Keeping Clear Skin: How to Deal With Acne During Pregnancy

Posted by | November 11, 2019 | Symptoms & Remedies | No Comments

Acne during pregnancy is more common than one might think. Acne tends to flare up during pregnancy because of the body’s ever-changing hormones, as well as stress, diet and sleep problems. Controlling acne during pregnancy is different than during the teenage years. Using doctor-recommended or prescribed acne medications and natural methods to keep skin clear keeps both mother and baby safe.

What Causes Pregnancy Acne?

Pregnancy acne is caused by the same issues as normal acne: hormones and oils. Hormones go into overdrive during pregnancy and cause the production of pore-clogging oils that lead to breakouts. Pregnancy acne is no different from teenage acne, although a woman may breakout in different places than she did when she was younger.

How Can I Prevent Pregnancy Acne?

Preventing pregnancy acne is the best way to keep skin healthy and clear before and after the baby is born. Cleanse your face twice each day, once in the morning and again at night, with a mild, soap-free cleanser. Soap can dry the skin and lead to more breakouts. Apply an oil-free moisturizer after cleansing while the skin is damp. Do not use facial scrubs too often, as this can further irritate sensitive skin during pregnancy. Use a lightweight, oil-free tinted moisturizer or foundation with an SPF of at least 15 to protect skin during the day. Keep hair clean, as oily hair can cause acne flare ups, especially around the hairline and jaw. Drink plenty of water and stay away from refined sugar and sugary beverages, as this can lead to inflammation and breakouts. Keep pillowcases, towels and washcloths clean to reduce breakout-causing bacteria.

How Do I Treat Pregnancy Acne?

If pregnancy acne is an issue, it is important not to reach for the nearest over-the-counter acne medicine. Most over-the-counter products contain some form of beta-hydroxy acid and salicylic acid. These ingredients have not been tested in pregnant women and may be harmful to the baby. Accutane, Retin-A and other topical retinoid products are strictly off limits until after the baby is weaned as they can be absorbed through the skin and into breast milk and, subsequently, the baby’s bloodstream.

Talk to a doctor about pregnancy acne, and never use any prescription or over-the-counter acne medications without a doctor’s permission.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Dr. Gareth Forde

About Dr. Gareth Forde

An obstetrician-gynecologist, a clinical professor, a researcher, and a father of five—and he delivered them all! He speaks and publishes extensively on maternal and child health issues, where he emphasizes the role of a healthy maternal lifestyle, good nutrition, and breastfeeding on infant development. He chose the field of obstetrics because it is a celebration of life, a happy and exciting profession. “Children are a blessing and they bring joy and laughter to the world,” he says. “I cherish my work, as a doctor and a dad.” The study of genetic imprinting is a major focus of both Dr. Forde’s research and medical practice. This looks at what happens in the womb, how the genes a baby inherits are expressed (turned on and off), and how this influences the child’s health after birth. “This field holds great promise, shedding light on many unsolved mysteries in health and disease from infancy to adulthood,” he adds. Dr. Forde grew up in London, England and Orlando, Florida. He received his medical degree from the University of Minnesota Medical School and is currently pursuing a fellowship in gynecologic oncology at the University of California, Irvine. Prior to this, he practiced with Grand Rapids Medical Education Partners, a consortium of Saint Mary’s Health Care, Spectrum Health, Grand Valley State University, and Michigan State University College of Human Medicine—where he was a clinical professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive biology. He also has a master’s in molecular and cellular biology from Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University; a Ph.D. in environmental science (computational chemistry) from Jackson State University; and a post-doctoral fellowship in biophysics from Mount Sinai School of Medicine, in New York.”