New York: While many pregnant women experience a beautiful healthy glow and skin that has never looked better, a number of pregnant women are bothered by pesky acne flares caused by an increase in androgen hormones.
To some, acne may seem trivial given the serious problems that could arise during pregnancy. However, dermatologists note that pregnant patients with acne are often more self-conscious of their ever-changing appearance, which can affect one’s overall mood.
The good news is that acne that occurs during pregnancy can be safely treated with a number of effective acne treatments – from over-the-counter products to topical or oral medications depending on acne severity. The key is to consult a board-certified dermatologist to find the acne treatments best suited for each woman’s specific type of acne.
Before, During And After Pregnancy
• Try to get acne under control before trying to get pregnant. If a woman has acne before pregnancy and is taking an oral medication, her acne could get worse once she stops her current acne medication while pregnant.
• Women should try to maintain a healthy body weight pre-pregnancy. If a woman is overweight before getting pregnant, studies show there is an increased chance that a male child will reach puberty at an earlier age – thus having acne at an earlier age.
• Wash the skin with lukewarm water and mild cleansers or foams. Avoid cleansers that contain beads that scrub the skin; they are too inflammatory for skin that is already inflamed by acne.
• Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen (protects the skin from both UVA and UVB rays) with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30 or higher every day to protect the skin from pigmentary changes that can occur during pregnancy. Dr. Keri prefers the use of physical sun blockers, which contain zinc or titanium.
• If a woman chooses to breastfeed her baby, she must view medications categorized by the FDA the same way she would during pregnancy.
• Generally, if a medication is safe to use during pregnancy, it is safe to use during lactation.
• Pediatricians are the best resource for questions during lactation, as Dr. Keri explained that pediatricians have lactation ratings for medications.