Using Other Acne Treatments During Pregnancy
Its more difficult to say what can safely treat acne while youre pregnant. Researchers dont give pregnant women medications, so there are no studies to tell us what happens when pregnant women use a treatment.
What we know comes from animal studies and women who have used acne treatments while pregnant. From this, researchers have learned the following about acne medications:
Adapalene : Most experts recommend stopping this treatment during pregnancy.
Antibiotics : Applying clindamycin during pregnancy is thought to be safe. Before using it while youre pregnant, its best to check with your obstetrician or dermatologist.
Antibiotics : Cefadroxil is an antibiotic that can help clear severe acne. In giving pregnant animals large amounts of this antibiotic, researchers havent seen birth defects.
The antibiotics that are often used to treat acne, such as azithromycin and clarithromycin, also seem safe during pregnancy. A few women, however, have had a baby with a birth defect while taking one of these. We dont know for certain whether the antibiotic caused the birth defect.
Pregnancy and antibiotics
Stop taking doxycycline, minocycline, or tetracycline by your 15th week of pregnancy.
Azelaic acid: This is thought to be safe to use during pregnancy. In animal studies, researchers havent seen birth defects.
For this reason, experts recommend that doctors be very cautious when they prescribe dapsone to women who are pregnant.
How To Clear Up Acne While Pregnant
More than half of pregnant women have trouble with acne during pregnancy. You are at higher risk of acne during pregnancy if youve had acne in the past. In some cases, the acne may be severe.
Similar to an adolescent going through puberty, there are higher levels of hormones in the body when you are pregnant. These hormones cause an increase of oil production in the skin and can lead to break outs.
Typically, the surge of hormones occurs during the first trimester, so if you dont develop acne in those first three months, its unlikely youll have breakout problems during the second and third trimesters. Fortunately, the acne subsides once hormone levels return to normal.
Beyond self-care, you might consider medication as a treatment for pregnancy acne. However, any medication that’s applied to your skin or swallowed can enter your bloodstream and affect your baby. As a result, it’s important to exercise caution during pregnancy even with over-the-counter products.
Options for treating pregnancy acne with medication include erythromycin , clindamycin and azelaic acid . These medications are typically applied to the skin and are available by prescription.
However, opinions about using benzoyl peroxide to treat pregnancy acne are mixed. There’s little research on the safety of benzoyl peroxide during pregnancy, although problems haven’t been reported.
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What Is Hormonal Acne And Why Does It Occur
Hormonal acne typically occurs during a certain point in the menstrual cycle, often the week before your period. These breakouts usually appear on the jawline or chin.
Although a non-pregnant person can suffer from hormonal acne, it is very common when a person becomes pregnant. “In your first trimester, there is a hormonal surge of progesterone, which is a hormone that makes the uterus a hospitable environment for the baby,” says Mona Gohara, MD, a board-certified dermatologist. “Progesterone can increase oil production and that hormonal surge plus the sebum can start the acne cascade.”
Some hormones level out during the course of pregnancy, which can help acne. This is not always the case, though. “Often, these breakouts decrease as the pregnancy continues into the third trimester, but the response is unpredictable,” says Rachel Nazarian, MD, FAAD, a faculty member at Mount Sinais Department of Dermatology who practices at Schweiger Dermatology Group in New York City. “Many people experience no acne at all, or acne throughout their entire pregnancy.”
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Can Severe Acne Appear Overnight
Acne is a chronic disease of the sebaceous glands. While pimples sometimes seem to appear overnight, acne breakouts are actually a long process that starts at the cellular level. All acne starts with a blockage of the hair follicle or pore. Understanding why a blockage starts and how a pimple develops can eventually help control acne.
Establish A Smart Daily Routine With Pregnancy
To clear pregnancy acne, start with a few gentle over-the-counter products, says Steven Feldman, M.D., Ph.D., professor of dermatology at Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Clear your shelves of any topical cleansers, makeup, or moisturizers that contain chemical exfoliants made with salicylic acid. Several over-the-counter topicals without salicylic acid, like benzoyl peroxide and glycolic and azelaic acid, are considered safe in limited amounts .
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What Does Pregnancy Acne Look Like
Acne causes different types of skin lesion. These include:
- Comedones are lesions that develop when sebum becomes clogged inside hair follicles. Comedones can be open or closed .
- Papules refer to raised areas of skin tissue that can vary in shape, color, and size.
