When does Pregnancy Acne Starts?
Is it common to be more prone to acne when you’re pregnant?
Pregnancy can trigger acne or make existing adult acne worse. (On the other hand, some women with acne-prone skin report a decrease in breakouts during pregnancy, so you never know.) Higher levels of hormones called androgens are at least partly responsible for pregnancy breakouts because they can prompt the sebaceous glands in your skin to get bigger and boost production of an oily substance called sebum. This extra sebum, combined with the shed skin cells that line your hair follicles, blocks your pores, creating an environment in which bacteria can rapidly multiply. All this can eventually lead to the inflammation and skin eruptions of acne. Acne during pregnancy can be mild, moderate, or even severe, and it can occur at any time during the pregnancy. It may come and go, or it may last the entire pregnancy.
When does Acne Start during Pregnancy
One of the early signs of pregnancy is pimples appearing on your face, breasts, hairline or your back usually during the first trimester of pregnancy. However, these pimples will eventually disappear once your hormonal levels settle down but you always have the option of using skin care products to treat acne too.
Is there anything I can do about pregnancy acne?
There’s no way to prevent the problem, but here are some tips that may help:
- Wash gently with a mild soap or cleanser twice a day.
- Don’t scrub your face with a washcloth, since that can irritate the skin and make the problem worse. Instead, use your hands to gently wash your face.
- Pat your skin dry rather than rubbing it.
- If you use moisturizer, make sure it’s oil- free.
- Don’t squeeze, rub, or pop your pimples – it’ll aggravate the problem and could lead to scarring.
- If you wear makeup, use products that are water-based rather than oil-based and that are labeled “noncomedogenic” or “nonacnegenic,” meaning they won’t clog your pores and cause breakouts.
- Be sure to wash your makeup off thoroughly before going to bed, too.
- Ask your doctor or midwife before using medicated gels or lotions. A number of over-the-counter and prescription products help clear up acne, but some of the ingredients aren’t safe for pregnant women or haven’t been well studied in pregnancy. If your acne is severe, you may need to see a dermatologist.
Are all prescription acne medications off-limits to pregnant women?
It’s particularly important to avoid the oral prescription drug Accutane (isotretinoin) , which can cause serious birth defects. Also avoid tetracycline, doxycycline, and minocycline – sometimes prescribed for acne – which can cause teeth and bone abnormalities in the fetus. It’s considered safe to use topical prescription antibiotic creams containing erythromycin or clindamycin, but she always recommends that a pregnant woman check with her caregiver first, just to make sure.
Keep in mind that your pregnancy isn’t all bad for your skin! While you may have to put up with some new blemishes, as you circulate more blood and retain more water you may find that your complexion is more radiant than ever before.