Tuesday, March 21, 2023

How To Treat Hormonal Acne During Pregnancy

Using Honey To Treat Acne

How to treat female acne during pregnancy

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.

Why Acne During Pregnancy Is Common And How To Get Rid Of It

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  • Why Acne During Pregnancy Is Common and How to Get Rid of It

Everyone talks about the glow that comes with pregnancy but for many, the increase in oil secretion can cause breakouts, even in women who havent had acne for years. Theres no culprit that we can blame for acne during pregnancy, but dermatologists project that these breakouts are caused by the same thing that causes them during teenage years: hormones. Specifically, a hormone called androgens. If you are breaking out during your pregnancy, heres what you may want to know about how long it will last, why it happens, and how to safely treat it.

Does Pregnancy Acne Predict A Babys Sex

Probably not. While one very, very small study tied worse pregnancy acne to having a girl, much more research is needed before experts can say if those pimples are related to your babys sex.

Still want to play the guessing game? These other pregnancy symptoms might be just a little bit more reliable.

Recommended Reading: How To Get Rid Of Back Acne Scars

Over The Counter Treatments

Many over-the-counter acne treatments are available, many of which contain benzoyl peroxide, a chemical found in acne treating creams, gels and cleansers. Another chemical often present in over-the-counter treatments is glycolic acid, an acid derived from sugar cane and popular in many skincare products.

It is worth mentioning that only 5% of topical medicine gets absorbed into your body, and while these chemicals are mostly safe to use during pregnancy, there are no extensive studies that confirm their safety completely. It is recommended that you speak to your doctor before using any over-the-counter acne remedies.

Are There Any Acne Treatments I Should Avoid

How To Treat Pregnancy Acne

Experts recommend these acne medications be avoided during pregnancy because they can increase the risk of birth defects or other medical issues for your baby:

  • Oral isotretinoin

  • Topical retinoids

  • Hormonal therapies

  • Oral tetracyclines

No matter what, read drug labels carefully, and check with your doctor before taking any acne medications, or medications of any kind. Avoid squeezing or picking at your pimples, as this can cause infection and scarring, and avoid touching your face, as this can transfer oil and dirt to your skin.

Acne might be one of the annoying physical changes you may experience at some point during your pregnancy. Although it can be a little frustrating, keep in mind that by following a gentle, cleansing skin care regimen, and possibly even taking acne medication, your acne may clear up, and you can simply enjoy your pregnancy glow!

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Acne Medication Never To Take During Pregnancy

If youre pregnant, immediately stop taking these medications and do not use them during your pregnancy.

Unsafe medications during pregnancy

Brand names include: Absorica®, Amnesteem®, Claravis®, Myorisan®, Sotret®, and Zenatane

TazaroteneBrand names include: Avage®, Fabior®, Tazorac®, and Zorac®


These medications can cause serious birth defects.

Is There Really A Pregnancy Glow

If youve ever been pregnant, you might have wondered, like I did, if this glow is a myth or if youre just unlucky. Personally, Ive never known anyone in real life who glowed during pregnancy, says Gao. That glow may be attributed to the increased blood flow that happens when you become pregnant. To be clear, its very real: Your body actually produces nearly twice as much blood as usual.

At the same time, your bodys also ramping up estrogen production, as well as the hormone androgen thats the one that causes the sebaceous glands in your skin to secrete more sebumjust like during puberty. Sebum, as you might know, is basically oil.

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Home Remedies To Treat Acne

There are some home remedies that can be very helpful for treating acne during pregnancy. Many women have a high risk of experiencing zinc deficiency during pregnancy. A zinc deficiency can cause reduced immune function, hair loss, diarrhea, and skin lesions. Research has found that high zinc levels result in less severe acne. Eating foods that are rich in zinc can help to treat acne. Some of these foods include beans, yogurt, nuts and seeds, shellfish, and meat. Eating foods rich in Vitamin A can also help in acne treatment. Some food sources for Vitamin A include eggs, chicken, fish, certain fruits and vegetables, and fortified dairy products.

What Are Some Safe Treatments For Pregnant Women

Hormonal Acne From Pregnancy

You should always talk to your doctor before taking any medication during pregnancy. Some safe acne medication to use while pregnant includes oral erythromycin, topical clindamycin, topical azelaic acid, topical benzoyl peroxide and topical salicylic acid. These medications have shown no adverse symptoms in pregnant women.

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Medication Or Natural Remedies

The acne treatments available work by controlling the production of sebum and clearing the clogged pores. You can choose to use natural remedies or medication to treat pregnancy acne. There are many acne products that contain benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid. These ingredients kill acne-causing bacteria and they clear the pores of dead skin cells and oil. Pregnant women can use products that contain these ingredients quite safely. It is, however, important to know that the ingredients can cause skin peeling, dryness, and irritation.

