Acne During Pregnancy

Acne During Pregnancy. Acne is common during pregnancy. Pregnancy acne isn’t a special form of acne. In fact, more than one out of every two pregnant women can expect to develop acne. Some women simply seem to have trouble with acne during pregnancy. The likely culprit is an overproduction of oil (sebum) — which happens when certain hormones go into overdrive. In some cases, the acne may be severe.
Acne During Pregnancy

What Causes Acne During Pregnancy?

The primary cause of acne during pregnancy is the increased hormone levels. The pregnancy hormones might increase the skin’s production of oil. The oil builds up and clogs the pores, attracts bacteria and causes acne.

Excessive amounts of hormones are responsible, in particular oestrogen and progesterone which are the female sex hormones, but also testosterone and androgen, the male sex hormones.

Just like most side effects during pregnancy, acne or pimples is a result of increased hormone production in your pregnant body.

Acne can vary in severity for each woman and may just be an early pregnancy thing, or may persist throughout your pregnancy.

It’s hard to predict who will develop pregnancy acne. You have a higher risk, though, if you have a history of acne or have acne flares at the start of your menstrual cycle.

If you do not develop acne during the first trimester, it’s unlikely you’ll have breakouts that are out of the ordinary during the second or third trimesters.

Some people still believe that acne is an indication of poor hygiene. But we know this is not true. Although sensible and regular cleansing can help to support an improvement in acne, it is not a “cure all” for the condition.

Many factors influence the likelihood of getting acne during pregnancy and just being more vigilant about washing the face is not the solution.

Pregnancy Acne Treatment

Pregnancy acne can be treated with self-care and medication. Before using any over-the-counter lotions and creams, it’s best to check with your doctor. Sometimes, a little self-care can go a long way. To treat pregnancy acne, start with self-care:
  • Wash your face or problem areas with a gentle, mild, fragrance free specific facial cleanser. Try using a mild soap and warm water morning and night. Avoid certain products, such as facial scrubs, astringents and masks, because they tend to irritate skin and can make your acne worse.
  • Shampoo your hair regularly if you’re noticing acne pop up around your hairline.
  • Avoid irritants. Don’t use oily or greasy cosmetics, sunscreens, hair products and acne concealers. Use products labeled water-based or noncomedogenic. They are generally less likely to cause acne.
  • Don’t pick or squeeze blemishes. Doing so can cause infection or scarring and make your acne worse.
  • Wash your face twice a day – more than this can lead to the skin drying out. Rinse skin very well and pat dry with a soft towel. Ensure your towel is dry and does not stay wet in between use. Replace it several times each week. Be careful about washing your hands, particularly if you tend to touch your face a lot.
  • Use an oil free moisturiser or facial serum. Avoid using too much as the excess may block the pores.
  • Use tea tree oil. Baldwin says this natural essential oil can sometimes be helpful in clearing up acne.
  • Try a clay or charcoal mask. It won’t reduce the acne itself, Baldwin says, but it can help cut down on greasiness.
  • Watch what touches your skin. Keep your hair clean and off your face. Also avoid resting your hands or objects on your face. Tight clothing or hats also can pose a problem, especially if you’re sweating. Sweat and oils can contribute to acne.
  • Consider using an oatmeal scrub to help unblock clogged pores. But make sure you aren’t too vigorous. During pregnancy the skin can become very sensitive and react to harsh treatment.
  • You may want to use disposable soft cotton or fabric pads to cleanse your skin. Don’t reuse these and look for disposable ones at the supermarket or pharmacist.
  • Avoid any sun exposure. Heat and sweat can aggravate acne, making it worse.
  • Change your pillow case at least twice a week.
  • Drink lots of water and avoid drinking too much tea/coffee. Two cups a day is fine. Speak with your maternity care provider if you are concerned about your acne.
  • Ensure you have a good, healthy diet. Minimise your saturated fat intake, aim for at least five servings of vegetables and two serves of fruit each day and include wholegrains.
  • Don’t forget to eat your greens to keep your system clean and healthy – for you and your baby
  • Check with your midwife or doctor before using any medicated acne products as a last resort

Prevent Getting Acne During Pregnancy

There is not much you can actively do, other than be sensible about your hygiene and skin cleansing routine.

There is no need to be vigorous or go overboard when cleaning your skin. This will only lead to aggravation and may potentially increase the risk of introducing more bacteria into your skin.

If you are generally more prone to pimples or suffer from acne, then you may find that during pregnancy, this becomes worse.

Click to comment