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Pregnancy Skin Problems: Acne

A guide to what's to blame for breakouts during pregnancy, along with safe treatment options.

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Acne affects about half of all women during pregnancy, and this is because of the increase in hormones, especially progesterone in the first trimester. For many women, it gets better throughout the pregnancy. For an unlucky few, it persists throughout the pregnancy. So let's talk about what you can't do to treat your acne during pregnancy first. You can't use any medicines in the retinoid family and these include Accutane, Retin-A, Tazorac, Differin, and Atralin. These are known to cause birth defects. You also can't use any oral antibiotics like doxycycline, minocycline, or tetracycline because these could actually harm your baby's tooth development. And finally you can't use benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, although this is controversial. So what can you do? Luckily there are some great treatments for acne during pregnancy. You can get a prescription from your dermatologist for Finacea or erythromycin, 2 topical antibiotics. You can also use glycolic acid, also known as alpha hydroxy acid which is available over the counter. I love for a natural treatment medicinal-grade honey as a spot treatment, can work very nicely, as well as topical niacinamide which is B vitamin. Finally, if you go to your dermatologist's office if those things are not helping, you can get blue light or red light treatments. While these are not covered by insurance, they're very helpful for acne during pregnancy and very safe. And basically these wavelengths of light are anti-inflammatory in acne. So if you are one of those people who's having acne throughout their pregnancy and I know it can be frustrating, don't worry. There are a lot of things you can do to make it better.