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Body Acne & Pregnancy

Body Acne & Pregnancy Body Acne & Pregnancy


When you become pregnant, hormone swings can result in unwanted changes to your skin, such as acne breakouts all over the body. This can prove challenging for expectant moms, who may not be able to use acne treatments typically used outside of pregnancy. A physician can work with you to determine the best course of treatment.


When you are pregnant, your body produces more of the androgen hormones linked with acne outbreaks, according to BabyCenter. The extra production of hormones results in increased production of sebum--oil in the skin. The excess sebum can clog the pores. Bacteria then infiltrates the pores, and acne lesions can occur.

Time Frame

According to BabyCenter, pregnancy-related body acne can occur at any time during a pregnancy. Upon onset, body acne can continue throughout the course of a pregnancy or can come and go in cycles. During these cycles, the acne can range from mild--only a few pimples--to severe--numerous outbreaks of pus-filled acne lesions.


A good skin care regimen can help combat the effects of body acne, according to BabyCenter. Examples include washing the face twice daily with a gentle cleanser and applying an oil-free moisturizer or lotion to keep the skin soft. Use only products labeled as non-comedogenic, which means the product does not block pores. Discuss other treatment options with your physician.


Certain types of medication are not safe for use during pregnancy, according to BabyZone. This includes tetracycline pills, which are linked with birth defects and bone deformities. Other medications, such as erythromycin and other antibiotics, may be prescribed for use during pregnancy. Other topical applications, such as salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide and retinol, should be used on a case-by-case basis with your physician's consent.

Expert Insight

According to Dr. Gerard M. DiLeo, writing for BabyZone, an additional cause of body acne during pregnancy is lack of hydration. He recommends drinking six to eight glasses of water per day as a means to dilute sebum acne secretions. As an added bonus, DiLeo says drinking extra water will help to relax the uterus and reduce constipation, both two adverse symptoms associated with pregnancy.

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