordable compared to many department store skin care lines.
you can check out their website: www.lumiplexionskincare.com
you can go in person to the office in walnut creek for a skin care consultation, or you can speak with them over the phone and they will help you pick out products that are just right for you. please give them a try! i'm also a breastfeeding mommy.

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B.C.

answers from Modesto on

Hi A.,

From a natural health point of view, we believe your hormones are out of balance. Pregnancy, breast feeding, etc. will keep that in motion:).

Some things you could try that aren't medicine, is extra virgin coconut oil or emu oil for moisturizing - they won't clog the pores, and you can add therapeutic grade Lavender essential oil (safe for baby also) which can greatly assist in clearing things. Also, make sure you're not having any constipation issues - that can plug up more than your colon. So, since you're still breastfeeding, you may consider adding more enzymes to your diet (more fruits and veggies, or they can be purchase in capsules - if you want help deciding which ones, just contact me) and probiotics (eat more yogurt if you're lactose tolerant). Those two items can make a difference in how you feel (bloating, gas, constipation that you may not even be aware of) and won't negatively affect your baby. And, even though it wouldn't happen overnight, I would expect your to begin noticing some positive changes.

Blessings,

B. C., CR, BCRS, LSH, SCCI, EFT-CC
Certified Reflexologisit
Board Certified Raindrop Specialist
Certified CARE Instructor (CARE - Center for Aromatherapy & Research Education)
Certified Newborn Massage Instructor

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C.P.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi A., i work as a skin and wound care nurse specialist. I hear your concern about acne and that you are breastfeeding. Most health professionals would prefer that you do nothing while breastfeeding because there are no long term studies done on the effects of skin procedures on lactating mothers. But there are other MDs and OB/GYNs that have no issues on these procedures. I am treating a client who is pregnant and got a release from her OB/GYN, dermatologist and primary doctor for a Fraxel Laser treatment to treat acne and melasma (hyperpigmentation). This type of procedure affects the epidermis up to the dermis and does not reach your blood stream therefore is safe even for breastfeeding moms. How long do you plan to breastfeed your baby?

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E.P.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi A. - I definitely sympathize. I had trouble with acne while pregnant and after. My dermatologist prescribed CLEOCIN-T 1 % EX GEL that I applied a thin layer in the morning and night after washing my face. It worked wonders and I trusted her judgment on what to use - both because she was a dermatologist and works with acne cases daily but also because she is a mom of two, so very conscious of not prescribing anything she felt would be harmful. Good luck!

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T.D.

answers from San Francisco on

This is going to sound crazy but it works!!!! Try putting some of your breastmilk on your face. Breastmilk has amazing anti-fungal/anti-bacterial properties that help fight all sorts of things. I know that when my son had baby acne I put milk on each spot and they cleared up within a day. When he had an eye infection I put my milk in his eye and it cleared up within a few days. When he had a cold his doctor said that I could put milk in his nose to relieve the inflamation in the sinuses. I've even put my breastmilk on my zits and they've cleared up so fast. I know it souds insane but it really does work. There's a reason breasmilk is SO AMAZING!!

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T.R.

answers from Sacramento on

I use a facial cleanser line from Arbonne. It is all natural and works wonderful. They also have a baby skin care line that is the best. My son had trouble using all--literally all-baby soaps and this one was gentle enough for him. After I found the stuff for him I decided to try the line for myself and my face has cleared up amazingly. It is rather expensive but if you are interested I can get it at a discount rate for you. Hope you find a solution.

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L.F.

answers from Stockton on

I'm curently breastfeeding a 5 month old baby ,yes dont stop we all know its the best gift we can give our children .
I sufer w/ acne problem for years and felt horribleeeeeeee
I can imagine how u feel i tried just about everything & maid the problem worse i use to wear make-up to cover the acne to cover up and was emberance to go out in public with out make up also just like u . I witched to MAc from(Macy's)& makeup remover by Olay Regenerist daily regenerating cleanser exfoliates to detoxify and speed cells natural regenerating processs Amino peptide complex + oxygenated derma-beads
~But keep in mind we r all different u might want to give it a try . Its working for me .

Hope it helps

L.

