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Acne during pregnancy: Everything you need to know

by Content Editor
Acne during pregnancy: Everything you need to know

Some women experience acne outbreaks during pregnancy, even though they did not necessarily suffer from it before becoming pregnant. What causes acne during pregnancy? How can it be stopped? Will it disappear after pregnancy? We’ll tell you everything.

Table of contents

What causes acne during pregnancy?

With many of the ailments of pregnancy, hormonal impregnation is at fault in the appearance of acne during pregnancy. Progesterone and estrogen are present in high concentrations, which impacts the sebaceous glands, which produce sebum. In excess, this fatty substance that protects the skin tends to clog the pores, resulting in white inflammatory pimples or blackheads, usually on the face, upper chest, or back.

Pregnant women with acne should be reassured that having acne during pregnancy does not mean that their unborn child will have it.

Acne and pregnancy: are some women more at risk?

While all women are susceptible to acne during pregnancy, there are risk factors. Having experienced intense acne outbreaks during adolescence (during puberty), in adulthood, or during a previous pregnancy increases the risk of being affected. However, it is difficult to predict with certainty how acne will develop during pregnancy in a woman who is already prone to it in normal circumstances. In short, it’s a bit of a lottery.

Similarly, although acne should disappear after childbirth, with the return of “normal” hormonal levels, apart from any pathology that may cause acne (such as polycystic ovary syndrome, for example), it is difficult to predict how it will evolve during the nine months of pregnancy. The body and skin can gradually regulate excess sebum and ultimately reduce acne, but this is not guaranteed. The adoption of hygienic and dietary rules is essential to stop acne during pregnancy or limit it so that it does not cause scarring.

What to do when acne breaks out during pregnancy?

First of all, before any medical treatment, you should adopt a few hygiene rules to help the skin deal with the excess sebum.

Here are a few precautions and simple gestures to put in place when faced with acne during pregnancy:

  • Do not touch your pimples and blackheads, even if it is tempting, as this accentuates local inflammation, encourages the spread of bacteria, and complicates healing;
  • Use non-comedogenic cosmetic products and make-up so as not to clog the pores even more;
  • Avoid glycemic peaks by spreading out food intake over the day, with small snacks rather than large meals, and favoring foods with a low glycemic index;
  • Avoid glycemic extremes by spreading out food intake over the day, with small snacks rather than large meals, and favoring foods with a low glycemic index;
  • Use a dermatological soap bar, or Aleppo soap, rather than the classic soap, too aggressive;
  • Clean your face with an anti-acne lotion adapted to pregnancy (be very careful with essential oils, many of which are not recommended);
  • Turn to homeopathy.

Remember that the sun is a false friend of acne, which it can make disappear momentarily only to reappear later. Exposure to the sun to fight acne during pregnancy is not a solution, significantly increasing the risk of pregnancy masks (chloasma).

What are the possible treatments for acne in pregnant women?

If the acne is too severe and persists or worsens despite implementing hygienic and dietary measures, it is best to turn to a professional, i.e., a dermatologist. Only them will be able to give the proper treatment for acne, compatible with pregnancy.

In any case, the use of medication or dermatological creams for acne in pregnant women should be taken with caution and for a short period. Although treatments based on local antibacterial agents or benzoyl peroxide can be considered during pregnancy, there is a lack of data on their safety.

Oral Roaccutane (based on isotretinoin) is contraindicated during pregnancy and breastfeeding, as it would induce malformations in about 20% of cases. It is also advisable to use contraception for one month after stopping Roaccutane before planning a pregnancy to eliminate the drug.


Skin problems are often simply another uncomfortable pregnancy symptom. Following the birth of your kid, your skin should clean up. Pregnancy acne is a skin eruption that occurs during pregnancy and may be caused by hormonal changes.

While pregnancy acne is curable, using some acne treatments while pregnant may be very harmful. Avoid popping or plucking pimples to avoid infection or scars.

Consume a balanced diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables. Allow time for relaxation. Acne breakouts may be triggered by stress and exhaustion.

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