Treating Skin Problems During Pregnancy
Pregnant women should not use some skin medications. They can cause birth defects in babies.
If you are pregnant, breastfeeding or trying to conceive, avoid using the following:
- retinol or retinoids – these are tablets or creams made from vitamin A
- antibiotics like lymecycline and minocycline
If you want to try for a baby, wait a month after stopping these medications. Always talk to your GP before trying for a baby if you have been taking medication.
Treatments for skin problems that are safe to take during pregnancy include:
- glycolic acid – you can buy products containing glycolic acid at a pharmacy
- azelaic acid creams – your GP can prescribe these
- antibiotics like erythromycin
Tell your GP or pharmacist you are pregnant before asking about skin medication
Staying In Hot Places Can Cause Acne
Hormones aside, overheating can cause those zits to populate your face. Whether you are indoors or outdoors, avoid exposure to too much heat. When your body overheats, those tiny red bumps on your face could develop into pimples.
Pregnant women have a lower tolerance to heat since the baby growing inside you uses energy, too. This means you are more likely to suffer from overheating. Turn on the fan or the AC unit and try to stay in the shade.
Making sure that you maintain your ideal body temperature is a must. Aside from helping you avoid pesky zits, it also keeps your body healthy.
Too much body heat at any point of your pregnancy can be dangerous. This could result in miscarriage or birth defects. Stay out of the kitchen heat. Also, avoid going out in the sun from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Safe Treatments For Pregnancy Acne
Acne during pregnancy is a natural condition that usually resolves after childbirth. So, the safest course of action is good skincare. But, severe cases may need medical attention. Read below to know about some safe treatments for acne. Some experts recommend prescription medicines containing erythromycin or azelaic acid. Other options include over-the-counter products that contain benzoyl peroxide or glycolic acid. These medications are believed to be safe during pregnancy and do not pose an increased risk of birth defects. However, make sure never to self-medicate without first discussing with your doctor.
If you do not want to take medicines for pregnancy acne, you may try the natural remedies given below.
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What Can I Do To Help Prevent Or Treat Acne During Pregnancy
Here are some easy ways to help prevent acne during pregnancy:
Gently wash your skin with a mild soap and water. You can do this twice a day, but be careful not to scrub too hard, as this can irritate the skin. For more on this, read up on skin care that works.
Shampoo. If your acne appears around your hairline, or if you have oily hair, wash your hair with shampoo every day.
Choose oil-free skincare products. Go for non-greasy cosmetics, sunscreens, and hairstyling products.
Keep your hair off your face.
Always check with your doctor or dermatologist first, but over-the-counter products containing topical benzoyl peroxide, azelaic acid, topical salicylic acid, and glycolic acid may be OK to use during pregnancy.
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What Causes Pregnancy Acne
Its not guaranteed that your face will break out during pregnancy, but theres a good chance that zits or splotches will strike even if youve never been plagued by pimples before.
All that extra sebum can clog up pores and cause bacteria to build up, leading to breakouts.
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How To Control Acne During Pregnancy
Are you seeing more breakouts while expecting? Acne during pregnancy can be especially challenging since you want to steer clear of the stronger options often used to treat it. Pregnancy isnt the only reason to avoid harsh acne treatments, but you should take extra care when working to clear the skin while you are expecting. Heres why you might be seeing an uptick in blemishes and how to control pregnancy acne with natural formulas.
Is There Really A Pregnancy Glow
If youve ever been pregnant, you might have wondered, like I did, if this glow is a myth or if youre just unlucky. Personally, Ive never known anyone in real life who glowed during pregnancy, says Gao. That glow may be attributed to the increased blood flow that happens when you become pregnant. To be clear, its very real: Your body actually produces nearly twice as much blood as usual.
At the same time, your bodys also ramping up estrogen production, as well as the hormone androgen thats the one that causes the sebaceous glands in your skin to secrete more sebumjust like during puberty. Sebum, as you might know, is basically oil.
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When To See A Provider
Realistically, you dont need to see a healthcare provider at all for pregnancy acne. The blemishes may be uncomfortable but, Skotnicki says, its not harmful to your health or to the viability of your pregnancy. That being said, if severe acne becomes unbearable or it begins to scar, it might be worth speaking to your primary healthcare provider or dermatologist. If you have nodules or cysts or acne in more than 50% of your face, back, or chest, you should seek medical expertise.
When Does Pregnancy Acne Start
Pregnancy acne begins most often during the first trimester, usually at around six weeks, and even into your second trimester, says Angie Seelal, RPA-C, a physician assistant specializing in dermatology at Advanced Dermatology in Long Island, New York. Acne can improve during the first trimester, but could worsen during the third trimester due to increased sebum production.
