Acne during pregnancy is fairly common, regardless of whether you had previously suffered from acne or not. As we all know, one of the main causes of acne is hormonal change which raises the production of sebum. The drastic hormonal changes during early pregnancy often result in acne inflammations. Even if you have been blessed with clear skin all your life, you may experience severe acne during your first trimester.
Acne during pregnancy is most common in the first three months or trimester as this is the time when hormonal levels start to increase. Progesterone is more androgenic (male hormone-like) than estrogen and causes the secretions of your skin glands to increase, which can lead to more acne.
If you suffer from acne during pregnancy, treatment may be tricky because typical acne treatments may not be suitable for pregnant women. The skin of a pregnant woman may dry out more than usual. Acne treatments such as benzoyl peroxide cream or gel may be too harsh. A safer alternative would be natural products such as tea tree oil for spots and blemishes.
Products containing salicylic acid may be mild for most people. However salicylic acid has been proven to cause birth defects and pregnancy complications. Salicylic acid is found in a number of different skin products, mostly toners and cleansers. When reading the labels on your medications look for the following names: Salicylic acid, Beta hydroxy acid, BHA.
You want to avoid all of these, unless you are using less than 2% of Salicylic acid as it has been shown to be safe for pregnant women. Salicylic acid in the oral form of medication however should be avoided at all costs as it has been shown to harm developing babies.
If you have blackheads and oily skin, a homemade oatmeal, honey and lemon exfoliator would help. This natural exfoliator is probably the best home remedy for blackheads. An acne during pregnancy treatment using Acnezine in the first trimester may also be beneficial since it controls oil secretion without any side effects.
Acne during pregnancy usually clears after the first trimester. You can treat your acne during pregnancy from the inside as well. Drink lots of water, and go on a diet to treat adult acne.
Such a diet to control acne is rich in antioxidants. Eat six servings of fresh fruit and vegetables every day, and choose brightly coloured fruits and vegetables. Reduce your intake of red meat and switch to oily fish such as salmon and tuna instead. Such fish contain high quality protein and essential fatty acids which promote healing of the skin and reduce hormonal imbalances which cause acne in the first place.
If you are planning to get pregnant, be sure to discuss your acne treatments with your doctor. Some acne treatments have serious side effects and they could harm an unborn baby include tetracycline antibiotics, oral isotretinoin (Roaccutane, Accutane) and topical retinoids (tretinoin, isotretinoin and adapalene).
If you are on Accutane, make sure you are on adequate contraception. Accutane has been known to cause birth defects even in babies conceived with a month after mothers have stopped Accutane. When you are pregnant, it is best to avoid all medications altogether if possible.