Wednesday, February 1, 2023

How To Treat Acne While Pregnant

Pregnancy Acne And Gender

Treating Acne Safely During Pregnancy, Safe Pregnancy Skin Care

There is an old wives tale that says if you experience acne during pregnancy, it means youre more likely to have a girl. Perfectly clear skin, on the other hand, suggests youre having a boy. However, modern medicine has come a long way since then we dont need to rely on skin changes as a gender predictor.

Expectant parents can now find out the sex of their baby when they visit the sonographer for a 20-week scan. The results are generally very accurate though not always 100%. Genetic testing is the only way to know for certain, however, this is usually reserved for babies at risk of genetic abnormality.

Will This Acne Go Away After Birth

Most acne during pregnancy is mild and will go away soon after the baby is born. However, some stubborn acne might need medication. If you just gave birth and are still experiencing persistent acne, use over-the-counter topical creams for treatment and make some lifestyle adjustments if necessary. If you are breastfeeding, its always important to ask your doctor before starting any new acne medications.

Safe Treatments For Pregnancy Acne

Acne during pregnancy is a natural condition that usually resolves after childbirth. So, the safest course of action is good skincare. But, severe cases may need medical attention. Read below to know about some safe treatments for acne. Some experts recommend prescription medicines containing erythromycin or azelaic acid. Other options include over-the-counter products that contain benzoyl peroxide or glycolic acid. These medications are believed to be safe during pregnancy and do not pose an increased risk of birth defects. However, make sure never to self-medicate without first discussing with your doctor.

If you do not want to take medicines for pregnancy acne, you may try the natural remedies given below.

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What Not To Use

First up, its important to be clear on which acne treatments and medications are absolutely off the table during pregnancy and around conception.

You must not use treatments such as retinoids , spironolactone, and certain antibiotics during pregnancy, due to a link with birth defects, says Mahto.

Sadly, she adds: It is more tricky to say what is safe to use, as researchers dont carry out studies on pregnant women. Much of our data therefore comes from animal studies.

As a result, Mahto says: Most acne treatments during pregnancy should be thought of as holding measures. In an ideal world, if you suffer with troublesome acne it should be treated before conception if pregnancy is on your radar. Of course, this may not always be entirely possible!

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How We Made Our Picks For The Best Acne Treatments For Pregnancy

How to Treat Acne During Pregnancy

Searching for new skincare can be overwhelming, which is why we did the work for you. We first pulled products that met the safety standards established by the AAD and ACOG. From there, we conducted editorial research, focusing on popularity, innovation, design, quality, value and ease of use, with feedback from OB/GYN and other experts. We also had What to Expect staff and contributors road-test products at home, and sought help from real parents in the What to Expect community to provide insights on products that are effective at tackling acne, yet gentle on your skin during pregnancy.

Here are pregnancy-friendly acne products that will help you get rid of existing pimples, prevent new breakouts and erase dark spots to give you that bun-in-the-oven glow everyone keeps talking about.

See registry advice and a custom baby gear checklist

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Dont Use Acne Medications

Most acne medications including retinoids, oral isotretinoin, spironolactone, oral tetracyclines , and combination birth control pillsare off the table if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. Certain drugs used to treat acne may cause serious birth defects.

Dont Go Crazy With Products

Many women who have acne go full kamikaze with products, bombing their skin with harsh formulas and starving it of moisturizer in an effort to clear pores and dry up oil, says Dr. Nazarian. Be forewarned: That strategy typically leaves you with more inflammation and a weakened skin barrier that is vulnerable to irritation.

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Acne Products That Are Safe To Use While Pregnant Or Trying To Conceive

A few months ago, I casually walked into a medical spa for a quick skin analysis. I figured wed discuss whether peels or microdermabrasion would be best for my acne-prone skin. But when the aesthetician asked me about which medications I was on, I said none, out of habit. However, I casually mentioned my husband and I were starting intrauterine insemination in the next month on our quest to get pregnant. And before I could even rest my head on the table, the consultation came to an abrupt end.

I was surprised to learn that even though Im not pregnant yet, I needed to treat my skin like I am. That meant all of the medical-grade treatments and products I was looking forward to trying were off-limits.

Skin-care for pregnant women and those of us trying to conceive can be a fickle mistress. Your hormones might be completely thrown out of orbit after you go off the pill, which can result in oily skin and breakouts. Unfortunately, the treatments you normally turn to might not be pregnancy safe.

Luckily, dermatologists say there are safe skin-care options to try throughout your pregnancy journey. Heres a look at how to treat your skin when youre in full on baby-making mode.

Going off birth control can be both an exciting and confusing time. Even though youre excited to get that pink plus sign, it can take monthsand for some women, even a year or longer, to get a positive pregnancy result.

And pregnancy itself can lead to acne breakouts, too, so the fun just keeps going.

