How To Deal With Pregnancy Acne

What Causes Acne During Pregnancy

How to deal with acne during pregnancy

Many women experience outbreaks of adult acne during pregnancy, particularly during the first and second trimesters. Hormones called androgens drastically increase during this time. These hormones can cause pores to then produce more oil — called sebum — which can mix with bacteria, sweat, and dead skin cells, resulting in breakouts.

Acne during pregnancy can look like whiteheads or blackheads It can most often be found on the face, shoulders, back, and chest.

How To Treat Pregnancy Acne At Home

There are many home remedies for how to clear up pregnancy acne that are a great place to start if you are experiencing an outbreak during pregnancy. First, it is very important to keep your face clean by washing with a mild cleanser or gentle soap, as recommended by the Mayo Clinic at night before you go to bed or after a workout. When washing your face, use a clean washcloth or towel each time. When it comes to skincare products, be sure to use a light moisturizer that is oil-free. Adding oil-based moisturizer to your face can upset the balance of oils and lead to clogging of pores. Dr. Green recommends that your lightweight moisturizer contain SPF to protect against the sun or that you use a separate sunscreen that is non-comedogenic. It is important to wear sunscreen every day, especially if you are using acne treatments that may make your skin more sensitive to the sun.

How To Start Your Pregnancy Acne Treatment Today

If you are struggling with acne breakouts during pregnancy, expert, board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Michele Green, can help you navigate the best treatment plan for you. With over 25 years of experience developing the best skincare and acne treatments, Dr. Green will help develop the right treatment protocol for you. Whether it be topical treatments, oral antibiotics, HydraFacials, chemical peels, or other acne treatments, Dr. Green will customize a unique plan for you to have beautiful, clear skin. Dr. Green has been consistently voted as one of the best dermatologists in NYC for her acne treatments and acne scar treatments. Please contact us online or call to learn more about about safe and effective acne treatments for you while you are pregnant.

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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.

  • Tetracycline antibiotics, like tetracycline, doxycycline, and minocycline: These antibiotics can cause permanent damage to the growing babys teeth and bones.

How Can I Treat My Acne

How To Take Care Of Your Skin During Pregnancy

Unfortunately, treating acne when youre pregnant isnt as simple as picking up that tube of benzoyl peroxide. Treating your acne isnt easy when you are pregnant, as most zit-fighting products, whether prescription-only or sold over the counter, contain ingredients that are not safe for use during pregnancy.

You can see your doctor to find out what type of medication he would consider safe for your skin. Other than that, you will just have to be more attentive with your skin. Wash your face twice daily with a gentle cleanser. Avoid harsh and drying products because they will only irritate your skin and cause more breakouts. Try to consume less oily food and eat more foods thats good for the skin.

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Pregnancy Acne Can Start Anytime

Acne can crop up anytime during pregnancy since your androgen levels, and consequential oil production, increase early on in pregnancy. But be prepared for your third trimester, when your androgen levels are extremely high and acne can get especially bad.

Turns out, androgens help prepare the cervix for labor, which may explain why they increase as you near full term. How severe your acne is during pregnancy varies from person to person. For some, the extra oil, or sebum, production can be more subtle. But in others especially those who had acne as a teen they’re more likely to experience acne breakouts during pregnancy, according to Campbell.

In a study published in 2017 in the Journal of Dermatology, Venereology, and Related Fields, 90% of participants who had acne during pregnancy were experiencing acne before they became pregnant.

“While it seems a previous history of acne is the strongest risk factor for a flare of acne during pregnancy, the underlying causes of the flare have not been definitively determined,” Campbell adds.

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.

The breakouts, which tend to hit sometime around week 6 of pregnancy, have to do with hormone surges, of course. Specifically, progesterone causes your glands secrete more oil, called sebum.

All that extra sebum can clog up pores and cause bacteria to build up, leading to breakouts.

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How To Treat Acne Safely During Pregnancy

Since researchers dont test medications on pregnant women, pregnancy acne can be a challenge to treat. This means, we dont know for sure how safe they are. Several acne medications are dangerous for pregnant women because they can cause birth defects. So if you have pregnancy acne and wish to treat it, always talk to your prenatal care provider first. They can help you figure out what treatment works best for you.

Common treatment options for acne in pregnancy include topicals , pills, and procedures.

But topicals are the first-choice treatment for pregnancy acne. Thats because applying the medication to your skin greatly lowers how much medication is absorbed into your bloodstream. With this treatment, its best to use a thin film over a small body surface area.

