Pregnancy acne is what most pregnant women experience, usually in the first and second trimester. Higher levels of hormones can lead to an excessive production of sebum, which is a waxy, oily substance. This substance can clog your pores and cause inflammation, bacteria growth, as well as breakouts.
According to some research, you are more likely to get acne during pregnancy if you regularly experience breakouts during your menstrual period. The good news is that this condition is temporary in most cases. Your skin is going to clear up once your hormones reach their normal levels, but it is important to know which natural treatments can help you get your symptoms under control.
Pregnancy Acne is Caused by Hormones
Your body is experiencing many changes during pregnancy, and your skin is no exception. Acne during pregnancy is normal and is experienced by half of all pregnant women. The changes in your body will eventually show up on your skin. Hormonal changes during pregnancy can be extreme, so some androgen hormones (progesterone to be more precise) can contribute to the development of pregnancy acne.
This hormone is crucial for pregnancy since it prepares the uterus for your little bundle of joy. However, high levels of progesterone make your oil gland produce even more oil. That is why your skin suddenly becomes so oily. Oil can clog your pores, which can, in turn, lead to breakouts.
Acne during Pregnancy can Appear and Reappear
Your first trimester is the period when you are most likely to develop acne. This is when your hormones start wildly fluctuating to prepare your body for what is coming. You may notice inflammatory pimples on your skin, which are different from blackheads. However, not every pregnancy is the same, so you may not have to deal with such problems at all. Some pregnant women even notice that their skin condition becomes much better, while others do not notice any changes at all.
If you have already suffered from acne, you are more likely to develop this condition during your pregnancy. The risk is even higher if you usually break out around or during your menstrual cycle. If pregnancy acne appears in the first trimester, it will often completely disappear during the second trimester. However, you should not be surprised if pimples reappear in your third trimester because your hormones will go wild again during that period.
You might also notice acne on places you’ve never had them before. Body breakouts are also very common during pregnancy. Other skin changes such as stretch marks and melisma are also something that you will probably have to deal with. Stretch marks can be treated with a stretch mark cream, but make sure you consult with your doctor first.
Hopefully, not everything is bad, there is some good news too. Acne will probably go away once your baby is born if they appeared during pregnancy. Doctors will usually recommend not doing anything about your acne because of this. Also, having acne while you are pregnant does not necessarily mean that your child will have baby acne too.
Your acne might be causing you a lot of trouble. For this reason, you might want to do something about them before your little one is born. If acne is leaving scars or if you notice that it is very severe, you probably have to do something about it.
However, you have to take care when choosing the treatment for your acne while you are pregnant. Pregnant or nursing moms should never use certain acne medications (for example, isotretinoin). Some topical medications should also be avoided. Of course, make sure your doctor approves the medication you want to use to treat your condition, even if it is an over-the-counter product.
To make sure that both you and your baby will stay safe, you should make sure to consult with a dermatologist or with an obstetrician. These experts will help you to come up with a functioning acne treatment plan that will cause no harm.
Here are some natural remedies you can try to eliminate or just subside your acne.
Apple Cider Vinegar
You need to mix distilled water with unfiltered, raw apple cider vinegar. The ratio between the vinegar and water should be 1:3. The mixture you get is rich in alpha hydroxyl acids and naturally occurring enzymes.
From there, all you need is a cotton ball. Soak it in the mixture and gently apply it to your skin. Doing this should help you to get rid of some oil from your skin.
Keep in mind that you have to mix the vinegar with distilled water, no matter what. Undiluted vinegar can have a lot of negative effects on your skin. It is very acidic and could cause burns that will be hard to deal with. If you keep noticing the dryness, stop using this mixture and try a different remedy.
Baking soda is usually not recommended by healthcare experts. It is known that this product can remove important protective oils and can irritate your skin. However, it is very good at eliminating the oil on your skin and it promotes healing. If you decide to use baking soda, make sure you use it as a treatment for breakouts.
Mix a tablespoon of water with a tablespoon of baking soda to make this natural spot treatment mixture. Remember not to apply it to your entire face or body, but only to individual pimples. To get the best usage of it, let it dry before you wash it off.
