Before you can have your precious little one in your lap, your body will run into some changes during pregnancy.
These changes will affect your weight, alter the color in some parts (like nipples), strike mood swings, and touch your skin.
The news on the plague of acne is not welcomed by moms-to-be, but there is a good chance of acne breakout sometime during pregnancy, even if you were not used to the zits and spots before.
Acne during Pregnancy: The Causes & Symptoms
Half of all women experience it and get to fight pimples. It is inevitable.
Moreover, pregnancy can act as the start of acne in some cases while helping improve the condition of those prone to acne.
The primary cause to blame for your acne during pregnancy is the hormone progesterone.
Although it is necessary for preparing your body to have a successful pregnancy, high levels of it lead to more secretion of skin oil called sebum.
Thus, whether you are planning to get pregnant or are pregnant, this article informs you about acne in early pregnancy and the different types and treatment options you can apply to it.
When & Where to Expect Acne in Early Pregnancy
Is acne a sign of pregnancy? It is not a pregnancy symptom but rather a side-effect of pregnancy.
You now know that hormonal changes and increased progesterone levels in the body are the leading causes of extra sebum production by sebaceous glands.
As a result, excess sebum fills the skin pores, and bacteria start to build up there, causing acne.
It is more common during the first few weeks of pregnancy because, at this time, the secretion of hormones in the body is at its highest and paves the way for many physical and emotional changes to happen.
But in some cases, acne flares up and lasts all through pregnancy. However, stabilizing hormone levels will help it subside after a few weeks.
Usually, your face is the first place where acne starts to appear, but that doesn't mean they are limited in their whereabouts.
You may also experience acne on your upper back, chest, neck, and bump during pregnancy. Indeed, the appearance of a few pimples on the face, which is visible to everyone, does not make mothers happy.
Also, due to the increase in breast volume and body temperature, the existing pores on your chest may be closed and filled with more sweat and oil.
The same is true of the upper back.
Finally, the lotions and creams you use to make up for the skin stretch in your bump may cultivate the appropriate condition for acne to appear.
The onset of acne in early pregnancy mainly occurs during the first trimester.
In the second trimester, the hormones are stabilized, and sebum production returns to its usual amount.
Acne usually improves in the third trimester.
However, around week 32, progesterone level experiences a second spike, and since each person's body and pregnancy experience is different, acne may last post-partum.
Easy Tactics to Fight Acne during Pregnancy at Home
It seems that acne is inevitable during pregnancy, so it is better to accept it as a part of your pregnancy package.
But that doesn't mean you cannot do anything to prevent or mitigate its effects.
There are some easy measures to take for prevention and pregnancy acne treatment.
Let's see how to avoid it.
The first two are necessary advice for having a peaceful pregnancy, and the rest are some skincare routines to apply at home:
1. Do not stress out. The best thing you can do to prevent acne is not to stress yourself out. Stress triggers the release of the hormone cortisol, which ramps up the amount of skin oil.
Of course, relaxing and not caring about trivial matters is difficult, especially given the mood swings that you run into during pregnancy.
Still, at the same time, there are countless ways to create a stress-free environment for yourself.
2. Eat well, drink plenty of water, and get a good sleep. During pregnancy, you may sometimes feel low energy and boredom.
Having a good night's sleep is very important for your health and that of your baby.
It is also highly recommended to drink enough water for general health and skin care.
Finally, increase the number of fresh fruits and vegetables in your meals to get the necessary vitamins.
3. Use exfoliation and cleanse the skin.
Exfoliating is great for preventing pores from becoming a suitable ground for bacteria to grow. It removes dead skin cells.
You can use safe glycolic, salicylic, or azelaic acid products.
Another way to keep skin pores clean is to use a mild cleanser. Of course, apply it gently to your skin.
4. Use moisturizers. Although it may not be possible to follow a pre-pregnancy skin routine for various reasons, you can use a light, oil-free moisturizer to balance your skin's natural moisture.
5. Take a daily shower and wash your skin.
Washing is the easiest thing to control the oil level on the skin, especially in acne-prone areas mentioned above.
6. Keep your hair clean by washing it regularly. Usually, increased estrogen levels lead to thicker and shinier hair during pregnancy.
It is good news, but on the other hand, you may need to wash your hair more often, especially if you have long, greasy hair.
It applies to your towel and pillowcase as well.
Pregnancy Acne Treatment Using Medicine
Never use common acne control treatments to cure pregnancy acne.
Even if you had skin problems before pregnancy, you should not use the same products as treatment, at least not before talking with a healthcare professional or a midwife.
Many of these acne medications contain chemicals that can be dangerous to your baby.
Whether topical or oral, they increase the risk of birth defects and miscarriage.
Retinoid, a synthetic medicine, contains vitamin A and is commonly used to treat severe acne in adults.
Products of this category include tretinoin, tazarotene, and adapalene.
You should avoid them altogether because their chemical ingredients can be absorbed through your skin and into your milk or your baby's bloodstream.
Other products considered a definite no-no are trimethoprim, tetracycline, doxycycline, minocycline, hydroquinone, and isotretinoin.
These are either antibiotics or oral/topical medications containing dangerous chemicals.
They can hinder the baby's natural growth or lead to bone problems in children.
Other risks include an increased chance of premature birth or miscarriage.
However, applying some topical spot treatments like salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide may be ok, provided that your doctor clears them.
In this article, we talked about acne during pregnancy.
We found that sebum buildup in the skin's pores could cause acne. Acne is prevalent in the first trimester of pregnancy.
However, acne can occur in different body areas or varying severity depending on every person's hormonal changes. It may continue into the following trimesters.
There are even people who have acne after child labor.
If you have the problem of pregnancy acne, first try not to stress yourself out.
There are many you can do to prevent acne.
Consult a dermatologist or doctor before using chemicals to treat pregnancy acne.
Finally, some women take it easy and do nothing to get rid of acne during pregnancy.
This decision is up to you.
You can have the best skin during pregnancy by following a good diet, a gentle skincare routine, and avoiding stress.