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P.R.

answers from Sacramento on

Hi A.,
I am very new to this site. However, I am an esthetician (skin care therapist). I went through the very same problem when i had children. Mine are now teenagers. Your body is going through a hormonal surge. There is no over the counter product out there that is going to change your skin dramatically. When you finish breastfeeding, over time it will clear up. If not, you can try prescriptions from your doc. In the meantime, here are a few suggestions: Make sure you cleanse twice a day with a cleanser that is not completely stripping your face. That "squeaky clean" feel is not necessarily the best "end result" for your skin. You can use a gentle benzoyl peroxide, and then ALWAYS moisturize. When we replace the moisture barrier to our skin we allow it to heal. The breakouts come up and out much faster. When using benzoyl peroxide, bigger is NOT better. 2.5% is always what i recommend. It doesn't irritate the skin. Proactiv's renewing lotion is just that. I'm not necessarily totally behind their product, but they are one of the few that makes it as a 2.5% anymore. It's gentle, and does the job. But remember to always moisturize afterward. Their renewing lotion is not a moisturizer, it's essentially a treatment serum. So get yourself a gentle moisturizer. I work with Dermalogica, and love their age smart and acne lines. But a good moisturizer from Oil of Olay will work well also. To help with healing, add a drop of straight tea tree oil to your moisturizer morning and night. It's a great antibacterial, and is wonderful for scaring as well. It stinks, but you'll get use to it after awhile. Don't buy lotion with it in it. Buy it pure...usually costs about $10 a bottle and will last 6 months. If you have any more questions, just let me know. I am happy to help.

Pam

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S.G.

answers from Spokane on

Hi A.,
There is a product called "Zap It" which has something called Melaleuca oil (tea tree oil) in it, and it has worked wonders for my skin. I can send you the ingredients that are in it so you could show them to your doctor and see if it is safe for you to try; I say that to be on the safe side, but I used it all during pregnancy (when I got horrible acne!), and have used it while breastfeeding. It contains no harsh chemicals or preservatives, and is about as natural as you can get. My friend , Jana, sells it, so if you would like to try it, she has a deal where you can try it for four months, and if you don't like it, you can send back the empty bottles and get all your money back. Anyway, it worked great for me. Jana's e-mail address is [email protected]____.com if you'd like to ask her about it.

I forgot to mention too that Jana has some great make-up products that are actually healthy for your skin, with no preservatives or chemicals. They make a cosmetic line for acne prone skin, and when I used it with the Zap it stuff, I had completely clear skin in about 30 days.

Hope that helps!

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C.L.

answers from Fresno on

If nothing else works-stop breastfeeding and get on medication that works.

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J.D.

answers from Bakersfield on

A.-

Go to Bath and Body Works and get the Wexler MD Dermatology Acnescription. A 30-day supply will cost you about 40.00 but it is the ONLY thing that has treated my adult acne- I too tried Murad, ProActive, and everything else. I still get a pimple or two, but NOTHING like it was...

Good Luck!
J.

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L.L.

answers from San Francisco on

My step-daughter has had great success with acupuncture treatments for Rosacea. Perhaps the same will help for acne?

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J.L.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi A.. I am an Aesthetician and I think you would see a big difference if you were using a professional product that had Salicylic acid in it. Sal is very safe to use during pregnancy as well as Breastfeeding. Getting some regular treatments with an Aesthetician would help alot too. Where do you live? I have a Member Perk on this web site, the name is Jewelskin. If you live to far away, I may be able to make a reccomendation of someone in your area as well. Either way, over the counter products typically have a very low percentage of active ingriedients, and usually just strip you out and make your skin produce more oil to hydrate itself. I hope this helps, have a good day! J. Lukens

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L.C.

answers from San Francisco on

Yea! High-five for breastfeeding and putting baby's health first! Now, treat yourself! Try http://www.yonka.com/

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A.M.

answers from San Francisco on

I'm 7 1/2 months pregnant with twins and found with this pregnancy my skin has had a lot of break outs. I faced the same thing as you regarding the dermatologist. My doctor prescribed me a high grade benzoyl peroxide cream. Before using it a girlfriend of mine recommended a product called "Obagi" I found that this has subdued my breakouts and assisted in clearing up the hyperpigmentation.

This product is usually found at various dermatologist offices or on-line. Good luck!

Sincerely,

An understanding mom

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H.R.

answers from Sacramento on

A., you are an awesome Mom to put your skin second to breastfeeding!