While some medications may be harmful for pregnant women, the following topical treatments have not been linked to birth defects in humans:

Oral medications are a last resort for pregnancy acne. Theyre an option for short-term use if your acne is cystic and scarring. Antibiotics that can be used for pregnancy acne include:

Besides medications, some procedures you can do during pregnancy to improve your breakouts include:

Talk With Your Ob And Dermatologist

How I deal with Pregnancy Breakouts!

Before starting any acne treatment, even over-the-counter acne products, talk to your obstetrician.

Mild acne may not need any special treatment at all, and your healthcare provider might suggest waiting until the baby is born before starting a treatment. By that time, acne may have gone away on its own.

If your acne is worsening, if you have been battling breakouts since before your pregnancy, or your acne is severe, you may feel the need for an acne treatment medication. Obviously, for the health of your developing baby, you must be selective in the product you use.

While some treatments are safe, certain medications should not be used by pregnant or breastfeeding mothers. Your obstetrician and dermatologist must be part of your acne treatment team during this time because they can guide you to the safest, best acne treatments for you.

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What Is Acne Vulgaris

Acne vulgaris is the scientific name for common or traditional acne. It is a skin condition characterized by small blemishes that can appear in many places across the body where there are sebaceous glands, most commonly on the face, upper back, chest, and arms where there is the highest concentration of sebaceous follicles. The blemishes appear as a result of the hair follicles getting clogged by dead skin cells, oil, and bacteria. There are several different types of acne that are formed in different ways and can be either be described as inflammatory or non-inflammatory lesions.

How To Treat Pregnancy Acne

If you’re looking to treat your acne while you’re still pregnant, Campbell says to discuss treatment options with your obstetrician, even if they’re just over-the-counter products. Because many of these products contain chemicals that may be absorbed into the body and harm your baby.Some of the safer alternatives Campbell recommends:

  • Sulfur-based washes, which can help calm inflamed skin
  • Antibiotics such as clindamycin, which can kill acne-causing bacteria
  • Azelaic acid, a mild anti-inflammatory acid that can reduce swelling and redness

But, again, check with your OB-GYN first when making any type of health change during pregnancy, including those related to skincare.

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What Can Be Done About It

Unfortunately, those with a history of acne, especially hormonal acne, are at higher risk of developing acne while pregnant, Dr. Granite added. So what can be done about reducing the appearance of spots and acne during pregnancy? While strong anti-blemish face washes and products are a definite no-no, there are a few all-natural ranges which are entirely safe to use throughout pregnancy.

How To Get Rid Of Stretch Marks After Pregnancy

Cystic Acne Treatment During Pregnancy

So you’re pregnant and your skin is starting to stretch. Congratulations! But as your belly grows, you may start to worry about those pesky stretch marks.

Don’t worry, mama, we’ve got you covered. Here are a few tips for getting rid of stretch marks after pregnancy:

– Use a good moisturizer: Keep your skin hydrated by using a moisturizer every day.

– Use a stretch mark cream: There are plenty of creams on the market that are specifically designed to help reduce the appearance of stretch marks.

– Eat a healthy diet: Eating lots of fruits and vegetables will help keep your skin healthy and elastic.

– Exercise regularly: Stretching your skin helps keep it elastic and less susceptible to stretch marks.

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Avoid Retinoids Retinols Benzoyl Peroxide And Salicylic Acid

These ingredients are your typical go-to ingredients for acne treatments. Almost all acne-fighting products contain one or more of these chemicals. If you were treating acne before your pregnancy, odds are you have already been using these ingredients. If thats the case, youll need to switch to a softer acne-fighting product. These harmful ingredients can seep into your skin and interact with the baby and potentially have awful side effects. However, there are ingredients that are considered safe for pregnancy in certain cleansers. Erythromycin and clindamycin are generally safe for pregnant women and do not pose an immediate risk to the child.

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.

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What Is The Best Cleanser To Use To Prevent Acne

It is important to keep you face clean in order to prevent acne breakouts anytime. For that reason, Dr. Green recommends using a gentle cleanser to wash the area in which outbreaks frequently occur. Acne-specific cleansers will use ingredients such as salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and glycolic acid. When you consult with Dr. Green, she will recommend the cleanser that will work best for you to use for the amount of time that is safe during your pregnancy. Dr. Greens full line of cleansers can be viewed here.

Acne And Pregnancy: How To Treat It Safely

How can I deal with acne during pregnancy?

