Acne and Skin Problems

During your pregnancy, a surge in hormones helps support your growing baby. But, extra hormones can also send your oil glands into overdrive. This can cause acne and other skin changes, most of which clear up after you have your baby. If acne is spoiling your pregnancy glow, a few changes in routine can help.

Call Doctor If:

  • A pimple appears infected.
  • You want to use any acne treatment. Medicines such as Accutane, retinoids, and tetracyclines are dangerous to use during pregnancy and can cause birth defects. Your doctor may suggest very small amounts of cream with benzoyl peroxide or salicylic wash.

Step-by-Step Care:

  • Use a gentle cleanser twice a day. Rinse with lukewarm (not hot) water. Don’t scrub. Scrubbing irritates the skin.
  • Avoid abrasive skin cleansers that can irritate the skin.
  • Don’t squeeze or pick pimples. This delays healing and increases the risk for scarring.
  • Choose makeup labeled "oil-free" or "noncomedogenic" which are less likely to irritate acne.
  • Shampoo daily if you have oily hair. Oily hair that touches your face, neck, or back can invite an acne flare-up. Avoid greasy hair care products for the same reason.
WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson, MD on June 25, 2018



American Academy of Dermatology: "Acne: Tips for Managing."

Dartmouth-Hitchcock: Patient Resources. "Skin Changes During Pregnancy."

March of Dimes: "Your Pregnant Body."

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