- Pustules are pus-filled bumps that develop when the walls of skin pores break down. They can have a red or pink base with a yellow or white head on top.
- Nodules develop when a skin lesion gets irritated and grows larger. Nodules can burrow deeper underneath the skin than papules or pustules. These lesions usually require medical treatment, such as an oral medication that contains vitamin A.
- Cysts refer to clogged pores that contain a combination of bacteria, sebum, and dead skin cells. Cysts can develop deep within the skin. Doctors can usually treat cysts with prescription medication, but large cysts may require surgical removal.
Does Your Skin Change In Early Pregnancy After Menopause
Your skin and menopause. Menopause causes many changes in your skin. Your body stops producing so much collagen. You lose fat under the skin and your skin becomes less elastic. This, combined with dehydration caused by hormonal changes, can lead to sagging skin, especially around the neck, jaw and cheeks, as well as fine lines and wrinkles.
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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.
Does Pregnancy Cause Acne
Yes. It is fairly natural to develop acne when you are pregnant. The severity of acne during pregnancy can either improve or get worse. In mild cases, medication might not be needed, but it will require medical attention if acne is severe. Throughout pregnancy, there is an increase in androgen , which results in causing acne. Also, if women have a prior history of developing acne, there is a high possibility of experiencing acne growth during pregnancy.
What causes acne during pregnancy?
Hormonal changes and fluctuations are the leading cause of acne during pregnancy, yet there are several other factors that can be attributed to this.
- Overproduction of sebum is likely the cause for acne to occur during pregnancy. When the hormones, called androgens, cause the glands in your skin to expand and grow, it results in producing more sebum. This, in turn, blocks pores and leads to inflammation, bacteria growth, and breakouts.
- If you experience a tremendous amount of stress, this might lead to an increase in your stress hormones, thus resulting in breakouts or aggravate the existing acne.
- Throughout your pregnancy, the immune system changes. This can also be one of the factors for acne growth.
- During pregnancy, fewer toxins are released as your body retains more water. These toxins get trapped in the pores and try to escape through your skin and sweat, resulting in acne.
- Changes in diet can also cause pimples or acne to surface up on your skin.
Is acne a symptom of pregnancy?
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Signs It’s Time To See A Healthcare Provider
There are plenty of changes going on in your body right now. Sometimes it’s hard to tell what’s normal and what warrants a visit to the doc.
Here are some reasons to call your healthcare provider:
- Your acne is very inflamed, severe, or painful.
- Acne is in weird places.
- You’ve tried to treat acne on your own and it won’t go away.
- Any time you have questions or are unsure. That’s what your healthcare provider is there for, after all.
How Pregnancy Affects Acne
When it comes to how pregnancy will impact on your skin, the sad truth is that it really depends.
“Pregnancy can have a dual effect, depending on your skin type and your hormone levels during pregnancy,” Rai explains. “Hormones definitely have an effect on your skin and your hair – often pregnant women do notice a glow and an improvement in their hair – so hormonal influences definitely exist in pregnancy, but it depends on your balance of hormones, which is an individual thing.”
It all boils down to the balance between oestrogen and progesterone, which changes cyclically at different phases throughout your pregnancy.
“Some women are more sensitive to that balance, so everyone responds differently,” Rai says. “For the majority of women, especially if their acne is mild, I do tend to see it improve during pregnancy, but some people’s acne does get worse. There’s certainly no guarantee, so don’t get pregnant just to improve your skin!”
How to tackle acne during pregnancy
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Avoid Picking At The Skin
While this tip may seem obvious, it is imperative that we understand that although breakouts cannot always be avoided, you CAN control what happens once you get the breakout. The truth of the matter is, a blemish usually lasts 5-7 days, but the red or dark scar from picking at the blemish, can linger for weeksor even months. Suggested reading: How To Break Your Skin Picking Habit
Schedule A Professional Facial Or Chemical Peel
Put your skin in the hands of a professional dont try to go it alone. Youre a busy mom, focusing on adjusting your new baby into the world, so trying to take time out to figure out for yourself how to handle your skin is not where your time is best spent. A licensed esthetician can perform soothing problem skin treatments to the skin, as well as recommend tips and tricks and a home care regimen that you can easily follow.
You can also schedule a virtual consultation with an esthetician if you want expert advice without leaving the house.
