Acne is a common pregnancy symptom that can strike at any week of pregnancy. Pimples and zits may flare up when you least expect, and they can appear all over your face (making you look like a teenager), all over your breasts, neck, hairline, and even your butt. Pregnancy acne can make your complexion look worse than it did when you were in high school.
Pregnancy Acne and its Causes
During pregnancy, hormonal changes in your body can make you more prone to acne and breakouts.
The hormonal surges that occur during pregnancy – especially the rise in progesterone (the hormone that makes a healthy home for the implantation of the fertilized egg) – can cause your glands to produce more secretions. This leads to more breakouts and the development of pregnancy acne.
Pregnancy acne can be mild, moderate, or severe. The pimples can come and go. Sometimes, acne is worse in early pregnancy. For other women, it’s more of a nuisance throughout all 40 weeks of pregnancy.
Pregnancy Acne Treatment
Because pregnancy acne is related to normal changes that occur during pregnancy, there’s not much that you can do to prevent this pregnancy symptom. However, you can cope with the following techniques.
Drink plenty of fluids. Hydration is important during pregnancy. Try to drink six to eight glasses of water each day. This may dilute out secretions and improve pregnancy acne. Plus, keeping well hydrated will make other pregnancy symptoms less annoying, such as constipation, morning sickness, and pregnancy swelling (edema).
Wash your face daily. Use a mild cleaner and wash your face with lukewarm water each day. Don’t scrub your face when washing – this can irritate your skin and make this pregnancy symptom even worse. Pat your face dry; avoid rubbing it dry.
Don’t pop or squeeze your pimples. Acne in pregnancy is annoying, and it can be tempting to pop, squeeze, or rub your pimples. However, this will only aggravate this pregnancy symptom and lead to permanent scarring. (You don’t want to scar your pretty face for a few pimples!
Use water-based make-up. Be sure to read all product labels carefully. You want to choose water based make-up and cosmetics during pregnancy. Avoid using any oil-based cosmetics, since they can easily clog your pores and lead to acne breakouts.
Avoid the temptation to rest your face in your hands. Doing this can trap the oils and sweat in your skin, which can make your pregnancy acne worse.
Talk to your doctor before using any over-the-counter acne treatments. Always talk to your doctor before you decide to use any over-the-counter, or even prescription, acne medication. While they may help clear up your acne, not all of the ingredients in the medicine is safe for your unborn baby.
If your pregnancy acne is severe, or this pregnancy symptom is just plain bothering you, it won’t hurt to talk to a dermatologist about your treatment options.
* Make sure that you avoid isotretinoin (Accutane) and other retinoids during pregnancy. Don’t use tetracyclines, minocycline, or doxycycline when pregnant. These can all cause birth defects in your baby. *