One of the many things that any woman looks forward to during pregnancy, is flawlessly amazing skin. While that pregnancy glow is no myth, acne during pregnancy is very much a reality for several expectant moms. So, why do you get acne and what should you do about it when you’re pregnant? Read on to know more.
During the first and second trimester, several pregnant women experience acne. In fact, it is believed that every second pregnant woman can expect to develop mild to severe acne. The main cause of acne during pregnancy is the increased hormone levels in the first trimester. The higher the level of hormones, the greater is the increase in the skin’s production of natural oils.
Most women who have a history of acne or have acne flares at the start of their menstrual cycles are more likely to develop the condition during the first trimester. However, even those with clear skin can expect to experience acne during pregnancy.
Treating Pregnancy Acne
Most over-the-counter prescription medicines for acne are a strict no-no during pregnancy. These medications and treatments come with a high risk of birth defects. Therefore, even dermatologists will ask you if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, before giving you any acne medication. This means managing acne when you’re pregnant can be tricky.
It is important to understand that pregnancy acne isn’t a special form of acne. Some women may seem to have more trouble than others in controlling it. While medications are best avoided, here are a few things that pregnant women can do to keep their acne in control.
- Wash and Clean with gentle cleanser
Excess oil and sebum production are one of the main causes of pregnancy acne. The best way to prevent flare-ups and scars is by taking good care of your skin during pregnancy. Twice a day, clean your face gently with a mild, soap-free cleanser and wash with warm water. Avoid certain products such as facial scrubs, astringents and masks, because they can irritate the skin and worsen acne. Too much washing and scrubbing can also irritate the skin. Make sure you wash and rinse your face thoroughly, especially around your hairline and jaw, where pores tend to get clogged.
- Wash your hair regularly
If you develop acne around your hairline, shampooing regularly can help, especially if you have oily hair. Another thing that you can do is to keep your pillowcases, towels and any other head gear that you wear clean to avoid any issues and infections.
- Use a good moisturizer
Sometimes, over-washing and using a lot of scrub can cause a lot of damage to the skin. Your skin is extra sensitive during pregnancy. Over washing can strip your skin of its natural moisture and may even cause oil glands to go into overdrive and replenish what you’ve removed. It can also cause a lot of irritation and rashes. Using an oil-free moisturizer can help minimize the irritation and prevent further breakouts.
- Avoid squeezing or picking pimples
No matter how tempted you are to do so, don’t squeeze or pick at pimples. Doing so can cause infection or scarring. This will also make your acne condition worse and prolong your acne. It is also very unhygienic and can lead to acne spreading even more.
- Read the labels
When buying skin care, makeup, and hair care products, make sure you look at the labels. Avoid using oily or greasy cosmetics, sunscreens, hairstyling products or acne concealers. Try to use only products that are labeled water-based or non-comedogenic or non-acnegenic. These are less likely to cause acne during pregnancy. Oil-free moisturizers and makeup are the best.
- Be Sun Safe
In general, a woman’s skin is more prone to sunburn during pregnancy. Often, medicines used to treat acne which are safe to use in pregnancy, can lead to sunburn. Too much sun can also increase your risk of skin cancer and causes early aging of the skin. It can also cause other blotches on your skin during pregnancy. Make sure that whenever you step out, you use a sunscreen of at least SPF 30. It is best to use an oil-free one to avoid your pregnancy acne from flaring up.
- Eat Smart
To keep your skin healthy, increase your dietary intake of healthy foods such as fish, eggs, milk and carrots. Make sure that the fish you eat is lead-free and safe to consume during pregnancy. A simple thing such as cutting out or limiting sugar and refined grains can do wonders for your skin. Choose whole grains instead and avoid unhealthy fats which can further aggravate acne. Replace these with skin-boosting healthy fats like avocado, salmon, walnuts, and almonds. Other foods that can help prevent and treat acne include colorful fresh fruits and vegetables, and even small amounts of dark chocolate.
- Keep yourself Hydrated
Whether you have acne or not, this is one thing that you should religiously follow during pregnancy. Drinking plenty of water helps flush out your skin, keeping it moist and clear. It also ensures you do not have any other complication and enjoy a healthy pregnancy.
- Talk to your Doctor
Most over the counter acne medications are not advised during pregnancy as they can enter your bloodstream and cause serious birth defects in your baby. Therefore, before going for any OTC medication, talk to your doctor about it. They may even recommend a topical acne treatment that is right for you during pregnancy.
Acne can stay beyond pregnancy or it may just clear up as soon as you give birth to your little one. Following some of the above practices can help you enjoy a smooth, clear skin during pregnancy. If your acne worsens, talk to our doctors at KIMS Cuddles to know about the right treatment for you. Make sure you don’t use any medication, topical or oral, unless it’s been prescribed or cleared by a doctor who knows you’re pregnant.
*Information shared here is for general purpose Please take doctors’ advice before taking any decision.