How Can I Get Rid Of Acne During Pregnancy

Treatments that are considered safe to use during pregnancy include salicylic acid, azelaic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and certain laser therapy treatments. However, there are several acne medications that can cause miscarriages and severe birth defects, so always check with your doctor before taken any acne medication during pregnancy.

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Does Pregnancy Acne Go Away After Birth

It would be nice if those pesky pimples went poof the moment your baby was placed into your arms. While pregnancy acne does eventually get better as your hormones return to their pre-pregnancy state, it doesnt always happen overnight.

In some cases, postpartum hormonal fluctuations paired with sleep deprivation and the stress of caring for a newborn can be yet another acne trigger.

Try to stick with the same healthy skin care habits you had during pregnancy . And ask your doctor about the acne treatments that were off-limits during your pregnancy. Even if youre breastfeeding, some topical treatments may now be okay.

Hormonal birth control may help too. If the pill had helped keep your acne in check before becoming pregnant, youll likely notice an improvement in your skin once you start taking it again.

Keep in mind, though, that the mini-pill a progestin-only birth control pill often recommended for breastfeeding moms wont help acne and can actually make it worse.

Above all, try to be patient. A fresh wave of postpartum pimples isnt fun. But eventually, your skin will settle back down.

Whatever You Do Don’t Pop

Pregnancy Topical Acne. Topical Acne Treatments

Adolescents typically get pimples everywhere, and they’re prone to whiteheadsthose raised orbs that call out to be squeezed. Women, on the other hand, often break out around the jawline, chin, and mouth, and pimples look red and feel inflamed rather than poppable, Dr. Nazarian says. Plus, skin heals more slowly as you age, so an errant, scab-inducing “squeeze” can take weeks to vanish.

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What Questions Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider

  • How severe is my acne?
  • What lifestyle changes should I make to prevent hormonal acne from forming?
  • What are the side effects to my acne treatment?
  • Can I take this treatment if I become pregnant?

A note from Cleveland Clinic

It can be frustrating to see breakouts on your skin as an adult, considering they are most frequent among adolescents. Talk with your healthcare provider if your acne is persistent and they will be able to offer advanced treatment options to eliminate pesky pimples.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 09/10/2021.


Use The Right Topical Actives

When asked which ingredients to say no to during pregnancy, Greenfield recommends avoiding retinoids at all costs. Why? According to The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, retinol is part of the isotretinoin family, which is synthetic vitamin A, and may cause birth defects. Additionally, benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acidwhich are acne product heavy-hittersshould be limited, but check with your doctor first as they may be safe to use in small amounts. Using products that are safe for pregnancy yet effective enough to cleanse your sebaceous glands of built-up sebum can go a long way in preventing acne breakouts,” Greenfield suggests. “Ingredients such as lactic acid and sulfur are both safe and efficacious. They combat oil buildup and gently cleanse the skin.”

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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.

How To Remedy Acne During Pregnancy


If youve suffered with acne before, you might feel that you can treat this new bout of acne by stocking up on products that youve used in the past.

However, acne care during pregnancy requires a lighter touch.

Not only is your skin likely more sensitive, many common acne treatments are strictly off-limits during pregnancy.

This is because some chemicals used in acne treatments both topical and oral pose a risk to the unborn baby.

These risks include birth defects and an increased risk of miscarriage.8

Acne treatments which are unsuitable for use during pregnancy include:

  • Oral retinoid medicines including acitretin, alitretinoin and isotretinoin. These are a strong synthetic form of vitamin A used to treat more severe acne.9
  • Topical retinoids are less likely to cause harm to the unborn child. However, as a precaution, they must not be used during pregnancy and by women planning to have a baby.10
  • Trimethoprim an antibiotic sometimes used to treat acne.11 It may lower levels of folic acid in the blood and interfere with a babys healthy development.12
  • Tetracycline an antibiotic sometimes used to treat acne which can cause tooth discolouration in babies and bone growth issues.13
  • Hydroquinone this topical depigmenting agent is not advisable for use during pregnancy due to its high absorption rate.14

Acne-fighting ingredients which can be used during pregnancy include:

Always check with a healthcare professional first before starting any treatment.

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Is Acne A Sign Of Pregnancy

Although many women develop acne during pregnancy, its appearance does not necessarily indicate that a woman is pregnant.

Acne can develop as a result of fluctuating hormones. People may experience new breakouts during their periods. Medical conditions that affect hormone levels, such as PCOS and hyperthyroidism, may also contribute to acne.