How Is Pregnancy Acne Different From Regular Acne

Acne & Dermatology : Treating Acne During Pregnancy

Pregnancy acne is different from regular acne because in most cases, it is purely hormonal. While regular acne can be caused by hormones as well, it can also be caused by diet and nutrition. So, for people who are not pregnant, making a few lifestyle changes often alleviates regular acne. Hormonal acne has different treatments and solutions. A nonpregnant person who has hormonal acne can take different approaches for treatment. But, someone who is pregnant needs to be cautious to avoid harming the baby. Not all acne medications are and treatments are safe for pregnant women. Because of this, acne during pregnancy can be somewhat difficult to treat.

There are some cases in which acne while pregnant is triggered by nutritional factors. But, this is far less common. For example, if you are midway through your pregnancy and have been eating more of something in particular and you notice an acne flare-up, that food could be the reason. Diet changes during pregnancy are something all women experience because the body needs different nutrients as it cares for both you and the baby. Also, the body may react differently toward certain foods while you are pregnant. If you think this could be something you are experiencing, speak with your doctor right away.

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Using Honey To Treat Acne

Honey can be used as a natural treatment for acne. Honey contains compounds that have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. These can prove effective in the treatment of nodular acne. You can use the honey through direct application on the acne lesions. The spot treatment works directly on the acne scar. You can also use honey to create a face mask that you can apply to the skin. Mixing honey with some lemon juice or a few drops of lavender oil can be very effective for treating the skin.

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Most women experience skin changes when they get pregnant. While some get severe breakouts, others notice a clearing up of the acne. While there are some safe OTC topical treatments for acne during pregnancy, it is always advisable to consult your doctor before using the products. The doctor can recommend treatment for severe or persistent pregnancy acne. Make sure that you avoid retinoids and other oral treatments while you are pregnant or when breastfeeding. Applying an antibiotic like clindamycin on the skin is thought to be safe during pregnancy but it is best to consult your obstetrician before using it.

Prevent Pimples And Avoid Maskne With Pregnancy

If the pimples you thought you left behind in junior high have come back with a vengeance during pregnancy, youre not alone. Hormonal changes in the first two trimesters can cause the skin to produce excess oil a primary cause of acne along with bacteria, stress, and hair follicles that get clogged with oil or dead skin cells.

Wearing face coverings during the COVID-19 pandemic has also contributed to a bump in breakouts. Friction from the cloth can irritate your skin and built-up humidity under your mask can trap oil and bacteria in your pores. Though masking is essential to stop the spread of COVID-19, research has shown that long-term mask wearing can cause mask-related acne flares .

Pregnancy acne, also known as adult or hormonal acne, can affect any pregnant patient. Celebrity Ashley Iaconetti from The Bachelor recently discussed her symptoms and shared photos with US Weekly and on social media.

My colleague Melissa Mauskar, M.D., founder and director of UT Southwesterns Gynecologic Dermatology Clinic, knows the challenges of dealing with acne during pregnancy firsthand.

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Ingredients To Avoid When Spot

Before we share some recommendations here, it’s worth mentioning that studies conducted on pregnant women using controversial skin-care ingredients can be hard to come by. Meaning you may find conflicting information and varied recommendations when it comes to what you should or shouldn’t use on your skin while pregnant.

Take a read of the research, talk to your healthcare provider, then use your judgement to make the right decision for you. Now, a look at what two ingredients might be worth saving to use after you’ve delivered.

Types Of Pregnancy Acne

5 Remedies to Fight Pregnancy Acne

While “pregnancy acne” isnt technically its own type of acne, it’s a term thats used to describe those pimples that pop up when someone is, you guessed itpregnant. Depending on the person, any form of acne symptoms can appear on the face or body before, during, or after pregnancy, but there are few that are more common than others throughout this time. “Cystic/hormonal acne and comedonal acne are two types that can typically occur during pregnancy,” says Greenfield.

  • Comedones. More commonly referred to as blackheads or whiteheads , this type of acne is characterized by small bumps that give skin a bit of a rough texture, according to University of Florida Health. These acne symptoms occur at the opening of the pore, and are considered non-inflammatory acne, which means they wont swell or cause much pain.
  • Cystic acne. Cystic acne is a severe form of inflammatory acne that produces large red, swollen bumps that are often painful to the touch due to inflammation, which occurs when excess oil combines with dead skin cells to create bacteria. Medical News Today states that the main cause of cystic acne is hormonal fluctuations in the body, which occur during pregnancy, especially during the first and second trimesters.

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What Are The Precautions

Accutane: : According to the Organization of Teratology Information Services , approximately 25-35% of infants born to women exposed to Accutane during the first trimester of pregnancy showed a pattern of birth defects. This pattern includes craniofacial defects, heart defects, and central nervous system defects.There also is an increased risk of miscarriage and infant death associated with the use of Accutane during pregnancy.Retin-A: : According to OTIS, less than 10% of Retin-A passes into the mothers bloodstream and less than that reaches the baby. Even with these findings, Retin-A still carries warnings of use by women who are pregnant or contemplating pregnancy. In this case, it is best to discuss treatment with your dermatologist and other health care provider.Tetracycline: : According to OTIS, tetracycline appears to cause some inhibition of bone growth and discoloration of teeth in a fetus. Therefore, taking tetracycline should also be discussed with your dermatologist and other health care provider.