I have battled acne and breakouts and after using everything on the market for all my teenage and adult years and finally found that the simplest treatment is best for me, the doctors are right as I have much calmer skin lately. Do not aggitate your skin scrubbing, only over-activates oil production, a vicious cycle, use a soft washcloth with warm water and soap and always moisturize.

I like these products best, Clean & Clear cream (mild but does the job without acid etching your skin!) Salucitic Acid Cleaning Pads like Stridex, Burts Bees Apricot Baby Oil for ouchies (we started using it as a miracle cure for inflamed skin and "owies" after we saw it was miraculous on our baby!

Also Burts Bees diaper rash ointment takes a diaper rash away in 1 night and inflamation out of a breakout in the same amount of time! Also Antiobiotic CREAM (not ointment) will heal an infected area quickly (you may want to ask your doctor about that).

When I had my daughter my ARMS broke out - it was disgusting, looked like bed sores and I struggled but that was by far one of the best times of my life with my baby fat broken out ARMS and all!

Maybe you need to adjust your diet a little for the effect of better skin - try eliminating something like diary, then wheat or reduce them and see what happens!

Good luck, it's ALL worth it.

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J.K.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi there,
I had bad acne after my second child was born. I too was breastfeeding.

I went to my dermatologist and she got me all fixed up. She gave me a topical wash (Triaz?) but not sure that is the one that they still recommend as now (granted, I'm not nursing) she gave me a different kind. The wash helped a TON! I think she also gave me another topical ointment. Hard for me to remember now. Anyhow, I waited so long to go in but when I did and then started the medicine, it made a HUGE difference. Also, the Yasmin and Yaz birth control pills (I think one is better than the other) are supposed to really help for women with mild to moderate acne. They have helped me too. I tried going off them once my acne cleared and it came back a little so I'm going back on them again.

Anyhow, try your dermatologist. I see Dr. Fullerton Stone in Menlo park with Menlo Dermatology. ###-###-####

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K.H.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi A.,
you are doing great! And I bet you look positively beautiful to both your sons!

It sounds on the face of it that your current acne is most likely a response to hormone changes and may be slow to self resolve as your body changes. I believe you have made the correct choice to continue breastfeeding and put your skin condition as a lower priority. I also believe you are right to seek some healthy (for you and baby) approaches to the problem right now.

I personally have found the Tea Tree Oil Blemish Stick form Body Shop to be very effective at treating acne break outs. It is a gel based application that does not show and quickly treats a spot (or an area if you spead it around).

Several of the Organic and other natural skin care companies should have basic cleansers and skin treatments that may help without being a risk for toxic absorption. Likely there is no need to go overboard though, often when we try to scrub and clean away acne we actually make the situation worse by stimulating the skin.

I do hope you find a solution that works well for you. And again - great mothering! Thanks for being a terrific example to us all.

K. H.

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J.K.

answers from Modesto on

Hi A.,

I was wondering if you have heard of the company Arbonne International. I am a Independent Consultant and our products are botanically based, pH correct, no animal by-products, certified vegan and do not do animal testing. We also have an acne treatment set that has worked better for my clients than the other ones you mentioned above. We have a website that you can go and view our products www.arbonne.com

I can understand how you feel and I hope that we may have something that will work for you while you are nursing. We have products for the whole family. Take a look and let me know what you think. I hope I can be of help to you.

Have a great day

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H.M.

answers from Sacramento on

I too had horrible acne while breastfeeding and tried all the over the couner products as well as topical prescription products and nothing worked for me either. When I stopped breastfeeding I tried prescription oral meds and that did not work either. I was told about laser treatments. I went to a dermatologist and had laser treatments on my face and could sart to see results the next day. It is expensive but well woth it in my opinion. And as far as I know you don't have to stop breastfeeding to have laser done. Keep up the good work!

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M.S.

answers from San Francisco on

I had a friend who experienced similar issues and just recently switched to Cetaphil which is really mild. It cleared things up for her right away (I think sometimes the harsher cleansers just cause more irritation). Also, this sounds totally bizarre, but I heard that if you clean your face, then put an think layer of olive oil on for a few minutes (then wash it off of course) that it really helps! I admittedly never tried it personally, and the thought seems a little counter-intuitive and even gross, but if you're willing to try anything it can't hurt! Good luck. I know how difficult acne can be...

