Acne and Pregnancy

Common Questions about
Acne during Pregnancy

Every pregnant woman is different. Some women already have acne and pregnancy makes it worse, while others experience healthy “glowing” skin.

If you are you pregnant or are trying to get pregnant, there are a couple things you should know about how your skin will be affected: 1. If you already have acne, your skin could either break out more during pregnancy, or simply clear up (hopefully it does!).

2. If you’ve always had clear skin, you could develop acne.

Both the above situations are quite common. In fact, women are prone to acne during pregnancy because of unstable hormone levels. Read on to find out why acne occurs, what you can do about it, and safe medication during pregnancy to use.

Acne and Pregnancy Q#1: Why does acne develop or get worse than before?

If you do start breaking out, or break out worse than before, it’s because of an increasing level of hormones in your body. Androgenic hormones like progesterone stimulate your oil glands to produce more oil, which leads to more acne.

The second reason is because of changes in hydration in your body. If you don’t drink enough water, the hormone secretions will remain undiluted and will not pass through the body as quickly.

Acne and Pregnancy Q#2: When does acne typically develop?

Typically during the first three months (first trimester) when hormone levels are fluctuating. However, it is possible to experience breakouts at any time during pregnancy, or after pregnancy.

Acne and Pregnancy Q#3: Will my acne go away?

As your pregnancy progresses, your acne typically improves, possibly because of higher levels of estrogen. After the first trimester, progesterone is produced by the placenta instead of the ovaries.

For some women, their skin can return to normal a couple months after they give birth. For others, however, the breakouts can return after they’ve had their baby because of a sudden decline in the production of estrogen. Sometimes their acne will disappear after a few months, and in other cases, it may not. Everyone is different.

Acne and pregnancy Acne and Pregnancy Q#4: What type of acne will I get?

Typically, women develop cysts, pustules and blackheads. Body acne can also develop.

Acne and Pregnancy Q#5: Will my baby develop acne if I develop it during pregnancy?

No. There is no correlation between developing acne during pregnancy and your infant having baby acne. Neither is there a correlation between pregnancy acne and children developing acne at later stages in life.

Acne and Pregnancy Q#6: Is there any way I can prevent acne during pregnancy?

No. You can’t predict it and you can’t prevent it. In most cases, the skin clears up after the first trimester, or after giving birth. In the meantime, there are things you can do to take care of your skin safely.

Acne and Pregnancy Q#7: When should I seek treatment help?

You should seek a dermatologist’s help before you consider buying any acne treatment, since your acne at this time is due to hormonal changes.

Although you might be desperate about your skin condition, be extra careful at this time about any creams, medications, or treatments. Herbal remedies, although often promoted as natural treatments, may contain ingredients that could affect you. Even over the counter pimple treatments are drugs that should be discussed with your doctor first.

Find out more about various types of treatments during pregnancy:

Acne and Pregnancy Q#8: How can I care for my skin without using medicated treatments?

Here is a list of things you can do to minimize acne flare-ups without causing harm to your baby, and also to maintain your health:

  • Exercise daily to stimulate circulation to all parts of your body including your skin,
  • Eat lots of fresh fruits and washed veggies, and
  • Drink about 6 to 8 glasses of water daily to keep your skin and body hydrated. This will help to dilute and expel hormonal secretions to improve acne.

Here are some practical acne prevention tips:

  • Don’t over-wash, (this can stimulate more oil)
  • Don’t touch your pimples as this only spreads bacteria, and
  • Use disposable sponges or cotton balls for toners, or makeup.
Acne and Pregnancy Q#9: What cleansing routine should I follow if I’m pregnant?

Here is a recommended cleansing routine for pregnant women:

  1. Wash your face 2 to 3 times a day with an oil-free mild cleanser. Some cosmetic brands and natural skin care products use oil-free ingredients. Use a fragrance-free soap.
  2. Rinse your face thoroughly with lukewarm water and get rid any soap residue. Gently pat dry with a paper towel.
  3. Use an astringent that is non-medicated (if you use it).
  4. Apply an oil-free moisturizer.


Hopefully the above information can help you understand acne during pregnancy, and give you some tips on how to care for your skin. If you find that you are having persistent problems with acne consult with your doctor.




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