Charleston Dermatology Blog

Pregnancy-Safe Acne Treatments for Expecting Mothers

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A new baby brings many changes, not only for your lifestyle but your body too! As many expecting mothers may find, this can include annoying acne outbreaks. This phenomenon, known as “Pregnancy Acne,” is most commonly experienced during the first trimester and results from increased natural oil production caused by rising hormone levels. Soon-to-be mothers experiencing these outbreaks should reassess their acne treatments as many standard practices may no longer be safe for their developing baby.

Avoid These Treatments

Many over-the-counter and prescribed acne medications (topical or ingested) may pose risks to developing babies when taken by pregnant women. Why is this the case? Due to their nature, these medications enter the bloodstream, which can affect the developing child. 

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends pregnant women immediately stop taking the following medications and consult their doctor:

While only a small percentage of topical retinoids are absorbed into the skin, avoidance is still recommended.

Pregnancy-Safe Acne Treatments

While pregnancy acne is seen as a phenomenon, it is truly no different than your average outbreak. These flare-ups typically resolve themselves after childbirth when hormone levels return to normal. Due to this, the safest and most widely recommended treatment is adopting a good skin care regimen. 

Mothers can practice drug-free acne prevention by adopting the following self-care methods:

  • Avoid irritants. Knowing your skin is half the battle. By paying close attention to your skin, you will discover what ignites your flare-ups and can more easily avoid irritants and reduce acne outbreaks. Oily and greasy cosmetics, such as sunscreen, are usual culprits of pregnancy acne.
  • Wash your skin up to two times per day. While regular washing is vital for skin health, it is possible to overwash. Excessive scrubbing or washing can irritate the skin, as well as products like astringents and facial scrubs. Instead, opt for mild soaps and water when cleansing the skin.
  • Use shampoo regularly. Regularly washing hair with shampoo can be a simple yet extremely important step for women who tend to see acne outbreaks along the scalp/hairline.

While most medications are not recommended, there are some deemed safe to use for expecting mothers. These include those containing clindamycin, azelaic acid, erythromycin and benzoyl peroxide. Laser treatments have also been proven as an effective acne treatment method safe for pregnant women under the advisement of a board-certified dermatologist.

Charleston Dermatology is here for you!

Your health and that of your child are our top priority! Our team is standing by to guide our patients safely through their skincare journey. If you are an expecting mother needing skin relief, we’re here to help. Contact us today and schedule your visit with our team of board-certified dermatologists.

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