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L.A.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi A.,
Jafra makes a product called Malibu Miracle Mask which I have seen work miracles on numerous clients. It contains ground almond meal, honey, peppermint & spearmint oils. The cost is $14 plus tax/shipping.
One of my client success stories was a young college student who contacted me several years ago with several acne and "plateaus" which had begun to scar. He too had tried everything else on the market before he heard about Jafra. I had him use the Malibu Mask and within 30 days he had prefectly clear skin except for a very small area on his right temple. This product works extremely well and is natural. In fact, in a pinch, it can be used as toothpaste.
I don't know where you live, but if you're in the San Jose area, I personally deliver to my clients. I also ship to clients in many locales and do not charge extra for the service. As a Mamasource member you are entitled to a discount, see my ad & coupon under member perks.
Let me know if I can be of assistance.
Good Luck! L.

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R.J.

answers from San Francisco on

My doctor lets me use a topical called erythomycin-benzoyl peroxide topical gel and azelic acid. I too am still breast feeding and it helps. Burts Bees has an acne stick that I like. I know what you are going through, none of the over the counter products have ever worked for me, even proactiv.

Good Luck!
R.

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K.Z.

answers from Lubbock on

Have you tried Clinique? They have a 3 step system similar to ProActive, but it worked for me when nothing else did. I also have the same hormonal acne when I get pregnant and breastfeed. Also, make sure you are using a clean washcloth when you are washing your face, just to make sure that you are exfoliating.

You can get Clinique at Macy's and probably online. The starter kit is around 30 dollars. They also have a bar of soap that you can use for body breakouts. It is about 12 dollars...I have just started using this and I like the results that I have gotten. I hope that it works out for you...I know how awful it feels to have breakouts. Good luck!

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A.S.

answers from Sacramento on

Good morning A.,
hope all is well! I just come across your story and i just wanted to say that you are beautiful!!! I wanted to share a quick story with you...my husband and i do sales and marketing for a wellness company called visalus sciences and we have a patented total health system called the vi-pak...the dr. Behind us is dr.michael siedman and he is top 1% of all doctors...if you google him he has a 48 page bio...we had this grandmother buy the vi-pak for her 18yrs old grandson...who like yourself also had very bad acne for most of his teen yrs and felt the same way you did!! She bought the vi-pak for him hoping it would help him improve his immune system and to help him recover form his work-outs...little did she know that it would improve his acne along w/build his immune system and help him recover from his work-outs....and it did it in 10 days!!!!!!!!!!! You should check out our website visalus.com...all our products are 30 days money back gauranteed!!!!!! And its safe to take well your nursing...dr.michael siedman's wife took the vi-pak w/all 3 of her perganacies...also on thursday night the dr takes phone calls where you can ask him any questions or concerns you might have...oh yeah when it comes to make up you should try wearing bare minerals..its all natural and its actually good for your skin...and that too is also 30 days money back gauranteed...
Let me know if you have any questions....have a blessed day!

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S.W.

answers from Sacramento on

Hi, I am new to this site. I had the same problem. My sister is an esthetician. She suggests lavender oil dotted on each "bump". Maybe give that a try.
S.

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S.C.

answers from Sacramento on

Hi A.,
Sounds like you do have your priorities straight re. breastfeeding vs. the temporary (albeit frustrating) insecurities caused by the acne. I'm in WY right now, but, at home, I have a book on drugs that are okay to take while breastfeeding. I am an RN, and got certified as a Lactation Educator. I did consulting for several years, then, have been homeschooling my girls and sold my practice. You may need to send me an email at [email protected]____.com, to remind me to look in my book when I return on Monday/Tuesday.
Hang in there. I am sure your son adores you and doesn't even notice the acne! ;)
S. Conroy

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T.L.

answers from San Francisco on

Dear A.,
I own an small day spa in Palo Alto. What I do for my pregnant or breastfeeding clients is usually a corrective facial (steaming with a safe enzyme) then manual extractions to keep pimples at bay followed by a therapeutic mask. I also have done a microdermabrasion treatment (which exfoliates the skin) followed by extractions. A natural sulfur mask can also be applied to help absorb impurities. If your pustules are active, try sleeping on a clean side of your pillow case every night, on the third night exchange it for another clean one. At night as we sleep it is important that your face lay on a clean surface. Take heart your acne is hormonal and temporary and worth every bit for your precious baby.