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Acne After Pregnancy Is Normal
The sudden appearance of pimples can be narrowed down to one wordhormones. Acne is triggered by hormonal changes in the body. Thats why people often start breaking out during puberty, around the time of the menstrual cycle, during pregnancy, and immediately post-pregnancy. Its all because of hormones.
Just as your body changes during pregnancy and beyond, your skin changes too. So, you may find yourself breaking out for the first time during pregnancy, or in the weeks and months after giving birth.
Existing acne may clear up during pregnancy, or it may not. Giving birth may make existing acne better, or it may make it worse. Its all normal. And remember that everybody has a different postpartum experience, so your skin isnt going to follow the same course as your friends or sibling’s.
Your post-pregnancy acne may last for a short time and disappear on its own. Or it may stick around much longer. Either way, your post-pregnancy acne can be treated.
How Early Can You Start Having Pregnancy Symptoms
Some of the first symptoms of pregnancy may appear about six days after conception. Your body starts preparing for pregnancy almost immediately after conception, and some of these changes cause physical symptoms. An increase in hormone levels in the body is usually the cause of the symptoms you are experiencing.
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How Is Pregnancy Acne Different From Regular Acne
Pregnancy acne is different from regular acne because in most cases, it is purely hormonal. While regular acne can be caused by hormones as well, it can also be caused by diet and nutrition. So, for people who are not pregnant, making a few lifestyle changes often alleviates regular acne. Hormonal acne has different treatments and solutions. A nonpregnant person who has hormonal acne can take different approaches for treatment. But, someone who is pregnant needs to be cautious to avoid harming the baby. Not all acne medications are and treatments are safe for pregnant women. Because of this, acne during pregnancy can be somewhat difficult to treat.
There are some cases in which acne while pregnant is triggered by nutritional factors. But, this is far less common. For example, if you are midway through your pregnancy and have been eating more of something in particular and you notice an acne flare-up, that food could be the reason. Diet changes during pregnancy are something all women experience because the body needs different nutrients as it cares for both you and the baby. Also, the body may react differently toward certain foods while you are pregnant. If you think this could be something you are experiencing, speak with your doctor right away.
Natural Pregnancy Acne Remedies
Of course, alongside any medical treatment you may be taking, there are also natural ways to help clear up your pregnancy acne. Ensuring a proper diet, plenty of rest and a good facial hygiene routine will be beneficial. Below are some of the most popular home remedies and tips for treating your acne while pregnant without the risk of side effects:
- Rather than excessively scrubbing your skin, wash problem areas with a gentle cleanser. Strong astringents can irritate the skin, which will make acne worse
- Try to avoid picking or squeezing your pimples however tempting that may be. Picking can cause scarring and further infection
- Be aware of the products you apply to your skin. Oily cosmetics are a bad idea, as are heavy concealers. Keep your hair clean and try not to touch your face too often
- If you sweat a lot from heat or exercise, take regular showers to avoid blocked pores
- Ensure that your clothes, towels and pillowcases are washed regularly
- Apply topical natural remedies such as: apple cider vinegar, baking soda, citrus fruit, honey and coconut oil. Coconut oil is a great moisturiser for problem skin
- Make sure that your diet is rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, healthy sources of protein, and healthy fats like nuts and avocado. Where possible, avoid refined sugars, processed foods and caffeinated beverages
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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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How A Dermatologist Cleared Up Her Pregnancy Acne
Patients often say their acne is as frustrating as it is painful. I feel their pain! During my current pregnancy, I have been dealing with inflammatory acne nodules, which run deep below the skins surface. Larger and more painful than zits or blackheads, these hot, red nodules are more common during pregnancy. They also can leave post-inflammatory pigmentation behind.
Although masks can help cover up some of this acne, they also make things worse. This isnt a great look for a dermatologist part of my job is to help people keep their skin looking good, but even we can have problems with pregnancy acne and maskne!
In a recent study of women with acne, almost half of patients reported that appearance-related concerns negatively affected their social, professional, and personal lives. Many of them noted symptoms of depression, anxiety, and social isolation. Add these feelings to the other body changes in pregnancy and it can significantly affect your mental health.
But the good news is acne inpregnancy can be treated safely. Here are four tips to help clear up and prevent pregnancy-related acne breakouts.
1. Take a hands-off approach.
When acne first appears, our natural instinct is to:
- Pick, pop, or touch, which will only further clog the pore, damage the skin, and spread the outbreak.
- Try too many treatments, which can cause further skin irritation.
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2. Get a spot-on treatment.
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