Connecting the Dots: Pregnancy Acne

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Are acne flare-ups ruining your pregnancy glow?

While some women experience clear, beautiful skin throughout their pregnancies, others aren’t so lucky.

Hormones can cause all kinds of changes during pregnancy, including one you may have thought you left behind in your teenage years. Acne is a common pregnancy complaint, and it’s caused by the elevated hormones in your body.

Spot the Problem

When pregnancy hormones go into overdrive, they don’t just start getting your body ready for baby—they also increase oil production. Thanks to all that excess oil, your pores start to clog just like they did when you were a teenager, and up pop the pimples.

While some women may not be bothered by pregnancy acne, other women fall prey to mood swings caused by—you guessed it—that same hormone production. With all the changes your body is going through, it can be difficult to feel comfortable with how you look, and the appearance of acne certainly doesn’t help matters. Fortunately, there are solutions.

Pore It On

Your doctor may recommend using a medication with glycolic acid, benzoyl peroxide or azelaic acid to treat your acne. You may want to avoid products containing salicylic acid. If you are considering trying a product with an active ingredient not mentioned above, speak to your doctor first—it’s always better to be safe.

If you’re hesitant to use medication, or simply want to try preventing pregnancy acne in the first place, try these at-home solutions:

  • If you use cosmetics, switch to oil-free options while you’re pregnant. Acne is caused by oil overproduction, so adding more will only exacerbate the problem.
  • Don’t pick! Messing with your acne sores makes them more likely to scar later, rather than healing and disappearing.
  • Shampoo your hair every day if you have oily hair, and try to keep it out of your face as much as possible, as the oil can easily transfer to your skin.
  • Wash your face morning and night, but use a mild cleanser that doesn’t contain scrubbing beads—those pesky hormones can also make your skin more sensitive to certain products than usual, in addition to causing the acne.

If you’ve tried everything and still aren’t seeing results, talk to your doctor. While many prescription acne medications can’t be used during pregnancy, and others are limited to certain trimesters, there are prescription options for more heavy-duty acne concerns. After all, you deserve to enjoy your glow!

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