Take care, T. Crandall
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L.N.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi A.,

Lots of interesting advise your getting.
This is a hard one, because of the breatfeeding.
I had really bad eczema on my face, after all of my kids (3) and broke out in hives! Ahhhhhh! Our bodies are going through alot of hormonal changes and yours reacts with acne. One thing that I did (besides itch) was use a tanning bed about 3 times (only about 10 minutes each or so) and it cleared up my eczema beautifully. Something to do with the ultra violet rays that helps it. For the hives I had to go on low doses of prednizone (sp) over 5 days. So, sometimes your body needs a jolt to knock it back into normal mode! Good luck

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B.C.

answers from Sacramento on

Try Seabreaze, it's in a clear bottle(I think it's an astringint) greenish blue in color. You can find it at Target or Longs, possibly the grocery store. I had the same problem after having my second, and my third. Seabreaze was the only thing that worked. I too tried ProActive!! Those darn hormones are more powerful now than when we were teenagers(at which time I never had acne!)!

Hang in there, and hope the seabreaze works!

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T.F.

answers from San Francisco on

I have been right where you are and I was miserable. After I delivered my surrogate twins, a friend brought me "All Clear" - a line from BeautiControl and I LOVE it!! It worked so well and the cost was incredible. I loved it so much I became a consultant (to get the discount and to share with others just like us) :)

Log onto www.beautipage.com/sonomaspa and check it out, I am sure you will love it too :) I can send you a sample too if you would like. You can email me through my web site.

T.

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Y.G.

answers from Fresno on

I've been experiencing more problems with excessive oily skin and acne during my second pregnancy as well. However, while looking for ways to make sure I didn't gain excessive weight, I stumbled on a book called "Pregnancy without Pounds" online! It's awesome, and has lots of good tips on many different aspects of pregnancy. The same author also has a book called "Mommy without Pounds" which I purchased but haven't read yet. Anyway, this book states the cause of pregnancy breakouts, and those following are due to your androgen levels, which cause male maturation & premenstrual breakouts, and those are altered during pregnancy. Anyway, some tips for skin care for this problem were offered because they stated over-the-counter remedies are strongly discouraged because of all the chemicals in them that absorb into your system. So I tried the natural remedies they suggested and I've definitely noticed changes, and my skin looks clearer and is extremely soft. Give it a try!!

OILY SKIN/ACNE TIPS:
1. Exfoliate naturally with plain yogurt & finely ground walnuts. (As often as needed)
2. Wash your face morning & night with a gentle cleanser (natural - 1/2 cup of oatmeal or cornmeal with just enough plain yogurt to make a paste).
3. Rub your face with freshly cut lemon slice to remove residue.
4. Use Witch Hazel or toothpaste to reduce inflamation of a blemish.
5. Apply a hydrating water based cream such as "Biotherm".
6. Eat good food, drink plenty of water, don't squeeze pimples or touch your face with hands the oils can clog pores. Don't sleep with your make up on no matter how tired you are.

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J.C.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi A.,

I had/have the SAME issue!! About 6 months after going off my birth control pills I had HUGE abscess type acne around my nose. So huge I could express the same one three times in one day and it still would not go away. And painful!!! It’s called hormonal acne and there really is nothing you can do about it while regnant or breastfeeding. Right now you are probably on the “mini pill” or no birth control and that is why it is still a major problem. Until you stop breast feeding there isn’t really anything you can do.

However, there are things I have tried and liked that help with the healing and passing of them faster…other than toothpaste <grin>. The Skin Store is a great site with awesome products and great definitions of them to find what works best for you.

A cleanser I have used: http://www.skinstore.com/store/product.asp?catID=0&amp;pr...

Things with green tea extracts or tea tree oil in them are great for healing and prevention. I have found that most of the prevention products I have tried do not work for me though because my acne is hormonal, not atmospheric. So read and buy based on their healing and soothing aspects.

Other than this advice, I say invest in a good concealer <grin> Este Lauder has a good one that blends in well so you don’t have to use a foundation over your whole face. I can’t leave the house without a spot here or there…even to the gym!

Best of luck!! And kudoes to you for sticking the breast feeding even though!

