Acne During Pregnancy

image001The bumps and rashes that can occur anywhere such as your face, neck, hairline, breasts and even your butt is referred to as acne. These irritating little zits not only occur during puberty but also occur during pregnancy. Even though it is common to have acne during pregnancy, there are lots of remedies that you can use to make it disappear faster. Remember that precautions should also be taken when treating acne during pregnancy. 

Why Do You Have Acne During Pregnancy?

Pregnancy can act as a trigger for acne or existing acne can be made worse by pregnancy. During pregnancy, the level of androgens in the body becomes high, which causes the sebaceous glands to become bigger and produce more sebum. This excess sebum in association with dead skin cells clogs your skin pores, facilitating the multiplication of bacteria causing acne. All these factors increase the frequency of acne breakouts.

During pregnancy acne breakouts can be mild, moderate or severe and they can erupt any time during pregnancy. Acne breakouts may occur periodically or they may remain throughout the pregnancy.

What Are the Remedies for Acne During Pregnancy?

1. Proper Skin Care Routine

image002Acne during pregnancy is a natural skin condition, which usually resolves after childbirth. Hence, the safest remedy is to take good care of your skin. Some tips to alleviate acne are:

  • Limit washing your face to maximum two times per day or after heavy sweating. Do not over cleanse as it stimulates the sebaceous glands.
  • Use a gentle, alcohol free and oil free cleanser that is non abrasive.
  • Use a cotton pad, washcloth (change your washcloth every time you wash your face) or sonic cleansing system.
  • Use lukewarm water to rinse your face and gently pat dry. Apply moisturizer after every wash. Use warm soapy water to clean your cosmetic brushes.
  • Wash your hair regularly. It is best to wash your hair daily if you have oily skin.
  • Do not squeeze or pop your acne as this may lead to permanent scar formation.
  • Avoid scrubbing your face with a washcloth as it may aggravate the condition.
  • Avoid makeup when you can. If using makeup, use makeup products that are water based, instead of oil based ones. Also go for noncomedogenic products. Moreover, ensure that you remove your makeup before sleeping.

2. Topical Products

image003According to some skin experts topical products containing either azelaic acid or erythromycin can be applied to pregnancy acne. You can also use over-the-counter products containing either glycolic acid or benzoyl peroxide. As only about 5% of topical products are absorbed into the body; hence, it is believed that using such medications would not harm the baby.

However, remember that many medicines have not been properly studied as to their effects on pregnancy. Hence, do consult your physician, before starting any acne treatment. Click here to learn more about skincare during pregnancy as well as skincare ingredients to avoid while treating acne during pregnancy . 

3. Tea Tree Oil

image004You can also apply tea tree oil or lavender oil on the area affected with acne. These essential oils have antibiotic properties, thereby destroying microorganisms and reducing the symptoms of redness, itchiness and stinging. You can have a steam facial with boiling water that is mixed with a few drops of tea tree oil. After the facial, splash your face with cold water as it helps to close the pores.

4. Lemon Juice

image005Citric fruits and lemon are natural exfoliates. Take a bowl and squeeze some drops of lemon juice or juice of any citrus fruit. With a cotton ball apply this juice to the affected area. Leave it for 10 minutes and then rinse with cool water.


5. Aloe Vera Gel

image006You can also use the gel obtained from Aloe Vera plant. Cut the stalk and squeeze out the gel. Apply it with a cotton ball to the pimples and leave for 10 minutes before rinsing with cool water.


6. Healthy Diet

image007You should also avoid eating sugar and refined grains. Moreover, avoid eating unhealthy fats such as those found in fried and baked foods, instead eat more of skin boosting healthy foods such as salmon, avocado, almonds and walnuts. Some more foods that are skin friendly are fresh fruits and vegetables, and small quantities of dark chocolate (the darker the chocolate is the better it is).

Notes: Before going for any medicated topical solutions, try the natural solutions such as coconut oil, vitamin C, zinc, probiotics and dietary modifications.

Consult a dermatologist if you have severe acne. Do not use medicated gels or lotions without consulting your physician or midwife.

7. More Tips

  • Engage in regular exercise to decrease stress, increase circulation of blood and penetration of oxygen into your skin.
  • Avoid squeezing, popping, picking or scratching your zits, as this may spread the infection.
  • Drink ample amount of water every day to help flush out the toxins from your body.
  • To maintain healthy skin, eat a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables. Drink large quantities of water and avoid refined sugar and refined carbohydrates.
  • Avoid too much exposure to sunlight and extremes of temperature.

Watch to learn more: how to deal with acne during pregnancy and other skincare tips:

What to Avoid When Treating Acne During Pregnancy

  • Isotretinoin is an oral medicine that is extensively used in the treatment of acne. However, its use is unsafe during pregnancy as it is known to cause severe birth defects. The risks of birth defects on this medicine is so high that females of childbearing age who take this medicine need to be on two types of birth control from one month before beginning treatment and one month after ending treatment. Other acne medicines that may cause birth defects include:
  • Hormonal therapy: Female hormone estrogen and anti-androgens spironolactone and flutamide are all known to cause birth defects.
  • Oral tetracycyclines: Antibiotics including doxycylcine, tetracycline and minocycline are known to cause inhibition of bone growth and discoloration of permanent teeth.
  • Topical retinoids including tazarotene, adapalene and tretinoin are all similar to isotretinoin and may pose a risk of birth defects. Hence, these should not be taken during pregnancy.