Acne During Pregnancy
Between the swollen ankles, over-active bladder, aching back, and hundreds of other pregnancy-related complaints, it seems like the last straw to see little pimples popping up on your face and body.
Many women wonder if this is just a coincidence or if pregnancy has something to do with this skin condition. Let’s learn a little more about acne during pregnancy and what you can do about it.
Are You More Prone to Acne When You’re Pregnant?
Higher levels of hormones called androgens are at least partly responsible for pregnancy breakouts because they can prompt the sebaceous glands in your skin to get bigger and boost production of an oily substance called sebum. In the same way that hormones often cause break-outs in teenagers, this oil can clog up the pores and lead to blackheads, whiteheads, pimples, or lesions.
So pregnancy can trigger acne or make existing adult acne worse. However, some women with acne-prone skin report a decrease in breakouts during pregnancy, so you never know. It just depends on how your body distributes the hormones. Acne during pregnancy can be mild, moderate, or even severe, and it can occur at any time during the pregnancy. “It may come and go, or it may last the entire pregnancy”, says Andrea Cambio, a dermatologist in Cape Coral, Florida.
What Can I Do About Pregnancy Acne?
While there is no sure way to prevent pregnancy acne from happening, here are some tips that experts say might help:
-Wash gently with a mild soap or cleanser twice a day.
-Don’t scrub your face with a washcloth, since that can irritate the skin and make the problem worse. Instead, use your hands to gently wash your face.
-Pat your skin dry rather than rubbing it.
-If you use moisturizer, make sure it’s oil-free.
-Don’t squeeze, rub, or pop your pimples – it’ll aggravate the problem and could lead to scarring.
-If you wear makeup, use products that are water-based rather than oil-based and that are labeled “noncomedogenic” or “nonacnegenic.” This means that they
won’t clog your pores and cause breakouts. Always wash your makeup off thoroughly before going to bed.
-Ask your doctor or midwife before using medicated gels or lotions. A number of over-the-counter and prescription products help clear up acne, but some of the ingredients aren’t safe for pregnant women or haven’t been well studied for use during pregnancy. If your acne is severe, you may need to see a dermatologist.
Are All Prescription Acne Medications Off-Limits to Pregnant Women?
It’s particularly important to avoid the oral prescription drug Accutane. This can cause serious birth defects. Also avoid tetracycline, doxycycline, and minocycline – sometimes prescribed for acne – which can cause teeth and bone abnormalities in the fetus.
Stay positive. Many women have found that pregnancy isn’t all bad for your skin. As you circulate more blood and retain more water you may just find that your complexion is more radiant than before.