Pregnancy can be a beautiful time in a woman’s life, but it can also come with some not-so-welcome changes. One of these changes can be acne breakouts. For some women, this is the first time they develop the skin disorder post-pregnancy. In many cases, the breakouts are caused by hormonal fluctuations in the body during pregnancy. The second trimester of pregnancy can be tough for some women, but fortunately there are signs of improvement! Many women feel more energetic and have less morning sickness during the second trimester. Additionally, the baby’s bones and organs continue to develop and grow, so you can expect to see your belly continue to expand.
In women with clear skin, acne is seen to go away on its own after delivery. This type of acne leaves most pregnant women confused because they do not know which acne drugs are safe to use and which ones should not be used.
Acne during pregnancy is often blamed on dietary and health habits. To reduce your risk of developing acne, or to help clear existing acne, be sure to eat a balanced diet and adopt good health habits.
During pregnancy, acne can be a real problem for many women. Here are some of the most common and effective treatments for managing acne during pregnancy:
Benzoyl Peroxide (brand names – Benzac, Benzamycin, Beroxyl, Desquam, Triaz, Vanoxide): This medication is often used to treat acne effectively because of its oxidation properties, which also make it an effective antibacterial.
Azelaic Acid (Generic Azelex cream): This cream is used to treat mild-to-moderate acne and should be applied to affected areas twice a day – once in the morning and once at night.
The Pregnancy Category B topical retinoid is considered to be safe for use during pregnancy, as its use hardly poses any risk to the fetus.
Hormone Therapy: Acne can be treated by using female hormones; however, estrogens and other anti-androgens should not be used during pregnancy. Studies have yet to show if these hormones will pass on to breast-feeding infants.
Hydrocortisone: It is a topical steroid that is prescribed by dermatologists for the treatment of acne vulgaris and other skin disorders.
Salicylic Acid: There is very little research on the use of salicylic acid during pregnancy, so it is difficult to assess the risks, if any. Some studies have found that it may be safe to use on the skin, but more research is needed to confirm this. If you are pregnant and considering using salicylic acid, speak to your doctor first.
You also need to be aware of how your body is exposed to these preparations. Oral preparations are more likely to contaminate your body than topical preparations like creams, oils and gels.
Before resorting to any herbal remedies during pregnancy, always consult your doctor first to see if they are safe for you and your baby.
You should avoid using tetracycline, oral isotretinoin and topical retinoids during pregnancy as they can have negative effects on the fetus. You should also avoid them if you are trying to get pregnant.