Acne is quite common during pregnancy. In fact, more than one out of every two pregnant women can indeed expect to develop acne. In some cases, the acne may be severe.
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Causes of Pregnancy Acne
The primary cause of acne when one is pregnant is the increased hormone levels in the first trimester. The higher level does increase the skin’s production of natural oils. It is to predict who will develop pregnancy acne. One has a higher risk, though, if one has a history of acne or even has acne flares at the start of one’s menstrual cycle. If one does not develop acne during the first trimester, it is unlikely one will have breakouts that are out of the ordinary during the second or third trimesters.
Managing acne when one is pregnant can be tricky. This so as many of the prescription drugs as well as over-the-counter treatments do come with a high risk of birth defects. In general, need to avoid them. One should avoid any medication that has even a remote chance of harming one’s baby.
Dealing with Acne during Pregnancy
Pregnancy acne is no doubt a natural, cosmetic condition. It does subside when hormone levels to return to normal. The best thing to do is to avoid any prescription acne medications or over-the-counter chemical spot treatments. Instead, one can rely on drug-free home remedies. But before starting any acne treatment when one is pregnant or planning to become pregnant, one needs to talk with one’s doctor about what’s best — and safest — for oneself.
Unsafe Treatments for Pregnancy Acne
Isotretinoin is acknowledged as an oral medication that has revolutionized the way severe various types of acne is treated. However, it is dangerous is pregnant as the drug can affect a fetus and thus cause serious birth defects.
Any patient who does take isotretinoin, as well as any doctor who prescribes it, pharmacy that dispenses it, and wholesaler who distributes it, must enroll in a special program that is part of a risk-management program in order to prevent pregnancy as well as birth defects.
As the risks are so high, women of childbearing age who do take the drug need to be on two forms of birth control which start at least one month before they begin therapy. They also do need to stay on two forms of birth control for at least one month after therapy ends. Also, women must have pregnancy tests before, during, and after treatment.
Other prescription acne treatments that can cause birth defects include:
include the “female” hormone estrogen and the anti-androgens flutamide and spironolactone.
These do include antibiotics such as tetracycline, doxycycline, and minocycline, which can inhibit bone growth and discolor permanent teeth.
Topical retinoids such as adapalene (Differin), tazarotene (Tazorac) and tretinoin (Retin-A).
These products are indeed similar to isotretinoin and need to be avoided during pregnancy. Although studies do show that the amount of these medications absorbed through the skin is low, there is no doubt much concern that they could rather pose an increased risk of birth defects. Products are indeed required to carry a warning that states it is unknown if these medications can harm a developing fetus or a child that is being breastfed.
the experts are against using topical treatments containing salicylic acid. This is an ingredient actually found in many over-the-counter products.
Other Topical Acne Treatments cum Pregnancy
Some of the experts do recommend topical prescription products containing either erythromycin or azelaic acid. Other options include over-the-counter products that contain either benzoyl peroxide or glycolic acid. Only about 5% of the active medication that has been applied to the skin is absorbed into one’s body. Such medications would not pose an increased risk of birth defects.
is also important to remember that many topical medications have not been adequately studied in pregnancy. So again, be sure to consult one’s doctor before one starts any acne treatment.
Drug-Free Treatments for Pregnancy Acne
Pregnancy acne is a natural condition which usually resolves after childbirth. So, the safest course of action is indeed having good skin care.
How to cope up with pregnancy acne that is drug-free:
- Limiting wash time to two times per day and after heavy sweating.
- When does one wash, use a gentle, oil-free, alcohol-free, and non-abrasive cleanser?
- Use a cotton pad or washcloth to lightly wash your face ((but change and use a clean cloth or pad each time).
- After washing, rinse one’s skin with lukewarm water. Then gently pat dry and apply moisturizer.
- Avoid over-cleansing. It can rather over-stimulate the skin’s oil glands.
- Shampoo regularly. If one has oily skin, it is better to shampoo daily. Avoid oily hair mousse or pomade near the hairline.
- Change one’s pillowcases frequently.
- Keep one’s hands off one’s face because there are bacteria on the fingers.
- Use earbuds. Do not hold a cell-phone against the face.