Everything About Acne During Pregnancy
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Among other issues of concern, acne during pregnancy is another ailment that either appears for the first time during pregnancy or gets worsened in individuals whose skins are very sensitive and already prone to acne.

Besides the fact that pregnancy greatly affects your energy levels and hampers some of your daily routine activities, a lot of expecting moms feel their social life is also affected as a result of acne during pregnancy. During pregnancy a lot of women are already feeling low about their physical appearance and with acne related issues, the skin-esteem in some pregnant women is further compromised.

Acne refers to pimples or blemishes that mostly show-up about the time of puberty due to rising levels of puberty hormones. It means that acne is not peculiar to pregnancy and virtually any state that increases the level of androgens or hormones like estrogen and progesterone may trigger acne.

What Causes Acne During Pregnancy?

Acne during pregnancy is a fairly common complaint of most expecting moms; which is primarily a result of the high levels of pregnancy related hormones in the body. These hormones increase the oil or sebum secretion from the sebaceous glands of your skin leading to increased risk of clogging and infection. Moreover, if you don’t take care of the hygiene of your skin, the skin pores and hair follicles may secondarily get infected by bacteria present on skin.

Acne in pregnancy may appear anytime during pregnancy and is mostly believed to disappear with the delivery of your baby. The following are the possible mechanisms that give rise to acne during pregnancy:

  • All pregnancy related hormones are thermogenic (heat producing) which is responsible for flushed skin and acne)
  • Primary pregnancy hormones (Estrogen and hCG) tend to increase blood sugar levels to ensure your growing baby gets adequate nutrition. This increase in blood glucose or sugar levels could as well trigger acne in pregnancy.

Tips to Avoid Acne in Pregnancy

The following tips may help in avoiding pregnancy acne:

  • Increase the portions of fresh fruits, salads and vegetables in your diet and avoid creamy, oily or fattening foods especially bakery items.
  • Although this may be difficult for expecting moms with hyperactive urinary bladder, but increasing your fluid intake to about 7 to 10 glass of water each day and avoiding fuzzy, carbonated beverages help you to keep your skin moist and clear of acne eruption.
  • Acne during pregnancy is also caused by anxiety and stress. Increase in the release of stress hormones is believed to further aggravate acne by increasing the release of sebum or oil from sebaceous glands.
  • Maintain optimally healthy lifestyle and avoid the exposure of unnecessary cosmetics and chemicals on your face as your skin becomes extra sensitive during pregnancy. Use oil-free cosmetics and those classified as non-comedogenic – cosmetics that will not clog pores.
  • One very effective way of preventing acne during pregnancy is the proper cleansing of skin at least twice daily (especially before going to bed). For this purpose, a proper skin specialist must be consulted who can determine your skin type and suggest face-care products according to your skin type.
  • Massaging your face with a good oil-free moisturizer before going to bed is very effective as it improves the blood supply of your face and removes dirt, grease and oil from your skin. More importantly it helps in un-clogging the pores and removing white comedones and black comedones that later becomes acne.
  • Last but not the least; identify the potential provoking agents in your diet and avoid them in the best interest of your skin. For example, a lot of women are sensitive to eggs, dairy products like cheese and many others that trigger pregnancy acne.

Tips of Advice in Managing Acne during Pregnancy

Despite all the preventive measures, if you develop acne, you don't have to panic - acne during pregnancy is normal. The biggest concern of most expecting moms who experience acne in pregnancy is the presence of unsightly ugly scars and fear of the myth that acne doesn't go away after childbirth. This is not true.

Acne disappears gradually after childbirth depending on the skin care remedies that you are taking and cosmetic quality of your skin (with open pores, you may take a little longer to get rid of acne after delivery).

Moreover, note that you must not resort to self-medication for acne treatment during pregnancy, either oral or topical drug. A few drugs for treating acne are prohibited during pregnancy because they are associated with a very high risk of fetal congenital anomalies and miscarriage. These drugs include Accutane (isotretinoin), Retinol, Retin A (tretinoin) or vitamin A derivatives (containing high doses of Vitamin A).

It’s therefore advised you consult your skin specialist or doctor to get clearance before you use any medications to treat acne during pregnancy.

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