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M.G.

answers from San Francisco on

I have been selling Arbonne for over 6 months and have seen some dramatic results with our Clear Advantage product that is much safer than ProActive and gentler on the skin. Clear Advantange uses salicylic acid instead of glycolic acid which is much harsher on the skin. We also have a supplement that works from the inside out. The supplement is a vitamin, mineral and herb blend. If you want me to send you the ingredient sheet, please send me your e-mail address so I can send it as an attachment. You can also look at the product through my website: marcigould.myarbonne.com - click on shop on line to view the various products. I hope that helps. Feel free to let me know if you want to order something and I can help you get a great price.

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R.G.

answers from Sacramento on

HI A., Sometimes what is on the out side is from somthing from within. I will recomend that you try a new skin care from Japan that is all natural! It has just arrived here in our country and it is wonderfull! it's called optimal skin care. You can go to www.gomanna.com to order it. I will also suggest that you look at their wellness products. This is a research and developement company that offers the best in health products and they just decided to add a skin care line since the skin is the largest organ of the body! I use all their products and because I get great results I like to share them with people looking for hope health and oppertunity! . Here is another site to look at www.sweetanswer.com this is just an information site it will answer alot of Questions for you . I hope this helps! I can make a difference one person at at time. R. G.

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J.M.

answers from Modesto on

Don't freak out but try putting breastmilk on you face 1-2 x's a day. It's as natural as you can get-lol

also drink lots of water and try not to touch or pick at your face. Good luck. Sorry you are going through this.

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D.S.

answers from Stockton on

Try Mary kay makeup
I had that same problem
Danielle mother of 4

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S.L.

answers from Sacramento on

There are lots of amazing products out there, but in my case, I found that if I went with something expensive, I might not be able to get it again when I ran out. I needed something I could be sure to stick with consistently. As an adult I can no longer use harsh products or my skin gets red, peely, itchy and tight. Neutrogena On-The-Spot is a miracle treatment because it's a 2.5% benzoyl-peroxide cream that's as effective as the 10% cream, without hurting your skin. "On-the-Spot" is misleading because you need to smear it generously over your entire face morning and night after moisturizing. It cleared me right up. This is the first routine I've stuck with for years without changing, because it works! The thing I discovered was that I couldn't use any additional products with acne medication in them or my skin would dry out as I said. I use Cetaphil cleanser for sensitive skin (the generic version from Target) -super gentle- and a good rich moisturizer with aloe- nothing that either causes or treats acne- just gentle. Watch out because "On-The-Spot" bleaches natural fabrics, but it's worth it because my face is clear! I applaud you for keeping up the breastfeeding as long as you feel is right.

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C.T.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi A.:
I'm not breastfeeding yet, but I definitely broke out during my pregnancy (this is my first). Here's what I'm doing to keep the acne under control (note: it's not gone, but it's manageable...i can wear my Glo Minerals powder and it looks fine).

1) If you have great insurance, see if they cover "Acne Surgery." Essentially, this is a facial with extractions without all the frills of a massage, etc. If they cover it, find a dermatologist nearby that performs these. The "surgery" will cost you the co-pay. What a deal huh?
2) If you have a really big one that's under the skin, you can ask to have a cortisone injection. You can research this online, but my dermatologist said that it's safe. In fact, they use the same type of cortisone injections on hips or wrists during pregnancy when women have these problems.
3) Don't pick...if you do, make sure you're doing it the right way. The dermatologist's office can instruct you on how to do this without making a mess. BTW, the majority of my acne has cleared up just by me NOT picking.
4) If you do pick, once it's dry (very important...has to be dry and not seeping), put on Avene's Cicalfate cream. (abpit $19.00 for 1.4 oz). Miracle stuff. I ready reviews and they said it was like diaper rash ointment...I have no idea yet, but it works for me. I love it. Once everything is healed (usually over night or at the most 24 hours), you can put on your acne treatments. see #5
5) I love Sonya Dakar's Acne Fighter. I bought the 0.5oz because I like the pump and it's easier to control the amount. Blend this in with the skin during the day, and spot treat at night.
6) Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. I use, get this, Aquapor. If I treat something with Sonya Dakar's AF for 24 hours, i take a small break to make sure i'm moisturizing the area with Aquaphor. Then I resume for another 24 hours.
7) If i'm really desperate and can't get to the dermatologist for the cortisone injections (which I've been trying not to do anymore), I spot-treat with hydrocortisone 1% overnight. I then treat with #5 the next day.
8) If I'm really, really, really desperate, after doing #4 and #5, I would spot treat with Origin's Spot Remover over night, and then I'd repeat #5 & #6.

