Along with all the conditions commonly associated with pregnancy—growing an extra human, for instance—acne is present in as many as 50% of women. The good news is that it’s easily treatable.
WHEN DURING THE PREGNANCY DOES ACNE APPEAR?
Again with the hormones! The increased hormone levels during the first trimester can cause mild to moderate acne formations on the face, the neck, and even the back. Even if you had little to no acne at all as a teenager, you may still experience acne formations during your first trimester. The good news is that clusters of acne and acne lesions are less typical in the second and third trimesters.
Pregnancy acne exists as result of increased hormone levels, which in turn increases production of the body’s natural oils that irritate pores and cause acne. Women with a genetic or personal history of acne have an even higher risk of developing pregnancy acne.
WHAT ARE THE BEST TREATMENTS FOR PREGNANCY ACNE?
An added complication to treating pregnancy acne is the existence of chemicals that could potentially harm the baby in OTC topical solutions. The more natural the treatment, the better for the baby. Below are a list of tips, best practices and treatments for acne during pregnancy:
- Wash your face about twice a day. Gently, use your hands and a mild cleanser mixed with warm water to wash.
- Shampoo daily and keep hair out of your face, especially if you have oily hair. Hair can transmit oil to the forehead, clogging those pores.
- Avoid popping or squeezing acne at all costs. These habits can cause your acne to spread and form scar tissue.
- Use oil-free cosmetic products to avoid pore blockages. Seek out products that are labeled as “water-based,” “noncomedogenic” or “nonacnegenic.”
- Avoid touching your face with your hands. Too much physical contact can trap dead skin, oils and sweat, which can worsen acne.
- Avoid isotretinoin (oral prescription acne medication) and hormone therapy or topical retinoids (chemically similar to isotretinoin, except applied topically), as their chemicals are potentially harmful to the baby. If your acne requires a topical medication, erythromycin and azelaic acid are deemed safe for the baby and are often used by pregnant women.
ALL SUMMED UP…
Though experiencing acne during a pregnancy can be difficult, it is completely normal and treatable. It is caused generally in the first trimester by rises in hormone levels. Stick to natural home treatments and daily skincare routines in order to keep your skin fresh and clear in a way that is healthy for you and the baby.