Some women get a gorgeous natural glow to their complexion during pregnancy, and others (me, included) get nine months of breakouts and pregnancy induced acne. Lucky us.
If you're wondering why your skin has become a war-zone of spots, blocked pores, pimples, blackheads and redness; then take peace in knowing you're not alone and there's a reason why you're skin is now resembling that of a 14 year old.
Why Have I Got Acne During My Pregnancy?
There are two main reasons why pregnant women gain angry breakouts:
(1) HORMONES! Your hormone levels surge (usually around the 6 week mark), and in this case; high levels of Progesterone are produced; which causes increased oil production (called Sebum) leading to blocked pores, redness and cystic-type pimples and bacterial infections in the skin.
and (2) your pregnant body is more likely to retain a lot of fluid, which leads to toxins being stored in your skin for longer periods of time, causing blockages and breakouts.
Some women experience acne on parts of their body they don't normally get breakouts, such as their chest, neck or upper back areas. This can be very distressing and a confidence-killer to women who normally have clear skin and an even complexion. It is a normal part of pregnancy though and your body's way of dealing with all these hormones and changes.
How Do I Treat Acne When Pregnant?
- Unlike acne outside of pregnancy there are many limitations with what products/treatments you can use to cure or ease your breakouts.
- Firstly, don't pick, squeeze, aggressively scrub or touch your pimples (although tempting). This can cause scarring but also can allow more bacteria to get in resulting in more infection, pain and swelling and a higher chance of the breakouts growing instead of clearing.
- A lot of potent acne treatments are not safe to use during pregnancy as they involve ingesting tablets, chemicals or hormone-altering ingredients. Steer clear of these as they can harm your baby, hormone balance and expanding uterus.
- You're best option is to have a conversation with your Doctor and/or Pharmacist, or if you are really concerned see a Dermatologist. Only use washes, scrubs, lotions that are safe for pregnancy use, and try to stick to natural products as much as possible. (Some women swear by diluted apple cider vinegar as an acne treatment and coconut oil as an antibacterial 'skin clearing' moisturiser.)
-Avoid wearing makeup where possible and ensure your products are water based, oil-free and/or of a mineral form.
- Drink PLENTY of water! This flushes out your insides as well as your skin. Dehydrated skin is more likely to breakout.
- Eat a wholesome, fresh and nutritious diet. We wrote more about healthy eating here. Leafy green vegetables, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, some fruits, nuts, protein and iron can all help your skin glow. Avoid high sugary foods, greasy options, high quantities of processed wheats and dairy, as they can cause havoc on your skin.
- Sweat! Don't overdo it during pregnancy, but movement and gentle exercise is very important. Start your workouts with freshly cleaned skin and rinse again afterwards to wash away any sweat, dirt or oils. Sweating can push toxins out of blocked pores, which eventually will lead to clearer skin.
Try not to let it get you down too much. Many women experience acne during their pregnancies - it's just part of the journey as we grow our little miracles inside. Once your baby is born and your hormones settle, there is a good chance your skin will calm and clear. Until then, do what you can to treat the problem breakouts, but put your energy and thoughts into the positive changes you're experiencing as you nourish and grow your baby.
You may also like:
- - Nutrition in Pregnancy - -
- - Folate Acid in Pregnancy - -
- - Aches and Pain in Pregnancy - -
- - Treating and Preventing Stretch Marks - -