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What You Can Do
In order to take good care of your skin and avoid getting pimples, you need to keep some tips in mind that you should practice on a daily basis throughout the months of your pregnancy. If you have pimples, or to avoid getting them in case you notice that you start to have more sebum on your face, do the following:
- Keep your skin well hydrated. Look for moisturizers, serums, or creams that contain hyaluronic acid and vitamin E.
- Choose products with antioxidant ingredients, such as vitamin C. This will improve the skins barrier effect for skincare and promote skin cell turnover rates.
- Use a good sunscreen for your face.
- Take probiotics.
What Can Help Pregnancy Acne
- Wash your face with a gentle, mild, fragrance free specific facial cleanser.
- Use warm, not hot, water.
- Consider using an oatmeal scrub to help unblock clogged pores. Make sure you arent too vigorousduring pregnancy the skin can become very sensitive and react to harsh treatment.
- Rinse your skin very well and pat dry with a soft towel.
- Replace your towel and washcloth several times each week.
- You may want to use disposable soft cotton or fabric pads to cleanse your skin.
- Ensure your towel is dry and does not stay wet in between uses.
- Wash your face twice a day. Any more than this can lead to the skin drying out.
- Use an oil-free moisturizer or facial serum. Avoid using too much product as excess may block the pores.
- Avoid any sun exposure. Heat and sweat can aggravate acne.
- Change your pillowcase at least twice a week.
- If you have long hair and or bangs, pull your hair back so it’s off your face.
- Wash your hair regularly to remove oil build up.
- Drink lots of water and avoid drinking too much tea or coffee. Two cups a day is generally acceptable.
- Speak with your maternity care provider if you are concerned about your acne.
- Wash your hands often, particularly if you tend to touch your face a lot.
- Ensure you have a good, healthy diet. Limit your saturated fat intake, aim for at least five servings of vegetables and two serves of fruit each day, and include wholegrains.
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Unsafe Pregnancy Acne Treatments
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, pregnant women should always avoid these acne medications:
Isotretinoin : Isotretinoin is a powerful, vitamin A-based acne treatment that is known to cause several severe birth defects. Never take isotretinoin if you are pregnant, think you may be pregnant, or are trying to become pregnant.
Topical retinoids, like tretinoin , adapalene , and tazarotene : These treatments belong to the same drug class as isotretinoin. Even though topical medications are applied to the skin, they can be absorbed into your bloodstream and then passed on to your baby.
Spironolactone : Spironolactone a medication commonly used to treat acne and high blood pressure is a hormone that could negatively affect a growing baby. To prevent any issues, many healthcare providers recommend using it during pregnancy.
Other Common Pregnancy Skin Problems
Unfortunately, acne is not the only skin condition pregnancy can cause. You might also experience stretch marks, pigmentation changes, skin tags, and broken capillaries. But on the bright side, most of these skin conditions are temporary, and more treatments are available after you welcome your baby into the world.
Rapid weight gain while pregnant can cause stretch marks. They look like long flesh-colored scars. The best way to prevent them, Dr. Skotnicki says, is to control your weight during pregnancy. You cannot prevent them with any creams or lotions.
Melanocytes, the cells that produce skin pigmentation, have estrogen receptors. Because of that, you may see a darkening of the skin on your nipples, in a vertical line from your belly button down to your pubic area, on your moles, and on your cheeks and jawline. The face darkening is called the mask of pregnancy. All this hyperpigmentation typically fades after delivery.
You may develop skin tags around the neck, under your arms, or under your breasts. Some of them will shrink or resolve after you give birth and your hormones calm down. If they dont go away on their own, there are OTC kits to remove them, or your dermatologist can take them off for you by freezing or cutting the skin tag.
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Is The Pregnancy Glow Real
The famous “pregnancy glow” can be attributed to hormone fluctuations, increased blood flow, extra oil on the skin, and heat rashes. There is no definitive time that you will start glowing from your pregnancy, but the features associated with this glow might develop at the height of your body changes, during the second trimester.
Disclaimer: The above information is for informational purposes only and is NOT a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your doctor or healthcare provider before starting or changing treatment.
Use Broad Protection Sunscreen Spf 30 Or Higher
Sunscreen should be in everybodys skincare routine. Pregnant women with more sensitive skin should never skip on it. Sunscreen helps, especially when you use acne medication, since some acne products make skin more sensitive.
Aside from being helpful in fighting acne, sunscreen can help with skin darkening. Hormones play a hand in these body changes, but preventive methods still matter. By using sunscreen regularly, you can avoid having darker-looking skin. On top of that, you can protect your skin from harsh UV rays.
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Are There Any Acne Treatments I Should Avoid
Experts recommend these acne medications be avoided during pregnancy because they can increase the risk of birth defects or other medical issues for your baby:
No matter what, read drug labels carefully, and check with your doctor before taking any acne medications, or medications of any kind. Avoid squeezing or picking at your pimples, as this can cause infection and scarring, and avoid touching your face, as this can transfer oil and dirt to your skin.
