Acne Treatment During Pregnancy
As you probably already know, when you become pregnant, your body goes into overdrive, increasing its production of hormones. This increase in hormones is necessary for maintaining your pregnancy, but can also cause a host of problems for you, from morning sickness to mood swings. Some of these hormones can be blamed for acne problems that pop up during pregnancy as well.
Androgens are hormones that trigger the oil glands in the skin (the sebaceous glands) to make sebum -- the oily substance that helps protect and moisturize the skin and hair. They increase during pregnancy. The increase in progesterone levels that comes with pregnancy can also affect sebum levels. The right amount of sebum is good for the skin and hair. Without it, your skin and hair would become dry and brittle. But too much sebum can clog pores, leading to acne.
A good skin care plan is a safe first step for treating acne during pregnancy. Although you can't necessarily prevent pregnancy-related acne, you can help minimize the problem and possibly reduce flare-ups by taking care of your skin. Because the acne of pregnancy is no different from other forms of acne, you can follow the same skin care tips.
Here are some tips for taking care of acne-prone skin:
- Wash your face gently twice a day, and after you exercise, with a mild soap or cleanser. Don't wash more often, though, or you might irritate your skin and make your acne worse.
- When washing, gentle is the key word. Scrubbing can irritate the skin and make the problem worse. Try using your hands or a soft washcloth.
- After washing, gently pat your skin dry. Again, you'll want to avoid rubbing, which can irritate the skin.
- Avoid excessively touching your skin, especially in areas that are prone to acne.
- Don't squeeze, rub, or pick at blemishes. This could cause scarring. We know it's difficult -- but trust us! You'll heal faster if you don't pick!
- Use oil-free cosmetics and oil-free moisturizers. Look for products labeled as noncomedogenic or nonacnegenic, which means they won't clog pores.
- Thoroughly clean or replace your makeup brushes and sponges, as they may be harboring the bacteria that contribute to acne.
- Make sure the objects you touch to your face are clean, such as your cell phone.