​Pregnancy Acne: All You Need to Know!

May 19, 2021

Pregnancy Acne

Pregnancy is a physical, hormonal and emotional roller coaster ride. Talking about skin health, most women get the amazing ‘pregnancy glow’ but (unfortunately) some women have to battle skin issues. One of the common skin issues faced by women in their first and second trimesters is ‘Pregnancy Acne’. Hormonal changes are the main cause of skin issues. Your body retaining excess fluids is the second major reason for pregnancy acne.

Keep reading to know why you get pimples during pregnancy, pregnancy pimples symptoms, signs to look out for, pregnancy acne remedies and a lot more!

What is Pregnancy Acne?

As the name suggests, pregnancy acne occurs during pregnancy. Pregnancy pimples is a common skin issue during pregnancy. Fluctuations in hormones are the major cause of skin issues in pregnancy.  The changes in the hormonal levels cause excess production of natural oils. These excess oil clog pores, further leading to the growth of bacteria, and skin issues such as inflammation and breakouts. The occurrence of acne on the face during pregnancy is usually temporary and may heal on its own after pregnancy. You are more likely to experience pregnancy pimples if you are prone to acne or skin issues during your menstrual periods.

Symptoms of Pregnancy Acne

Although skin issues may occur any time during pregnancy, first and second trimesters are when you are most likely to experience pregnancy acne. This does not mean every pregnant woman may experience skin issues. In some cases, women may experience a skin glow or clear up of the existing skin issues. While others may experience acne, blackheads or whiteheads.

If you have acne-prone skin, you are more likely to experience pregnancy acne.

In some cases, acne that occurs in the first or second trimester clears on its own in the third trimester. However, in some cases, women may also experience a sudden breakout in the third trimester due to fluctuations in hormone levels.

Acne or skin issues that occur during pregnancy fade on their own after baby birth. However, in some cases, women may also experience skin breakout after the baby is born. Skin issues that occur after baby birth usually require medications and treatments.

Causes of Pimples During Pregnancy

High level of hormones – The baby is growing inside you which is a completely different experience for the body. It is very obvious for the hormones to go a little haywire at such times. It is during the early stages of pregnancy, that acne occurs the most due to the suddenly increased levels of hormones. Progesterone is the pregnancy hormone that majorly causes the development of pregnancy pimples. Excess production of the hormone stimulates the skin’s oil glands, resulting in the excess production of oil. This excess oil clogs your pores causing acne.

Skin prone to acne – If you have skin that is prone to acne already, and is quite oily then there is an increased chance of you to get pimples again during pregnancy.

Using oil-based makeup – Since the body is already producing natural oils, using greasy makeup can get really tricky if you want to avoid acne breakout.

Immunological factors – There are plenty of factors such as weak immunity during pregnancy that can make you prone to acne.

Pregnancy Acne Remedies

But, do not worry, there are plenty of treatments available which are drug-free and completely safe for you to adopt.

  • Over-the-counter medications – For mild acne, you can simply use an over-the-counter cream that suits your skin type. Since it is external it does not make a difference to any internal growth of the baby. However, you need to ensure that it is safe for pregnancy because some creams come with a disclaimer.
  • Aloe vera gel – Using aloe vera gel regularly to wash your face will also help in reduction majorly as aloe vera has cooling properties.
  • Antibiotics – There are some oral as well as topical antibiotics available which your doctor may prescribe and can be used for a stipulated duration of a maximum of 12 weeks to see the results.
  • Skincare products – If you get major acne, then you need to reconsider the lotions you are using and get ones that are not highly moisture based.
  • Honey – The anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties in honey help to treat acne. You may consider going for a spot treatment by applying honey directly on the affected area or by making a face mask by mixing a few drops of honey with lemon juice.
  • Apple cider vinegar – Take one part of apple cider vinegar and three parts of water. Using a cotton ball apply the mixture to the affected area. This helps to get rid of excess oil. Make sure you discontinue the treatment if you experience excessive dryness. Always use diluted apple cider vinegar on your skin. Using undiluted apple cider vinegar may cause burns and other skin issues.
  • Dietary changes – Including vitamin A in your diet helps to support a range of vital bodily functions such as vision, reproduction etc. Food rich in vitamin A includes chicken, eggs, spinach, broccoli, carrot, apricots, cantaloupe etc. Do not take vitamin A supplements without consulting your healthcare expert. Excess consumption of vitamin A supplements may cause birth defects.
  • Staying Hydrated – Consume adequate amounts of water as it helps to flush out toxins out of your skin, keeping in clean and clear.

If you do not see a difference in the initial phase, then do not give up on your treatment. Give it time, it will be okay. In case of severe acne, you need to consult a dermatologist as well as your gynaecologist because that might indicate a high level of hormone secretion as well as a lot of production of oil which will make it very difficult for you to have a normal pregnancy as well.

Pregnancy Acne Treatments

Pregnancy acne treatment

Medications to treat acne contain salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide. Salicylic acid works by removing dead skin that clogs pores, while benzoyl peroxide works by killing bacteria that cause pimples and other skin issues. However, make sure you use the medications only if prescribed by a dermatologist as in some cases, it may cause dryness, peeling and irritation. In addition, as its content gets absorbed, OTC preparations should be avoided; their effect on the baby is not clearly known.

Certain medications or treatments such as hormonal therapy, topical retinoids and oral tetracyclines may cause complications in pregnancy. Make sure you inform your dermatologist about your pregnancy before undergoing any treatment for acne. Even with treatment options like comedo extraction, peels, and cryotherapy that are known to be safe in pregnancy, you should still consult a doctor and get treated under their supervision.

Pimples – A Sign of Pregnancy?

As mentioned earlier, the changes in the hormone levels during pregnancy causes acne. However, the occurrence of acne does not always indicate pregnancy. You may experience fluctuations in hormone levels during menstrual periods or medical conditions such as PCOS and hyperthyroidism.

Skin issues are quite common during pregnancy. Some may experience severe issues, while others may notice clearing up of existing skin issues. Pregnancy acne can easily be treated using over-the-counter medications, home remedies, lifestyle and dietary changes. Avoid oral acne treatments as much as possible. If you are planning to opt for oral acne treatments make sure you talk to your dermatologist as well as a gynaecologist.

If pregnancy pimples are bothering you and not clearing out even after these drug-free treatments, then it is highly advisable to visit an expert like Clearskin where the causes can be diagnosed and the best path of treatment can be adopted.

Book an appointment with a Clearskin expert today!

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