Acne & Conceiving
Acne is a relatively common skin problem that may vary in presentation and severity from person to person. Acne treatments include lifestyle changes, over-the-counter medications or prescription drugs. Before and during pregnancy, however, your acne treatment options are likely to change. Consult your doctor for medical advice specific to your health and pregnancy plans before trying to conceive.
The most common symptom of acne is the development of pimples on the face, back, chest, shoulders, neck and potentially other areas of your body. According to MayoClinic.com, acne pimples are formed by hair follicles under the surface of your skin becoming clogged. Hormonal changes associated with pregnancy may play a role in causing acne.
MayoClinic.com reports that oral contraceptives -- also known as the birth control pill -- may be effective as a treatment for acne. If you have been taking the birth control pill as a form of acne treatment, you may find that your acne symptoms worsen when you discontinue the birth control pill. Obviously, if you wish to conceive you will need to stop taking the birth control pill.
Many acne treatment drugs -- whether over-the-counter or prescription -- are unsafe for use during pregnancy. Some drugs may cause serious birth defects if used while you are pregnant. In particular, the anti-acne drug isotretinoin -- sold under the brand name Accutane -- is linked with serious birth defects. It is not considered safe to conceive within several weeks of finishing isotretinoin treatment, so if you are planning a pregnancy you should discontinue use of this acne medication well before conception.
Some women find that they develop acne during pregnancy -- this may be due to hormonal changes, or because of stopping birth control or anti-acne medications. To reduce the likelihood of experiencing acne during your pregnancy, MayoClinic.com recommends washing your face twice daily with a mild cleanser and using only lukewarm water. Keep your hair away from your face, use oil-free cosmetics and avoid picking or scratching any acne pimples or sores which do appear. If you are still troubled by your acne, talk to your doctor about pregnancy-safe medications.
Any medication you take during pregnancy may enter your bloodstream and affect your developing fetus. It is vital you consult your own doctor for personalized medical advice before attempting any acne treatment either before, during or after pregnancy.
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