Acne breakouts are a frequent occurrence for pregnant women. One of the main causes of acne is major shifts in hormones. This is something commonly seen during pregnancy. Breakouts can happen during the first trimester, and usually around the sixth week. A pregnant woman’s sebaceous glands will create more sebum, which is the oil that causes the pores to clog, which can lead to an increase of bacteria. Additionally, because a pregnant body retains more fluids, there is the potential for more toxins to be present. In general, there is more risk of acne during pregnancy if you’ve already experienced cases of severe acne or if you tend to have breakouts around the start of your menstrual cycle.
There are many challenges when dealing with severe acne breakouts during pregnancy, due to the potential risks to the unborn child. Of course, you will want to avoid anything that might cause the baby harm or create the risk of birth defects. There are some substances that can be fine for non-pregnant women that pregnant women should avoid. Isotretinoin can show up in acne products and has a risk of causing a miscarriage or serious birth defects. Hormonal therapies, including the anti-androgens spironolactone and flutamide, can potentially cause birth defects. Doctors recommend avoiding many topical treatments and over-the-counter products because they are likely to have salicylic acid. The topical treatments that are safe would be ones that include benzoyl peroxide or glycolic acid. They are not a risk to unborn children because just five percent of the medication in it is absorbed into the body after being applied to the skin.
Good skin care is the best way to deal with acne during pregnancy. Try to avoid harsh scrubbing or over washing the skin. This will instead take away much of your skin’s natural moisture, which leads to increased oil production, on top of the increase that already comes with pregnancy. Natural cleaning products will help in cleaning skin without being too harsh. Changing pillow cases, wash cloths, towels, etc. often can go a long way in keeping skin clean as well. Remember to keep your hands, and the bacteria among your fingers, away from your face and resist the urge to pop, scratch and squeeze the pimples that may appear.