All pregnant women could have pregnancy acne, which is most common during the first and second trimesters. Even if you got rid of acne during your teenage years, unfortunately, you can still expect to develop it once you become pregnant.
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On the other hand, women with a history of acne during puberty, adulthood, or during a previous pregnancy are more likely to be affected by pregnancy acne. However, in women with oily or acneic skin, acne can either improve or worsen.
Mild, moderate, or severe, all forms of pregnancy acne can be very anxious, as they affect the woman’s look and feel which shouldn’t be ignored during this precious time of life. Read on to learn more about how to get rid of such a skin disorder during pregnancy.
about pregnancy acne
Pregnancy acne is a skin disorder that generally occurs in the areas with more sebaceous glands: microscopic glands closely associated with hair follicles, that secrete an oily liquid called sebum. It most often appears on the face, shoulders, upper chest, and back.
As during puberty in teenagers, pregnancy acne relates to increased production of sebum due to hormonal factors. It is characterized by:
- blackheads or whiteheads
- red pimples
- oily skin
- possible scarring
- cysts in severe cases.
Pregnancy acne can occur at any term, may last throughout the pregnancy or be only temporary, and often tends to disappear gradually after childbirth, while the woman regains her hormonal balance. It has, of course, no impact on the baby’s skin.
What Causes Pregnancy Acne?
Like most pregnancy disorders, hormonal changes are behind pregnancy acne. The pregnant woman’s body produces an increased amount of hormones including androgens: male sex hormones in females that can cause sebaceous glands to grow larger and produce more oily sebum.
Along with dust and dead skin cells, this excess oil can clog and block hair follicles or skin pores, causing infection by bacteria (Cutibacterium acnes). The immune system reacts to bacteria, which then results in inflamed pimples and acne breakouts.
Other pregnancy hormones such as estrogen and progesterone also have an impact on sebum formation. At their peak, these hormones cause hyperactivity of the sebaceous glands, which produce more sebum, and thus trigger pregnancy acne.
In addition, pregnant women with conditions such as Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) have a range of symptoms, including pregnancy acne, due to high levels of androgens.
Unfortunately, PCOS during pregnancy may present an increased risk of complications, which requires more monitoring for the mother and the baby.
What can a facial acne spot reveal?
- Acne that surrounds the hairline on your forehead: This means that your hair products are thick, often mineral oil-based.
- Acne breakout in the forehead area: This is due to a liver disorder, stress or lack of sleep.
- Bumps on the T-zone: This means that your face produces too much oil.
- Acne in the chin and jaw: This is often caused by hormonal fluctuations.
- Face breaks out near the edges: This means that your cosmetics clog your pores.
- Cheek breakouts: This means you are eating too much sugar.
Pregnancy Acne: Treatment
When it comes to acne, many treatments are available, ranging from reducing sugars in the diet to medications that include antibiotics, and hormonal therapies.
For pregnancy acne, the first rule is to avoid self-medication and seek advice from a dermatologist before initiating any treatment. Indeed, the following treatments and medications commonly used to combat acne are contraindicated during pregnancy, as they can cause birth defects:
- hormonal therapies
However, certain treatments can be considered to improve skin conditions in pregnant women, still in agreement with the dermatologist. To improve overall skin condition, reduce sebum secretion, and control small inflammations, zinc capsules can be particularly effective.
Pregnancy acne usually disappears after delivery. In case of persistent acne, treatment should be discussed with a professional dermatologist, especially during breastfeeding.
How to get rid of pregnancy acne?
Pregnancy acne is a hormonal process that is difficult to manage since it is not possible to control hormonal changes that lead to this problem.
It is, therefore, recommended to adopt other softer cares with some pregnancy-friendly products that will help you get rid of existing pimples, prevent new outbreaks, and keep your look and feel as you wish.
Of course, a pregnant woman should read the product label to know what ingredients she is getting. The following skincare ingredients are considered to be safe to use during pregnancy: Glycolic acid, Lactic acid, Azelaic acid.
Ingredients to avoid: Retinols and Retinoids, Isotretinoin (should absolutely not be used as it has been proven to cause birth defects).
Salicylic acid is extremely common in skincare products that fight pimples. Doctors generally recommend avoiding heavy or frequent use of this substance during pregnancy. But skin absorbs very little of it from creams.
1. Cleansing And reducing the oil.
Washing your face and other acne areas twice a day (morning and bedtime) with a mild, non-oily, and soap-free cleanser can help remove excess sebum and dirt during the day. Do not wash more than twice a day or use a drying cleanser as this can irritate your skin and worsen breakouts.
Wash your hair every day with a pregnancy-friendly shampoo to reduce the amount of oil on your skin, which will help prevent or control acne. Acne is often the result of oil accumulation, much of which can come from your facial hair.
2. Reducing bacteria
Do not touch, scratch, or squeeze the pimples that appear on your skin, as this may increase inflammation, promote bacterial growth, and may cause scarring. Instead, use a pimple patch that acts as a protective cover and prevents picking or touching.
Use cosmetics that particularly regulate sebum and help keep the skin clean. Use non-comedogenic fluids and avoid applying layers of makeup that would still clog your skin’s pores.
If you would like to apply make-up, use products with fluid textures that are especially recommended for oily skin. Avoid too frequent peels or masks that could create inflammation.
4. pure honey
During pregnancy, your skin stretches and becomes dry, causing acne. Apply some pure honey to reduce redness and swelling of pregnancy acne. Honey acts as a natural moisturizer that relieves the skin and cures dryness problems.
5. Skin Hydratation
Hydrate your skin properly on the outside using appropriate oil-free lotions and creams rich in zinc, and on the inside by drinking at least 2 L of water per day.
6. Apple cider vinegar
Organic acids in apple cider vinegar can help kill the bacteria that cause acne. They can also help reduce the appearance of scars. Due to its high acidity, apple cider vinegar must be diluted before applying to the skin, and avoid using it on open wounds.
Mix one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with 3 tablespoons of water. With cotton, gently apply the solution to the pimples, leave on for 5 to 20 seconds and rinse. Repeat the process twice a day.
7. The right diet
To improve your skin’s health, choose a balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables rich in vitamins A every day. Vegetables, such as sweet potato, carrots, spinach, broccoli, pumpkin, and red pepper. Fruits, such as mangoes, cantaloupes, and apricots.
Foods that raise blood sugar levels can also boost hormones. Hormones stimulate oil production, which, in turn, can trigger acne. Limit high-glycemic-index foods (white bread, white potatoes, candy, sugary drinks…) and focus on low and medium-glycemic-index foods.
Foods rich in zinc (oysters, cocoa, wheat germ, veal, egg…) can help regulate sebum secretion.
8. Better sleep
Good sleep means good skin. Sleeping between 7 and 9 hours a night is very beneficial for skin health. Allow yourself time to rest and relax. Stress and fatigue can trigger acne breakouts.
Wash your pillowcase regularly since your face spends many hours rubbing against it, on which dust, oil, and bacteria quickly accumulate. You can even cover it with a clean towel every night to prevent dirt from clogging your pores.