Acne which is also known as pimple can occur at any age group but there are certain times when you are more prone to getting it. The last time you were bothered with acne could have been your puberty years. Is it common to breakout during pregnancy? Yes! It is one of the common skin affections apart from pigmentation which occurs due to the pregnancy hormones. During pregnancy, the hormone progesterone causes an increase in the secretion of sebaceous glands (sebum). The increased quantity of sebum and shedding of the cells of hair follicles together cause the blockage of the sebaceous gland opening. The sebum collects inside and bacterial action begins. This leads to inflammation and this is how the pregnancy acne crops up. Depending on your skin type, you could get lots of acne during pregnancy. The common sites of the acne are the face, neck and back and less commonly the arms, thighs and even buttocks. They can be mild, moderate or severe in intensity. Severe acne present with pus formation can cause pain with inflammation of the surrounding skin.
How to Help Pregnancy Acne?
There are certain skin care tips that can help to prevent or control the pregnancy acne and help you get the pre-pregnancy clear skin. During pregnancy you need to take utmost care of what you apply on the skin as not all products are safe during pregnancy. Here are some useful tips for you:
- Clean your skin regularly. Wash your face with a mild soap or cleaner twice a day. Use acne soap if required. Regular washing will prevent the dust from clogging the skin pores and thus control the flare up of acne. In case you have oily skin, you are more prone to getting acne as your skin has a tendency to secrete more amount of sebum than normal. In such cases wash your hair regularly. If the pillow or towel is oil stained, wash them too.
- Moisturizers and skin creams may make your skin oilier so you need to choose an oil free moisturizer during pregnancy. It will prevent the over drying of the skin. During pregnancy the skin tends to stretch and become itchy, this will be taken care of very well by a moisturizer.
- Do not try to scrub the pimples away. It can break the zits and the sebum can give you a disfigured look. The acne that are broken or squeezed also tend to dry up leaving behind scars. These acne scars do not go away easily.
- Many skin treatments and medications for acne lead to peeling off of the superficial layer of the skin. Going out in the sun can make your skin prone to sunburns and even skin cancer as the skin’s deeper layers get exposed to the sun. So, be careful to cover up adequately when going out in the sun. You could also use a sunscreen with SPF 15 (sun protection factor) to protect the skin.
- During pregnancy, be very careful of the skin care products you choose as not all are safe or recommended during this time. Pick up oil free preparations to prevent acne.
- Diet plays a very important role in the way you look and also the condition of your skin. Eating oily and rich foods, junk foods etc can make you more prone to getting zits. Have a balanced diet and lots of fruits and vegetables.
- Drinking at least 10-12 glasses of water per day will help to keep your skin supple and fresh as all the impurities are flushed out of the body.
- Always consult your doctor before using any acne medications or topical applications. Severe cases of acne may need to be medically treated with antibiotics to prevent the infection from getting severe.
The latest and most effective treatment for acne is the use of medications called retinoids. These are the best acne treatment but they are not safe during pregnancy as they can get absorbed into the skin and the breast milk. Severe acne treatment may require antibiotics. Erythromycin is the safest to use during pregnancy. Acne cream and acne cleanser are topical methods of controlling the acne.
If the acne scars are very severe, then acne laser treatment is the best suggested acne scar removal procedure that you may choose to undergo, but only once the pregnancy is over.
Although you may have many skin troubles during pregnancy, it is also this time that the active blood circulation and pregnancy hormones gift you with that beautiful pregnancy glow! So do not lose sleep over the zits as they will settle down once your hormones go back to normal.