If you are a mom-to-be who thought acne was just a teenage problem and you are done with it, you are in for a surprise. Well, acne is just not a teenage problem; it sometimes haunts pregnant women as well. Severe hormonal fluctuations within the body during pregnancy induce acne.
A sudden flare-up of acne breakouts can cause moments of anxiousness in a pregnant woman. Few women might have had relatively clear skin for years but might develop acne for the first time since becoming pregnant.
Acne during pregnancy can be mild, moderate, or severe. It can occur any time during the pregnancy, it may come and go, or it may last the entire pregnancy. Acne can be at its worst during the first trimester as hormonal fluctuations are severe. Acne disappears post-delivery in most women, particularly in women who have had a history of clear skin. In worst cases, acne lasts until breastfeeding.
The good news is that acne during pregnancy usually resolves on its own and does not require any special treatment. If you feel conscious about it, you can visit a dermatologist. There are few over-the-counter medications and creams for acne that are safe to use even while pregnant.
Why acne while pregnant?
Elevated levels of progesterone: Excessive secretion of progesterone increases the secretion of the skin glands thus making skin oily and causing acne.
Alterations in the fluid levels in the body: Hormone secretions remain undiluted due to the alterations in the fluid levels in the body, triggering acne.
Pregnancy acne types
- Body pustules
Who is more prone to develop acne?
Though it cannot be predicted, women with previous history of acne breakouts are prone to suffer more from acne during pregnancy. Women who developed acnes just before their monthly periods are also likely to suffer from this problem.
Tips to handle acne during pregnancy
Good skin care is the key to maintaining healthy skin during pregnancy.
- Use a mild soap twice a day.
- Use a gentle cleanser to cleanse the face in the morning and at night.
- If irritation persists, stop using astringents and toners.
- Remember to choose mild skin care products during pregnancy as the skin is in a highly sensitive phase then.
- Do not scrub your face with a washcloth, which can cause irritation to the skin and worsen the problem.
- Pat your skin dry instead of rubbing it.
- Use oil-free moisturizers.
- Do not squeeze, pop or rub against the acne, it will aggravate the problem and could lead to scarring.
- Use water-based makeup products rather than oil-based makeup products.
- Wash your makeup thoroughly before you go to bed.
- Use acne medication as recommended by the dermatologist.
- Check with your dermatologist if the medication is safe for use during pregnancy.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Pregnancy skin care
Pregnancy induces many changes, the list includes weight, size, hormones, food cravings, etc, and most
threatening is the changes in skin. Few women dread the stretch marks while yet a few enjoy the glow of pregnancy. Not all women are lucky enough to have glowing skin during their pregnancy. Few of them develop dry; itchy skin while others can have oily skin and suffer from acne and other related problems.
Women and pregnancies are unique and so are pregnancy skin problems. Proper hydration and a healthy diet can minimize skin damage. Pregnancy skin care varies for different skin types based on whether it is oily, dry or normal.
Common skin problems faced by pregnant women
Skin care tips for pregnant women
- Dry skin
- Variety of bumps
- Skin rashes
- Skin discoloration
- The most frustrating skin problem is melasma/chloasma or pregnancy mask. Patches of dark, pigmented skin show up on the face. Pregnancy mask is associated with pregnancy hormones and sunlight exposure.
- Stretch marks
- Dark under-eye circle
- Linea nigra (the faint brown line from the navel to the pubic bone)
- Drink plenty of water as this will flush out the toxins from the body. This will prevent dull skin; in fact it will give your skin a healthy glow.
- Rest a lot and stay relaxed, this is the best form of skin care during pregnancy.
- Cleanse your skin with a gentle cleanser.
- Use a mild soap or soaps with natural oils, this will control skin irritation.
- Moisturize your skin regularly.
- Protect your skin with a safe sunscreen lotion so as to prevent pigmentation while steeping into the sun.
- Cut short bathing time as prolonged baths can dehydrate the skin and make it look dull.
- Pay special attention to your feet, as your feet tend to develop cracks due to excessive weight. Women tend to neglect the feet during pregnancy, this can cause dry skin and thus cracks.
- Massage your abdomen with a gel so as to make it supple, prevent itching and harsh stretch marks.
- Apply oil daily to control stretch marks and dry skin.
- Eat a balanced diet including plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Skin care routine for oily skin
Pregnant women with oily skin can follow this simple yet effective skin care routine so as to prevent pregnancy related skin problems.
Skin care routine for dry skin
- Do not use customary acne medications for pregnancy acne breakouts.
- Do not use makeup, cleansers and moisturizers that contain chemical exfoliants.
- Remember to use sun blocks, moisturizers, makeups, and cleansers marked as noncomedogenic or nonacnegenic.
- Use a gentle, nondrying cleanser on your face twice daily.
- Avoid moisturizing soaps as they contain emollients that can possibly clog pores.
- Scrub with a mechanical exfoliant three times a week.
- Stay out of the sun as much as you can, if you should, remember to apply an oil-free sun block every day.
- Use a clarifying mask to remove the oil out of the pores once a week
Top of the Page: Acne during Pregnancy
- Do not use anti-itch ointments containing cortisone or hydrocortisone.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Wash your face twice daily with a gentle cleanser specially formulated for dry skin.
- Use a rich, emollient moisturizer and sun block.
- Use a moisturizing mask once a week.
- If your skin is extra flaky, remove the dead skin cells with a mechanical exfoliant.
- Don't bathe too often, when you do, take short, lukewarm showers and baths using a gentle moisturizing soap.
- Moisturize your body using a rich cream; moisturizers have the tendency to trap water in the skin.
- If your skin is too dry, apply oil after every shower and later apply a moisturizing cream over the skin.