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Acne Due to Pregnancy

Acne Due to Pregnancy Acne Due to Pregnancy Acne Due to Pregnancy


While some women are fortunate enough to have clear skin throughout their pregnancy, others find that the "glow" of pregnancy quickly turns to a face full of pimples. Understanding what is and what is not safe to treat acne due to pregnancy will help ensure the wellness of your unborn baby.


Elevated androgen hormone levels can cause an increase in oil production and bring about skin changes, according to the Blooming Body website. For some women, this oil increase leads to "pregnancy glow," while others are not so lucky and experience a return to adolescent-style acne.

During the first trimester, many women experience an increase in breakouts. This is especially true for those who were prone to acne before pregnancy, according to the Blooming Body website. According to most physicians, the reason for this is the dramatic shift in hormones. With an increase in androgen levels, many women experience an increase in oil production and unsightly breakouts along with it.


It is important to get a doctor's approval for all over-the-counter (OTC) acne products before using them. According to the American Pregnancy website, many physicians approve of OTC cleansers and treatments that contain benzoyl peroxide, but they recommend avoiding those with salicylic acid.

Routine face washing two or three times a day with an oil-free mild cleanser followed by an oil-free moisturizer can also help to keep skin clear. The Blooming Body website recommends making a gentle face scrub by adding a dab of baking soda to facial cleanser.

Medications to Avoid

Pregnant women must avoid prescription drugs used to treat acne in non-pregnant women. Accutane, Retin-A and tetracycline are discouraged for women trying to conceive as well as those who are pregnant, according to the Pregnancy Info website. Accutane can cause birth defects when used during the first trimester, according to the American Pregnancy website, while tetracycline appears to cause bone growth problems and fetal teeth discoloration. Doctors know less about Retin-A, although it still carries a warning for pregnant women.


Many women may be dismayed to learn that pregnancy pimples are not limited to the face. Some pregnant women discover that acne can spread to the chest and back, often referred to as body acne. Skin care treatments used for the face also work for the body.

The Good News

The worst of the acne tends to occur during the first trimester, according to the Pregnancy Info website. As pregnancy progresses, estrogen levels increase and can help to clear pimples.

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