Good luck!

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C.T.

answers from Sacramento on

Hi A.!

I had a similar situation with our second daughter who is now 4. I also tried ProActive, Murad & also Obagi. None of them worked consistently, which told me that something else was causing the acne. I was also nursing (until she was almost 2) & I'm not that medically inclined anyway, so I wasnt interested in the antibiotic route even if I wasnt nursing.

I started to pay attention to my entire body & started to notice all sorts of symptoms. Most of which my obgyn & family practice dr. wrote off as being related to stress of having a new baby. But I'd already done this before, she was our 2nd daughter & I wasnt feeling stressed out about it. Then one of my best friends suggested that I get my thyroid tested. My dr. said it was highly unlikely that I was having any probs with that, so I didnt pursue testing. Then TWO other friends suggested the same, both had thyroid disease. All three educated me on what the symptoms mean, what tests to ask for because there's alot of misdiagnosing when it comes to thyroid disease.

VERY long story short, I do have thyroid disease, I self treated with very healthy foods (avoided thyroid triggers) & also some fantastic supplements. My acne cleared up within about a month of me starting my new regimen. I never medicated & continued to nurse until we were both done! I found a great Endocrinologist at UCD Medical Center who supports my natural approach as long as it stays in check & I've never turned back. I hired a trainer/nutritionist to help me develop a healthy, thyroid friendly menu that was also good for acne.

If you're not finding resolve with most remedies out there, I highly recommend you get your thyroid tested. There is a GREAT book called "The Thyroid Solution". I read it & I swear it was my auto-biography! Anywho, great read if you're picking up on symptoms more than just your acne.

A good friend of mine is seeing a naturopathic dr. in Shingle Springs area for her thyroid issues & is having great success. If you need any referrals, feel free to contact me!

Good luck!
Christie

C.C.

answers from Fresno on

Will your dermatologist prescribe any topical medications? I'm not sure if these are safe while breastfeeding, but my derm prescribed Duac and Differin, which in combination have cleared my skin right up! I believe one is a topical antibiotic, so maybe that wouldn't be safe for you, but the other is a benzoyl peroxide gel, which I would think would be ok? Also she recommended that I use a mineral-based powder foundation instead of the liquid that I was using before. I bought Bare Escensuals powder foundation at Sephora, and that has worked well for me so far. Also while I was at Sephora, the makeup artist said I should shampoo my makeup brushes at least once per week to keep them free of bacteria.

Also something I read was that you should clean and disinfect your phone (cell phone and desk phone) often. Amazing what kind of nasty stuff can grow on there, and then you press it up to your face...

Good luck to you on your road back to being a hot mama! =)

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T.P.

answers from San Francisco on

Do you have reddish skin where the pimples occur? I developed acne rosecea with my pregnancies and needed special medication from a dermatologist. Proactiv etc don't work because they are for a different type of acne. I wouldn't stop breast feeding bc of it as it doesn't go away overnight anyway (sorry to tell you this).
Also make sure to use a mineral foundation like Bare Minerals or Jane Iredale. They are so much gentler on my skin and have reduced my breakouts.

T.
44 with 2 boys 12 and 9

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E.T.

answers from San Francisco on

You may try brewer's yeast. I remember my grandmother making masks for me when I was a teenager.

Make a cream with the yeast and water and leave it on untill it dries and cracks.

I don't have any marks and I think it helped. Don't drink it because I don't know if it is safe and also it is not good if you have candida.
Hope this will help.

E.

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L.M.

answers from San Francisco on

hi-
i just recently took my brother (who was having an acne breakout) to a acupuncturist and chinese medicine practitioner. his skin has improved tremendously. i have heard acupuncture treatments can help with acne, but she also gave him some chinese herbs in pill form which i am not exactly sure about for a breastfeeding mom. she also had a lot os recommendations for his diet --what to avoid and what to bring in. let me know if this interests you to the point of needing any more info!
-L.

