Your hormones, the potent cocktail of chemicals, behave erratically during pregnancy. These causes constant mood swings, bloating, and several other changes on a pregnant woman’s skin. The fluctuations in hormonal levels can also cause acne during pregnancy. It is nothing really to be worried about as it is just a manifestation of the rampaging hormones inside the body. However, it can be seriously annoying and many will try to use just about anything to treat acne even if these treatments are unsafe. Fortunately, there are safe and effective ways to treat acne during pregnancy. Remember, however, that it will take some time for acne to heal.
Here are several ways that you can manage or cure your acne:
- Taking medications. Your primary health provider knows exactly what you need to take for your skin condition. Make sure to take only as recommended. Your doctor will also remind you not to take two medications with the same active ingredients at the same time. It is also best that you avoid any treatment that will cause the skin to peel as this will mean that more of what may be necessary may penetrate the pores of the skin. Take note of the drug ingredients or medications that your doctor will tell you not to take or use.
- Try topical treatments. Topical solutions with Glycolic acids and other alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) are thought to be safe during pregnancy. Only a small amount of the solution is applied directly to the affected area. This solution can also be in the form of a lotion, cream, and facial wash. However, it is not recommended to take oral acne treatment as they can be hazardous. You will need to consult your health provider if you think you need to take oral acne treatments instead.
- Use topical azelaic acid. Azelaic acid is considered to be a category B treatment for pregnant women under the US FDA. However, there are no studies on human subjects establishing this yet. Only take this medication as prescribed by a specialist.
- Apply topical antibacterial solution. Acne appears when dead skin cells and excess oil clog the pores of the skin and attract bacteria. Clindamycin and erythromycin, two of the most common antibacterial solutions, are both considered to be under category B medication for pregnant women. You may need your doctor’s prescription to use this medication, however.
- Avoid medication that contains high-risk compounds. Isotretinoin (Accutane), Tretinoin (Retin-A, Renova), adapalene (Differin), Tazorac (tazarotene) and other retinoids are considered high-risk medications as they may cause birth defects or miscarriage. Another drug, Tetracycline, may affect bone and tooth development in the fetus. Lastly, hormonal therapy is also considered a high-risk treatment as it can cause major developmental changes to the unborn child.
- Natural acne treatments. There are safer ways to treat acne during pregnancy. You won’t need any prescription for these as health experts agree that they can be used safely and effectively
- Keeping your skin clean. Regular washing of your face and body with a gentle soap and water will help remove excess oil and unclog the pores. This will ensure that no acne buildup will be there. Just make sure to wash your skin gently and pat dry. Excessive washing and rubbing will eventually dry out the skin. This will cause the oil glands to produce more oil, which eventually will trigger an acne outbreak. It may also cause irritation and cause other skin problems.
- Do not pinch or pop your pimples. This may also cause skin irritation that may trigger an acne breakout. Keep your hands clean and away from your face.
- Use makeup products that are non-comedogenic. Not all makeup products may be safe for your skin. Some may even encourage acne breakout. Non-comedogenic products are less likely to clog the pores of the skin.
- Eat a healthy and balanced diet. All that your baby needs is a healthy diet that he can absorb so his brain and body will be fully developed. This will also ensure that your immune system will be fully functioning and will help keep any unsightly skin problems away.
- Apply natural acne solutions. Though they may not be as effective as prescribed medications, they are less likely create any harm to your baby. There are several ways you can use natural ingredients as a solution for acne. Argan oil, olive, oil, as well as honey and sugar mix can be applied directly on the affected area.
- Take oral zinc supplements. Pregnant women are required to have a daily intake of 15 mg of zinc per day. Taking oral zinc supplements (if you are not receiving an adequate amount from the food that you take) is said to help manage acne. However, you will need to stop taking this supplement when you start breastfeeding your baby.
- Drink 8-10 glasses of water every day. Keeping your body hydrated is a good way to remove toxins from your body through your sweat, feces, and urine. This also a good way to unclog the pores and keep dead skin and excess oil from accumulating within those areas. Make sure that you drink about 8-10 glasses each day.
It is up to you whether to go with the natural way or those clinically proven methods to treat acne. Whichever treatment method you take, always consider your health provider’s advise. Take note also that you don’t need to worry much about your condition as it may just worsen your condition. Just relax and stick to healthy living to keep your baby safe and enjoying a stress-free pregnancy.