Acne and Pregnancy – Common Questions and Answers

Every woman experiences huge changes to her body during pregnancy. Hormones go haywire and she never knows what to expect. One of these major changes could be her skin.

While some women experience healthy “glowing” skin, others experience red blotchy patches known as acne. Every woman undergoes unique changes.

If you are you pregnant or are trying to get pregnant, there are a couple things you should know about how your skin will be affected:

1. If you already have acne, your skin could either break out more during pregnancy, or simply clear up (hopefully it does!).

2. If you’ve always had clear skin, you could develop acne.

Both the above situations are quite common. In fact, women are prone to acne during pregnancy because of unstable hormone levels. The following Q&A will tell you what you can do about it. If you find that you are having persistent problems with acne consult with your doctor on safe acne treatment during pregnancy.

Why does acne develop or get worse than before?

First, if you break out, or break out worse than before, it’s because of an increasing level of hormones in your body. Androgenic hormones like progesterone stimulate your oil glands to produce more oil, which leads to more acne. Secondly, there are changes in hydration in your body. If you don’t drink enough water, the hormone secretions won’t get diluted and won’t pass through the body as quickly.

When does acne typically develop?

Usually during the first three months (first trimester) when hormone levels are fluctuating. However, it is possible to experience breakouts at any time during pregnancy, or after pregnancy.

Will my acne go away?

As your pregnancy progresses, your acne typically improves, possibly because of higher levels of estrogen. After the first trimester, progesterone is produced by the placenta instead of the ovaries. For some women, their skin can return to normal a couple months after they give birth. For others, however, the breakouts can return after they’ve had their baby because of a sudden decline the production of estrogen. Sometimes their acne will disappear after a few months, and in other cases, it may not. Everyone is different.

What type of acne will I get?

Typically, women develop cysts, pustules and blackheads. Body acne can also develop.

Will my baby develop acne if I get acne during pregnancy?

No. There is no correlation between developing acne during pregnancy and your infant having baby acne. Neither is there a correlation between pregnancy acne and children developing acne at later stages in life.

Is there any way I can prevent acne during pregnancy?

No. You can’t predict it and you can’t prevent it. In most cases, the skin clears up after the first trimester, or after giving birth. In the meantime, there are things you can do to take care of your skin safely.

When should I seek treatment help?

You should seek a dermatologist’s help before you consider buying any acne treatment, since your acne at this time due to hormonal changes. Although you might be desperate about your skin condition, be extra careful at this time about any creams, medications, or treatments. Herbal remedies, although often promoted as natural treatments, may contain ingredients that could affect you. Even over the counter pimple treatments are drugs that should be discussed with your doctor first.

How can I care for my skin without using medicated treatments?

Here is a list of things you can do to minimize acne flare-ups without causing harm to your baby, and maintain your health:

-Exercise daily to increase blood circulation to your whole body.

-Eat lots of fresh fruits and veggies.

-Drink lots of water keep your skin hydrated, and to expel hormone secretions.

-Don’t over-wash, this can stimulate more oil.

-Don’t touch your pimples.

-Use disposable sponges or cotton balls for toners or makeup.

These are some basic tips on how to deal with acne during pregnancy. For more tips and information on this topic, please visit

Yvette Chau is a freelance writer based in Edmonton, Canada. She writes and publishes articles, and provides carefully researched information on acne on

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