Pregnancy is a beautiful thing, but that doesnt stop it from being exhausting, uncomfortable, and often painful. To top it all off, you may also have to deal with acne. Luckily, there are several ways you can safely treat acne while pregnant.

There are two types of methods that you can use to deal with pregnancy acne: self-care/prevention and treatment. Practicing both can help you get rid of that pregnancy mask while preparing for your little ones arrival.

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A Dermatologist Can Help You Sort Out Your Options

As you can see, we dont have a lot of information about what can safely treat acne during pregnancy. Your health also plays a role in what acne treatments you can use while youre pregnant.

If you want to treat acne during your pregnancy, it helps to get expert advice from your obstetrician or a dermatologist before using any acne treatment.

ImageGetty Images

ReferencesChien AL, Qi J, et al. Treatment of acne in pregnancy. J Am Board Fam Med. 2016 29:254-62.

Murase JE, Heller MM, et al. Safety of dermatologic medications in pregnancy and lactation Part I. Pregnancy. J Am Acad Dermatol 2014 70:401.e1-14.

Why Am I Breaking Out

The acne breakouts are primarily caused by the same thing thats sustaining your pregnancy your hormones. Your elevated pregnancy hormones increase the sebum in your skin, and you may find your skin oilier. In addition, your body retains more fluids, which can in turn lead to more bacteria activity in your skin, leading to acne.

Theres no way to predict who will suffer from pregnancy acne, although if you already have adult acne or have hormonal break outs, you will most likely have it.

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Where Does Pregnancy Acne Occur

Pregnancy acne occurs most frequently in locations on the body in which sebaceous glands and hair follicles are most prevalent, including the face, arms, chest, and back. These areas are most likely to have high sebum concentrations, which means that oil is more likely to clog the pores, leading to a breakout. Breakouts commonly occur on areas of the face such as the forehead and chin, where women are more likely to touch their face with hands that have an excess of sebum and bacteria.

Pregnancy Acne: Why It Occurs And How To Deal With It

How to Deal with Acne Breakouts During Pregnancy

by Jennifer Scott | Dec 9, 2016 | Skin |

Acne is a common issue during pregnancy. Around the sixth week of pregnancy, you might experience acne breakouts because of hormonal imbalances. It is something that takes place during the first two trimesters. Androgens are produced more than normal. Dealing with this issue can be tricky but not impossible. Here are the main causes as well as natural remedies for pregnancy acne.

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What Products Arent Safe For Pregnancy Acne

Many of the creams and meds that are typically used to zap zits contain ingredients that could potentially harm your growing baby, so youll want to steer clear. Acne products to avoid during pregnancy include:

  • Retinoids. Serious breakouts in adults are sometimes tackled with such strong-arm products as Retin-A and other topical retinoids . All of these are completely off-limits until after you deliver and wean, since they can be absorbed through the skin into your breast milk and your and your babys bloodstream.
  • Doxycycline and minocycline. These are another definite no-no, since their use during pregnancy can negatively affect your baby. In fact, its best to avoid virtually all oral acne medication during pregnancy .
  • Oral isotretinoin. It poses the risk for birth defects, premature birth or miscarriage.

Topical salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide, two chemicals found in a huge range of skin care and drugstore products, are generally okay to use in small amounts during pregnancy, according to American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists as well as the American Academy of Dermatology .

However, not all experts consider them safe for expecting women. If youre considering using a product containing one of these ingredients, talk with your doctor first.

Other Treatments For Acne While Pregnant

Following the appropriate steps can go a long way toward preventing acne from occurring in the first place. Follow a healthy diet and ensure that you eat plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits. Drink plenty of water. Water will be able to keep your skin moisturized, as well as flush out toxins that could potentially cause breakouts. Ensure that you get the appropriate amount of rest to provide benefits to both your health and your skin. Practice good hygiene. Wash your hair regularly and keep it away from your face to prevent any transference of oil. Wash your face, but be careful not to wash it too much. Over-washing can remove the natural layer of moisture from the skin.

Wash your makeup off before going to bed and avoid touching your face. This will minimize the amount of oil that transfers from your hands onto your face. You also need to avoid touching, prodding, or otherwise messing with acne sores on the face. Popping or irritating acne can lead to scarring and simply exacerbate the existing problem. Change your pillowcases regularly and take the steps to protect your skin, by using moisturizer and sunscreen regularly, even during the winter months.

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