How to Treat Acne During Pregnancy

2021-08-31T20:29:38.766Z

Apostrophe

Slather - How to Treat Acne During Pregnancy

A blog article written for Slather, Apostrophe's blog, entitled How to Treat Acne During Pregnancy

Aimee PaikDoctorateDegreeAmerican Board of DermatologyBoard Certified DermatologistChief Medical OfficerDermatologist100A dermatologist is a doctor who specializes in conditions involving the skin, hair, and nails. A dermatologist can identify and treat more than 3,000 conditions. These conditions include eczema, psoriasis, and skin cancer, among many others.
California

Apostrophe

Dermatology

2021-08-31T20:29:38.766Z
Group CopyCreated with Sketch.
Slather Blog LogoBlack words on clear background depicting the word `"`Slather`"`.
search-512Created with Sketch.

Education

How to Treat Acne During Pregnancy

Education

How to Treat Acne During Pregnancy

Medically reviewed by Aimee Paik, MD

Written by Annie Lam

Last updated 8/2/2021

There’s a lot of “do’s and don’ts” when it comes to pregnancy, and we always recommend consulting with your doctor on what’s best for you and baby. Your body and hormones change significantly while pregnant, which can lead to skin changes, like increased acne or breakouts. While there are acne treatments that should be avoided during pregnancy, there are also some great pregnancy-safe options! If you’re pregnant or trying to conceive, reach out to your dermatologist. They can help create a treatment plan that’s safe for you! Here’s what you need to know about treating acne during pregnancy.

Does pregnancy cause acne?

Many people brag about having a “pregnancy glow”, but this isn’t always the case. Women experience a lot of hormone changes and fluctuations while pregnant, which can cause breakouts. Androgens also increase during pregnancy, which can lead to more oil production and potential blackheads and acne. Everyone’s experience is different, but you may notice increased breakouts throughout your pregnancy. 

What ingredients are pregnancy-safe, and which ones aren’t?

Pregnancy-safe options: Our medical director Dr. Aimee Paik says, “During pregnancy, it’s best to stick with topical treatments.” Azelaic acid is a great pregnancy-safe acne treatment. It’s anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial, making it a great option for inflamed breakouts. “Topical clindamycin is safe to use during pregnancy, and benzoyl peroxide is generally considered safe as well.” 

Treatments that should be avoided: According to Dr. Paik, “Retinoids (like tretinoin) and topical spironolactone should be avoided during pregnancy but are safe to use while breastfeeding.” Oral medications like spironolactone and antibiotics like doxycycline should also be avoided. 

How to transition off of using retinoids

If you’re currently using retinoids like tretinoin and are trying to conceive, you might not need to stop right away. Dr. Paik says, “in my opinion, tretinoin is safe to use when trying to conceive but should be immediately stopped when pregnant”. Your acne can come back when you stop tretinoin, but your body goes through a lot of changes while pregnant, so everyone’s experience is different.

If you plan on trying to conceive, you can work with your doctor on a transition plan. “In order to prepare for pregnancy, I think starting azelaic acid is a good idea to allow for a smoother transition once tretinoin must be stopped,” Dr. Paik explains. Topical treatments like azelaic acid can take a few months to take effect, so starting the transition process early can help. 

How to reincorporate retinoids post-pregnancy

We recommend working with your doctor on how to add back retinoids to your routine post-pregnancy. According to Dr. Paik, “you can start retinoids immediately post-pregnancy although with a newborn on your hands this may not be a top priority! My only precaution with using tretinoin once you have a baby is to avoid transferring the medication directly from your face onto your baby’s delicate skin.”While there may be a slight chance for purging when reincorporating them back into your routine, re-introducing it slowly can help. Start by using it 2 or 3 times a week to start, and slowly increase frequency to help minimize potential sensitivity and irritation. Our dermatologists have some great tips to help prevent the “retinoid uglies.”

Overall, treating acne during pregnancy can be tricky, but there are some great options that can help keep your acne under control. Your skin can change a lot during this time, so we always recommend consulting with your dermatologist to create a treatment plan that’s safe for you. 😌

Like what you just read? Sign up for our email list to get the scoop on skincare science delivered straight to your inbox.
Email IconBlack outline of an evnvelope at a 45 degree angle.
Group 9Created with Sketch.

Apostrophe's Service

What is Teledermatology?


Read More

Deep Dives

5 Acne Facts You Didn’t Know


Read More

Apostrophe's Products

Oral vs Topical Spironolactone


Read More

Apostrophe's Service

What is Teledermatology?

Here’s everything you need to know about treating acne and rosacea online.

Read More

Deep Dives

5 Acne Facts You Didn’t Know

We’re sharing five things you didn’t know about your breakouts.

Read More

Apostrophe's Products

Oral vs Topical Spironolactone

We’re breaking down the difference between these two hormonal acne treatments.

Read More

sign up for our newsletter here

Group 9Created with Sketch.
Email Icon LightTan outline of an evnvelope at a 45 degree angle.

Apostrophe's Products

Apostrophe's Service

Education

Deep Dives

Apostrophe LogoLarge black A with the bottom left point turned into an apostrophe.