What Other Skin Changes Can Happen During Pregnancy

Pregnancy acne treatment is often one piece of the puzzle. There are several skin changes that can happen during each trimester, so it can be helpful to speak with a dermatologist. Many pregnant women will experience a type of hyperpigmentation called melasma. Eczema, varicose veins, hives, and hair loss can also happen.

While there may be steps you can take to manage your pregnancy skin concerns, you likely wont be able to start topical treatments and certain cosmetic procedures until after your baby is born. Talk to your dermatologist about your skincare options during pregnancy, as well as steps you can take to support your skin in the years to come.

If youre experiencing acne or other skin concerns during pregnancy, the team at Pacific Dermatology Specialists can help. Our providers offer pregnancy acne treatment, as well as procedures to help heal your skin postpartum. With locations in Redondo Beach, CA, and other communities around the Greater Los Angeles area, we provide cosmetic, medical, and surgical treatments to support your skins health during every phase of life. Contact us today to book an appointment.

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Natural Pregnancy Acne Remedies

Of course, alongside any medical treatment you may be taking, there are also natural ways to help clear up your pregnancy acne. Ensuring a proper diet, plenty of rest and a good facial hygiene routine will be beneficial. Below are some of the most popular home remedies and tips for treating your acne while pregnant without the risk of side effects:

  • Rather than excessively scrubbing your skin, wash problem areas with a gentle cleanser. Strong astringents can irritate the skin, which will make acne worse
  • Try to avoid picking or squeezing your pimples however tempting that may be. Picking can cause scarring and further infection
  • Be aware of the products you apply to your skin. Oily cosmetics are a bad idea, as are heavy concealers. Keep your hair clean and try not to touch your face too often
  • If you sweat a lot from heat or exercise, take regular showers to avoid blocked pores
  • Ensure that your clothes, towels and pillowcases are washed regularly
  • Apply topical natural remedies such as: apple cider vinegar, baking soda, citrus fruit, honey and coconut oil. Coconut oil is a great moisturiser for problem skin
  • Make sure that your diet is rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, healthy sources of protein, and healthy fats like nuts and avocado. Where possible, avoid refined sugars, processed foods and caffeinated beverages

When Is It Safe To Use These Drugs For Acne During Pregnancy

Pregnancy Skin Care – Treat Acne | Parents

Accutane: It is safe to use Accutane when you are not pregnant and have discussed certain guidelines with your health care provider.

  • If you are in your childbearing years you must use two forms of birth control, beginning one month prior to starting Accutane through one month after stopping Accutane. If you are breastfeeding you should not take Accutane
  • You must be counseled about the possible ways that your chosen birth control may fail.
  • You must have a negative pregnancy test one week prior to taking Accutane.
  • You must start Accutane on the 2nd or 3rd day after the next normal menstrual period.

Retin-A: Since not many studies have been done on Retin-A, it is best to avoid during pregnancy and follow the same guidelines as Accutane while consulting with your health care provider.Tetracycline: Tetracycline should not be used during pregnancy unless recommended by your health care provider. The American Academy of Pediatrics has approved tetracycline safe for use during breastfeeding.

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How To Treat Acne Breakouts During Pregnancy

It is very common for women to get acne during pregnancy. In fact, acne is thought to affect more than 40 percent of pregnant women.

While gestational acne is treatable, taking certain acne medications can be very dangerous if you are pregnant because they increase the likelihood of miscarriage and serious birth defects.

Heres what you need to know about what causes pregnancy breakouts and what you can do about them.

The Best Treatments For Pregnancy Acne

If your skin usually breaks out during your menstrual period, youre likely to find the same thing happening during the early months of your pregnancy. But this isnt always the case: some women find that their regular acne problems disappear during pregnancy, while others who were never troubled by pimples find that pregnancy brings them on.

If youre one of the unlucky women with newfound blemishes, try the following treatment methods for pregnancy acne.

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What Acne Treatment Should You Avoid During Pregnancy

Some skin care ingredients are potentially risky to baby and have been associated with birth defects, says Dr. Gaither. A few ingredients you should avoid include:

  • Retinols and retinoids. Dr. Gaither advises moms-to-be to stop using both prescription retinoids and over-the-counter retinol products.
  • Benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid. There’s some debate about whether these common acne-fighters are safe. Many doctors say you should avoid them, but the American Academy of Dermatology says they may be okay in small doses. To be safe, ask your doctor before using products with these ingredients.

It can be helpful to look for cleansers and spot treatments with these active ingredients, which are thought to be safe for pregnancy, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists :

  • Azelaic acid
  • Glycolic acid

Pro tip: At your next OB/GYN visit, bring a bag of your skincare products, says Dr. Gaither. Your doctor will be able to look over the list of ingredients and give you better advice than if you simply told her what products you were using.

There are still acne treatments out there that you can use during pregnancy. Just keep in mind that everyone’s skin is different if youve noticed a sudden change in your skin, your OB/GYN and dermatologist should be your first stop for a treatment plan and you should always consult them before trying a new product yourself.

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