Citrus fruit like lemons and limes are rich in alpha hydroxy acid. If you try to put a lime or lemon juice to your skin you will notice that it helps shed dead skin cells and unclog pores. These antibacterial and astringent properties make it an effective exfoliant.
Squeeze the juice in a bowl and use a cotton ball to soak some of it. Apply it directly to a spot and leave it for about 10 minutes to try properly. Simply use some cool water to rinse the juice off.
Honey has antiseptic and antibacterial properties. Some healthcare experts say that it is also soothing to the skin.
Rinse your face with warm water before you apply the honey. You can apply honey directly with your fingers, but be careful. Apply it gently to the affected area. Leave the honey to dry for about 20 to 30 minutes before rinsing it with warm water.
It is known that coconut oil has antifungal and antibacterial properties. As well as honey, this product is very easily absorbed and it is soothing to the skin. Use virgin coconut oil before you go to sleep. Just apply a small amount on the affected area instead of a moisturizer.
Cucumber and Oatmeal
As you probably already know, cucumber and oatmeal are very good to fight pregnancy acne. They offer cooling and soothing properties for the skin. You can try different homemade treatment masks made of these products. Make sure that a mask you will use uses only natural ingredients that you can find in your kitchen. You will usually be required to blend some items and freeze the mixture. A mask should usually be there for about 10-15 minutes before you wash it off.
Your skin has natural moisture. You will remove this moisture if you wash your skin too much without any particular reason. Doing this will make you more prone to breakouts since oil production will be increased.
It is also known that dry skin can be caused by very hot water. Healthcare experts recommend using a soap-free, mild cleanser with lukewarm water when you wake up. You can also try using this after heavy sweating or before you go to sleep.
Make your exfoliation gentle. Use a soft washcloth or your hands and gently pressure your skin. Use circular motions while doing this. Keep in mind to rinse and wash thoroughly. Don’t rub your skin with a towel after you are done. Pad you’re skin until it is dry instead. Finish cleaning your skin by applying an oil-free moisturizer.
Important Things to Remember
Dealing with acne during pregnancy doesn’t necessarily have to be difficult. Here are some of the important things you should keep in mind to stay free of acne, glowing, and beautiful.
- Give yourself time to relax and rest. Fatigue and stress usually trigger acne outbreaks.
- Drink purified water to keep your skin hydrated. Avoid too much caffeine and carbonated beverages.
- Don’t squeeze, scratch, pick, or pop acne sores. This can cause scarring and increased irritation.
- Change your towels and pillowcases often.
- Eat a nutritious diet with vegetables and fresh fruits, and healthy fats like nuts and avocado. Also, add lean sources of protein too. Avoid processed foods and refined sugars.
- Use oil-free products if you wear makeup. Search for “non-acnegenic” and”non-comedogenic” labels on the makeup you want to buy. Make sure you don’t go to sleep with your makeup.
- Wash your hair regularly. Try keeping it off your face, especially if it is oily.
- Avoid touching your face since you can allow bacteria to grow by doing this.
- Don’t forget to consult with your doctor before using any medication for treating your acne. For example, salicylic acid and vitamin A are common ingredients in most skin care products. You want to avoid using these since they are not very safe to use during pregnancy.
When to Consult With a Doctor
You should let your doctor know if you decide to use any medication to treat acne during pregnancy. Also, if you notice that your pimples are not getting any better, or if you think it is getting worse, make sure your doctor knows about your situation. These breakouts are usually harmless and will go away on their own, but don’t hesitate to tell your doctor if you are worried.
Don’t use any over-the-counter medication without getting permission from your doctor either. You will be taking risks by doing this, and that is not necessary while you’re carrying a child.
Baby Planet Overview
Most women experience pregnancy acne at some point. You will probably have to deal with them during your first and third trimester since your hormones will go wild during these periods. However, you shouldn’t be discouraged since they will go away once you are done with delivery. Of course, you can try treating your condition with some natural remedies. These will most likely just reduce the symptoms and make your life a bit easier.
Don’t forget to always consult with your doctor if you choose to use medication to treat your acne. Still, this way of treatment is not recommended since you could do more harm than good to your health.
- Management of severe acne during pregnancy, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov