I felt like my skin took a major beating during pregnancy! No Botox, no retinols, new melasma. I was ready to jump back into my normal skin care and #tweakment
routine as soon as I delivered, but I wasn’t sure what products and procedures were safe while breastfeeding.
There are very few studies or reports on the safety of cosmetic procedures in patients who are lactating. The main concern of course is systemic absorption and incorporation into breast milk. A study published in 2013 found that most cosmetic procedures including botox, chemical peels, and lasers appear safe during breast feeding as the risk for transfer to breast milk is exceedingly low! Yay! However, fat transfers, liposuction, and sclerotherapy with sclerosing solutions are not safe during lactation.
More good news, more topical options are on the table during breastfeeding than during pregnancy. Benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid (which aren’t recommended during pregnancy) are safe while lactating. The jury is somewhat split when it comes to topical retinoids and retinols. Even though studies have shown the amount of retinoids absorbed is very low, given the potential harm these agents can cause and the lack of large randomized controlled studies in pregnant women, the official recommendation is to continue avoiding these agents while breastfeeding.
Fellow derm and OBs, what advice do you I’ve your lactating patients?