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A.M.

answers from San Francisco on

I sympathize. I have been through 12 years of dealing with skin issues with my son and the medications that either directly or indirectly affect the skin. Retin-A works better than anything on acne and I believe I used in while breastfeeding. Ask your dr. about that. It is highly concentrated vitamin A that works by changing the skin cells on the surface of your skin faster than would happen naturally. There have been times that I have dabbed just the faintest amount on a zit three times a day and it's gone by the next morning. Most people's skin reacts by reddening and peeling at first if you use too much, so just the thinnest layer will do, at night. My dr. says there's some evidence that the sun can neutralize it's efficacy. After a while it will prevent any development of pimples and your skin will be totally clear. It also greatly and visibly reduces wrinkles, so insurance companies don't like to approve it for their formularies, and is very expensive if its not covered. It was developed after Acutane (another effective acne med) was proven to cause birth defects. Since they are somehow related, I did not use Retin-A during my pregnancies.

Because of its incredible cosmetic effects, cosmetic companies started trying to replicate that same skin cell turnover with other acids, like alpha hydroxy and fruit acids. Since I have a prescription for Retin-A I don't bother spending the $$ on anything but moisturinzers, but I have learned that Retin-A works miraculously on a skin condition that my son suffers from on his feet. I have taken him to the most highly respected pediatric dermatologist on the west coast trying to explain how it is the only thing that works. With a room full of visiting doctors from around the country, she wouldn't listen and refused to give him a prescription. This leader in research ignored my testimonial and prescribed high potency cortisone! Cortisone thin the skin over time and as it is a very damaging stress hormone I believe it is to be avoided if at all possible. His regular dr.s won't prescribe him it either because the specialist won't. So by chance, when I was totally out of my own retin-A and had changed insurance co.s and didn't have a new prescription yet, I tried a cream that had SALICYLIC ACID in it. I couldn't believe it, but it worked just as well as Retin-A, and because it already had a moisturizer in it, my son preferred it to putting on two creams.

So, if you can't get Retin-A, try a cream with a high percentage of Salicylic Acid in it. Also, drink tons of water and I also believe that eating lots of papaya really heals things up. When I was little and I'd get so sun burned that I'd get sun poisening and would vomit everywhere, my mother used to give me papaya and lay the cold skin of the papaya directly on my sun burn. Sounds weird, I know, but it also still works. Just two days ago, my daughter had a cold sore that had been bothering her for a couple of days. We put the papaya peel right on it and she ate papaya and it was feeling better hours later and gone the next day. There's something about the papaya enzymes that go well with our skin.

Super long, but I hope super helpful. good luck

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P.M.

answers from Sacramento on

I might be able to offer you the answer for your skin. It's an at home galvanic spa that is just perfect for many skin conditions including acne. This brand new in home spa cleans and norishes the skin as you know proper skincare makes a difference. Just won " Best in Show "at the LA 2008 Spa and Resort Conference and Medical Aesthetics Expo.
It's known as the Wrinkle Iron..features self-adjusting galvanic currents and interchangeable heads for lines, wrinkles, scalp conditioning and body sculpting. Also is excellent along with the Nuskin Acne System for cleaning the skin. I have personally seen great results, best part it is not unhealthy or envassive in anyway.
Nuskin does not have any ingrediennts that block or clog pores

Nicole Kidman said she would not leave home with out a spa treatment.

See what it does at www.glavanic2.com
My website is www.pams.agelessway.com

Call me if you have interest and would like to learn more..
We also offer a money back performance guarenteed.

You can learn more on the web sites. I give free demonstrations to anyone, men and women.

I was talking to a salesman rep who worked for 20 years for a top of the line skincare line marketed to doctors etc., he went to our company to learn more about working for us and told me that we have the best skincare products on the market. Just encase you were thinking, How do I know if these are good products, they are all developed with scientifically research and clinical studies, many have patents. It's a Very Good Company that has been around for a long time. The company name is NuSkin.
Hope this helps. Maybe you will find what you need with us.

All the best,
P.

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J.M.

answers from Sacramento on

One suggestion is to actually put some expressed breast milk on your acne before goingdown for the night. Breast milk is magic stuff, and it helps with a sorts of skin issues, I've seen it used successfully for rashes, acne, etc. Also, good for you for continuing to nurse...

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