How to Treat Acne During Pregnancy

Acne during pregnancy can be overwhelming for many women. Fortunately, it is possible to prevent and treat it. Learn how!
How to Treat Acne During Pregnancy
Nelton Ramos

Reviewed and approved by the doctor Nelton Ramos.

Last update: 27 December, 2022

During pregnancy, women have a special glow on their faces due to high levels of hydration and moisture retention in their skin. In addition, there’s an increased intake of vitamins and minerals that are transported to the placenta. However, on the other hand, other mothers may have high hormonal activity and instead of having shiny and smooth skin, horrible pimples appear. With that in mind, we’ll tell you how to treat acne during pregnancy.

Acne during pregnancy

This occurs because for some women there’s increased production of sebum and pigmentation due to over-stimulation of hormones, which can cause acne to appear in pregnancy. Although it’s uncommon during pregnancy to get acne, it can seem like a cruel punishment when added with other pregnancy symptoms such as weight gain, nausea and/or vomiting, fatigue, and changing hormones.

Acne during pregnancy occurs mainly during the first and second trimester when there are unusually high levels of androgen hormones. If acne doesn’t develop during the first trimester, it’s unlikely to appear in the second or third trimester. In some cases where it does develop, it can be severe but usually resolves itself around three months after the birth of the baby.

Is it possible to prevent acne during pregnancy?

The reality is that acne can’t always be prevented, but there are simple things you can do to treat acne during pregnancy. It’s best to follow a healthy diet and to take prebiotics and probiotics. In most cases, acne breakout can be properly managed with personal care products containing ingredients such as topical salicylic acid and azelaic acid. But if you have doubts about whether you can use a product in pregnancy, consult your doctor.

A woman looking at her face in a mirror.

More tips to treat improve acne during pregnancy

What you can do

In order to take good care of your skin and avoid getting pimples, you need to keep some tips in mind that you should practice on a daily basis throughout the months of your pregnancy. If you have pimples, or to avoid getting them in case you notice that you start to have more sebum on your face, do the following:

  • Keep your skin well hydrated. Look for moisturizers, serums, or creams that contain hyaluronic acid and vitamin E.
  • Choose products with antioxidant ingredients, such as vitamin C. This will improve the skin’s barrier effect for skincare and promote skin cell turnover rates.
  • Use a good sunscreen for your face.
  • Take probiotics.
  • Drink plenty of water daily.
  • Eat fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Start facials as soon as possible after the baby is born to restore the health of your skin.
  • Wash your face every day.
A womam touching a pimple on her chin with a cotton swab.

What not to do

Just as there are some tips that you should keep in mind to take care of your skin, there are also other aspects that you need to be sure to avoid. It’s important to know what you should do with what you shouldn’t do in order to have well-groomed skin all the time. This way, you’ll provide your skin with the best care possible:

  • Remember that scratching or popping pimples can cause scarring.
  • Don’t over-clean your face or you’ll end up with more sebum or, on the contrary, you may dry out your skin too much.
  • Avoid using abrasive soaps or scrubs that dry out your skin. It’s better to choose products that contain alpha-hydroxy acids, such as lactic and glycolic acid.
  • Don’t expose your face to too much sun without protection.
  • Avoid touching your face with dirty hands.

Here are some tips that you can keep in mind to treat acne during pregnancy. This way, you’ll be able to have well-cared-for skin, and even if you get some pimples, you’ll be able to avoid getting too many or having your skin look worse because you haven’t treated it well. If you have any doubts about how to take care of your skin, don’t hesitate to ask your doctor or dermatologist to answer any questions you may have.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.