Although many women experience skin changes during pregnancy, acne does not generally develop until the later phases of pregnancy.

According to the findings of a small

Women can develop acne before, during, and after pregnancy. Hormonal changes that occur after giving birth can trigger acne breakouts.

In some women, postpartum acne clears up on its own, but others may require treatment. The duration and severity of postpartum acne vary among individuals.

The treatments for postpartum acne are the same as those for acne during pregnancy. Women may still wish to avoid using prescription-strength ointments and pills while breastfeeding.

Oral contraceptives regulate the hormones, which may help control acne. A doctor can offer advice on starting an oral contraceptive after pregnancy.

Why Acne During Pregnancy Happens

You most likely know that acne surges during puberty because of all the changes in hormones as people grow out of their childhood years and into their adult years. Hormones also are an important factor when it comes to face and body acne during pregnancy.

During the first trimester of pregnancy, your bodys hormones will drastically increase. This increase in hormones is the main contributor to acne. This is because increased hormones tend to accelerate your bodys production of oil that can cause acne on the face and body.

Keep in mind that not everyone who is pregnant experiences acne. There are people who are more prone to experiencing acne breakouts during pregnancy. For example, if you tend to experience acne before your menstrual cycle or if you have a long history of acne, you will be more likely to have acne while you are pregnant.

The good news is that if you make it through your first trimester without any acne, you most likely wont experience acne breakouts in your later trimesters. If you do experience acne during your pregnancy, you might find it difficult to treat. This is because several different acne treatments are not safe to take while pregnant since they can have adverse effects on your developing baby.

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Can Early Acne Predict The Baby’s Gender

A lot of women usually gage their gender prediction on pregnancy symptoms based on old wives’ tales. For example, some old wives’ tales mention that when you are carrying a girl, she can steal your beauty, therefore not experiencing a pregnancy glow. According to Medical News Today, women who suffer from early pregnancy acne, blemishes, or breakouts should be carrying a girl. Having a boy usually means clear skin – or so they say. There isn’t enough evidence to turn this old wives’ tale into a fact.

What Are The Precautions

why does acne breakout during pregnancy ?

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.

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Acne And Pregnancy What Is Pregnancy Acne

Much like when you were going through puberty , your body experiences an increase in hormones during pregnancy that can contribute to acne.

Pregnancy acne occurs when a surge of hormones designed to stabilise your pregnancy and help feed your baby to grow also results in changes in your blood sugar and insulin levels. All these combined can create more oil, and a stickier and thicker oil, in your pores, making your pores more likely to be infected by bacteria and result in inflammation and breakouts, Rollard said.

Why Does Acne Appear During Pregnancy

Two major factors are responsible for pregnancy acne. First, women go through extreme hormone changes during early pregnancy. A hormone called progesterone is responsible for helping create an ideal environment for a fetus, but it can also cause the glands in your skin to secrete more oil, which is called sebum. Since progesterone spikes during pregnancy, the excess sebum can clog your pores and lead to a buildup of bacteria2 primary causes of acne.

The second major contributor of pregnancy acne is your bodys tendency to retain more water when you become pregnant. Your body does this so that it can accommodate the growing fetus. But because your body is getting rid of less fluid, toxins that float around in your body are not being released as they normally would be. Instead, your body may try to rid itself of toxins through your sweat and your skin, causing toxins to build up in your pores. This buildup can lead to acne.

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Other Skin Conditions That Happen Postpartum

Postpartum acne is one of the most common skin conditions women experience. However, it is not the only one. Below you’ll find other common occurrences and how to treat them.

Spider veins: Spider veins are swollen veins that become visible under the skin. This happens due to increased hormone levels and blood circulation. During postpartum, they are most commonly found around the nose, on the cheeks and legs. In healthy women, spider veins shrink down, and some disappear after a few months postpartum.

Melasma: 15% to 50% of pregnant women experience melasma, or speckled spots across the skin around the cheeks, nose, chin and forehead. It’s even referred to as the “mask of pregnancy.” Elevated estrogen and progesterone levels can result in an overproduction of melanin in the body. Melasma is harmless however, to help the spots fade, you’ll want to wear sunscreen and minimize sun exposure.

Dry skin: Hormonal changes can cause persistent postpartum dry skin across the face. To treat dry skin, start by washing your face and moisturizing. If you have sensitive skin, it’s good to stick with fragrance-free and additive-free options. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water, especially while breastfeeding.

Oily skin: Your oil-producing glands were pushed into overdrive while pregnant. For some women, this can result in oily skin postpartum. You should avoid moisturizers and makeup with oil to ensure you don’t clog your pores during this time.

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