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Clear-Up Pregnancy Acne

By DuPage Medical Group Dermatology


Acne occurs in many women during pregnancy. The abundance of hormones is likely to blame, as they can cause an increase in oil production that may lead to a flare of acne. The good news is that there are a variety of treatment options that are considered safe with pregnancy.

General skin care is the first place to start in treating acne during pregnancy: Use a gentle cleanser twice daily such as Cerave Foaming Cleanser, NeoCleanse Exfoliating Cleanser with glycolic acid, or NeoCleanse Gentle Cleanser. Moisturize with an oil-free facial lotion such as Cerave AM or PM Facial Moisturizer or Belleza Ultra Light Moisturizer. The Clarisonic Skin Cleansing Brush is another option for helping to keep the pores clean and free of excess oil and makeup. Avoiding picking, squeezing or popping pimples is essential in limiting scarring and minimizing inflammation. Finally, makeup should be oil-free or mineral based.

Certain over-the-counter products should be avoided during pregnancy due to their unknown effects and safety. These include retinol, benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid. These are often marketed for the treatment of acne or anti-aging.

Medication or procedural treatment options are available if the acne does not improve with a good skin care regimen. It is important to involve the obstetric team when medical options are considered. Category B topical antibiotics such as clindamycin and erythromycin, and topical azelaic acid gel are often prescribed. In severe cases, oral antibiotics such as erythromycin may be considered. The Acleara Acne Clearing System, Blue Light, or Silk Peels using hyaluronic acid are all procedural options.

These are offered by an esthetician in the Belleza Skin Care Institute under the direction of our dermatology providers.

Topics and Subtopics: Pregnancy & Skin Health

Learn more about:
Dermatology Obstetrics and Gynecology
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