Acne is different for every pregnant woman. For some women, their acne clears up when they’re pregnant — for others, it gets worse. Wondering what your best options are for treating acne when you’re pregnant? Here are the do’s and don’ts.
What To Do:
Prevention of new pimples is key, so switch to using oil-free and non-comedogenic cosmetics and adjust your diet (Be careful of cow’s milk and dairy and also foods high on the glycemic index). The over-the-counter medications that are considered safe in pregnancy contain glycolic acid derived originally from sugar cane.
You can also take a prescription, but only one that’s safe — always consult with your doctor. The prescription anti-acne medications that are considered safe in pregnancy are erythromycin and azelaic acid. Azelaic acid has an added benefit of improving the common pigmentary changes that can happen during pregnancy. If your acne is moderate or severe, you may need additional treatment, too. Most dermatologists agree that after the fourth month of pregnancy, benzoyl peroxide topical gels can be used for small areas.
Blue light phototherapy is safe and can be used in instances where topical prescription or over-the-counter medications aren’t working to clear your skin. This treatment is a totally safe way to reduce both acne bacteria and the inflammatory process in the skin. However, these light treatments aren’t covered by insurance and need to be administered by a dermatologist once a week. Home use blue light acne devices are less effective than office-based treatments, but can offer some relief.
What Not To Do:
Topical retinoids and oral antibiotics like tetracyclines and erythromycin should be avoided in pregnant women with acne. Isotretinoin (Accutane) is an absolute no-no when a woman is pregnant, too.
Wanting to know more about what exactly is right for you and your skin during pregnancy? Always talk with your dermatologist for the best treatment options for you!