Acne might be one of the annoying physical changes you may experience at some point during your pregnancy. Although it can be a little frustrating, keep in mind that by following a gentle, cleansing skin care regimen, and possibly even taking acne medication, your acne may clear up, and you can simply enjoy your pregnancy glow!
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Does Pregnancy Acne Go Away After Birth
It would be nice if those pesky pimples went poof the moment your baby was placed into your arms. While pregnancy acne does eventually get better as your hormones return to their pre-pregnancy state, it doesnt always happen overnight.
In some cases, postpartum hormonal fluctuations paired with sleep deprivation and the stress of caring for a newborn can be yet another acne trigger.
Try to stick with the same healthy skin care habits you had during pregnancy . And ask your doctor about the acne treatments that were off-limits during your pregnancy. Even if youre breastfeeding, some topical treatments may now be okay.
Hormonal birth control may help too. If the pill had helped keep your acne in check before becoming pregnant, youll likely notice an improvement in your skin once you start taking it again.
Keep in mind, though, that the mini-pill a progestin-only birth control pill often recommended for breastfeeding moms wont help acne and can actually make it worse.
Above all, try to be patient. A fresh wave of postpartum pimples isnt fun. But eventually, your skin will settle back down.
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Medications Containing Female Hormones
Researchers are still undecided on this subject, which is related to the development of the fetus and female hormones certain hormones can be passed on to the infant during breastfeeding or pregnancy. However, it is believed to cause birth abnormalities in the newborn.
Even while acne during pregnancy is not uncommon, it can induce anxiety about utilizing topical medicines or any form of acne therapy during this time, which can lead to stress. With the hormonal changes that occur and the development of new life during pregnancy, it may be difficult to regulate acne during this time.
Uncommon Skin Changesexpand All
- What are some uncommon skin changes that can happen during pregnancy?
Some uncommon health conditions can arise during pregnancy and cause skin changes. These include the following:
Pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy
Prurigo of pregnancy
Intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy
In PUPPP, small, red bumps and hives appear on the skin later in pregnancy. The bumps can form large patches that can be very itchy. These bumps usually first appear on the abdomen and can spread to the thighs, buttocks, and breasts.
It is not clear what causes PUPPP. It usually goes away after you give birth. In the meantime, your health care professional may prescribe anti-itch medication to help with the itching.
With prurigo of pregnancy, tiny, itchy bumps that look like insect bites can appear almost anywhere on the skin. This condition can happen anytime during pregnancy. It usually starts with a few bumps that increase in number each day. It is thought to be caused by changes in the immune system that occur during pregnancy.
Prurigo can last for several months and may even continue for some time after the baby is born. It is usually treated with anti-itch medication applied to the skin and other medications, such as antihistamines and corticosteroids.
Wash with mild, fragrance-free soaps.
Add uncooked oatmeal or baking soda to your bath.
Use a heavy moisturizer on your skin twice a day.
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Do You Break Out More When Pregnant With A Boy Or Girl
The gender of your child is irrelevant when it comes to pregnancy breakouts. No scientific evidence shows more or less when youre pregnant with a boy or girldespite any superstitions to the contrary. The hormone changes producing acne happens with pregnancy in general.
That being said, if youre pregnant with multiple children, you have a higher hormone loadwhich means you are a bit more likely to get pregnancy acne than if you were having a single pregnancy.
Avoid Temptation To Pick
As irresistible as it can be, picking pimples or over-exfoliating your skin is not the right idea. “I always say, start to bug out, and then they scrub,” says Dr. Gohara. Try to avoid that. Do not overdo any treatments in an attempt to heal your acne. It could just make it worse. “It destroys the skin barrieryour protective mechanismand just enflames things a hundred times worse,” says. Dr. Gohara.
Plus, picking just gives the bacteria that lives in acne more opportunities to spread, says Sylvia Brownlee, an esthetician, holistic acne specialist, and founder of Skin by Brownlee Co., a Cincinnati, Ohio-based spa. “This can just lead to more breakouts!” she shares.
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Using Honey To Treat Acne
Honey can be used as a natural treatment for acne. Honey contains compounds that have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. These can prove effective in the treatment of nodular acne. You can use the honey through direct application on the acne lesions. The spot treatment works directly on the acne scar. You can also use honey to create a face mask that you can apply to the skin. Mixing honey with some lemon juice or a few drops of lavender oil can be very effective for treating the skin.
Most women experience skin changes when they get pregnant. While some get severe breakouts, others notice a clearing up of the acne. While there are some safe OTC topical treatments for acne during pregnancy, it is always advisable to consult your doctor before using the products. The doctor can recommend treatment for severe or persistent pregnancy acne. Make sure that you avoid retinoids and other oral treatments while you are pregnant or when breastfeeding. Applying an antibiotic like clindamycin on the skin is thought to be safe during pregnancy but it is best to consult your obstetrician before using it.