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Mommy Acne

Wondering why you've got more zits than a sweaty 14-year-old? You're not alone. Long-lasting acne is common in new moms. To face up to it, from Heather Woolery-Lloyd, M.D., a dermatologist in Miami:

Start over-the-counter. Try products with salicylic acid (which removes the dead cells in clogged pores) or benzoyl peroxide (which kills the bacteria that cause acne). If your skin is naturally dry, get a lotion with either 1 percent salicylic acid or 2.5 to 5 percent benzoyl peroxide; if it's oily, pick a gel with between 5 and 10 percent benzoyl peroxide, or try Clearasil Adult Acne Treatment Cream, which contains exfoliating agents like the ones used in professional chemical peels to get rid of dead skin cells.

Baby your skin. Use a gentle noncomedogenic moisturizer, like Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion, to counter the drying effects of pimple meds.

Don't overwash. Dirt doesn't cause zits, so cleaning your face more than once or twice a day won't help, and may even irritate your skin.

Try to get some rest. Sleep strengthens the immune system.

Get a prescription. If your zits won't quit, consider a stronger topical treatment, or an oral one. Hormonal birth control can help, too, so you may want to go back on the Pill. If you're trying to get pregnant again, keep in mind that most oral prescription acne drugs aren't recommended then; talk to your doctor about safe alternatives.

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