Which Acne Treatments Are Safe During Pregnancy?

Pregnancy can be one of the most exciting and memorable times of your life, but the hormonal rollercoaster it causes can bring about many changes. Acne breakouts may become a new problem, even if you have previously had clear, blemish-free skin. Overactive hormones can cause your skin to produce more oil, leading to eruptions of pimples. What are your options for treating flare-ups of acne while keeping yourself and your baby healthy?

Start With Your Skin Care Regimen

Your first step to dealing with pregnancy acne might be as straightforward as modifying your skincare routine. Here are some things you can try.

  • Simplify: Many women mistakenly believe skincare that involves multiple steps and a variety of expensive products is their ticket to a healthy complexion. However, all you need is a mild cleanser and a lightweight moisturizer to see outstanding results. Avoid exfoliants and alcohol-based toners, which can cause irritation and strip the skin of its natural moisture barrier, worsening your breakouts.
  • Choose products wisely: As you’re reviewing what makes the cut with your stripped-down skincare regimen, read the labels carefully. Look for the word “non-comedogenic,” which means a product will not clog pores and encourage acne to flourish. 
  • Don’t squeeze pimples: No matter how tempting it can be to do so, don’t try to pick at your pimples. Touching your face excessively can contribute to the spread of acne, and popping pimples can create scarring and infection.

Treatments That Can Help Alleviate Pregnancy Acne

What are your options for overcoming breakouts during this special time of your life? Consider the following.

  • Microdermabrasion: Microdermabrasion is a completely non-surgical, non-chemical procedure that gently exfoliates the top layers of the skin using a stream of aluminum oxide crystals, encouraging the growth of new collagen and helping you look younger and more rejuvenated.  
  • Chemical peels: Treating the skin with a mild chemical like glycolic acid, which is very safe to use during pregnancy, is another way to exfoliate. A peel can reveal a brighter, clearer, and younger-looking skin surface.  
  • Acne facials: Are you looking for a way to treat yourself during pregnancy? Getting a facial can help clear up breakouts while providing a relaxing and comfortable experience. If your baby bump isn’t visible yet, be sure to confirm with your treatment provider that you’re expecting.

You may also wonder if you can successfully use medication to get your pregnancy acne under control. Before doing so, it is essential to talk with your OB-GYN, because any medication you swallow or apply topically can enter your bloodstream and affect your developing child. Though we still need more research on which specific medicines can harm babies in utero, some prescription medicines, such as tetracycline and Accutane, are known to cause birth defects and, in extreme cases, miscarriage. 

Can You Expect Clearer Skin While You’re Expecting?

As frustrating as pregnancy acne can be, be judicious about what treatments you use. The health of you and your baby is paramount during this special time of your life. If you have any questions about safe methods for minimizing your breakouts and achieving clearer skin, Dr. Seth Matarasso can help. As an expert in both cosmetic and clinical dermatology, Dr. Matarasso offers many of the most in-demand treatments available to safely treat common skin concerns and provide balance to your complexion. If you live in the San Francisco area, schedule your consultation today.