Everyone knows that women look ravishing during pregnancy. However, this is true only for a few lucky ones while for others the high hormonal activity can have the reverse effect leading to a variety of skin problems and the most common among them is the pregnancy acne.
High levels of hormones known as androgens is partly responsible for the breakouts during pregnancy because the sebaceous glands turn bigger and hence, boost the production of sebum (an oily substance). When this extra sebum combines with dead skin cells that line the hair follicles, it can block the pores, which creates the right environment for the bacteria to grow and multiply rapidly. This will eventually lead to skin eruptions and inflammation.
The acne can range from mild, moderate to severe and can occur during any phase of pregnancy. Managing acne during pregnancy could be quite tricky, as some of the over-the-counter and prescription medications can be risky and might result in birth defects. As a general rule, you must avoid medications, unless they are absolutely necessary.
How to Control Acne during Pregnancy
Self Care Tips
Wash your face gently using a mild cleanser and lukewarm water. This should be done at least twice in a day. In case your hair is oily, shampoo it every day and be careful to keep your hair away from the face. Avoid scratching, squeezing and picking acne sores. Such habits can increase the infection and cause scarring.
Always use oil-free cosmetic products. The makeup products must be water-based and labeled ‘nonacnegenic’ and ‘noncomedogeneic’. This ensures they do not cause breakouts or clog the pores. Always, remove your make-up completely before going to bed.
Medicines are another way of treating pregnancy acne. Medications that are swallowed or applied on the skin can enter the bloodstream. Therefore, it is essential to exercise caution with over-the-counter medicines. However, certain prescription acne medications do not have any adverse effects on the baby or the mother.
Topical Erythromycin (Erygel) is the drug that is usually used to treat pregnancy acne. It is available in the form of ointments and prescription gels like Erythra-Derm and T-Stat.
Azelex Finacea (Azelaic acid) is another alternative. Both these medications are normally applied on the skin and are available in the form of gel or lotion. Clindamycin is a topical antibiotic, which is prescribed in the form of Cleocin-T and Clinda-Derm. Consult your doctor before using any medicated lotions or gels.
Topical products based on sulphur and those containing alpha hydroxyl acids or gycolic acid or any of the microdermabrasion treatments can be tried to clear the pregnancy acne.
However, you must avoid products containing salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide or any of the retinoids, as it can be harmful to the fetus.
This is an extremely important aspect during pregnancy, which will not only help in the overall well-being, but it is also useful in preventing acne breakouts. To put it briefly, you can control acne by controlling stress.
Healthy diet also plays an important role in controlling acne. Diet along with a regular exercise regimen will work wonders. Daily exercise increases the blood flow to the skin, which helps in toning and keeping the skin healthier.
With a little patience and extra care, you can reduce or avoid acne breakouts during pregnancy by following these remedies.