Anticipating a baby is an exciting and stressful time, and your body is more biologically active than usual. Among the many challenges that your skin experience during pregnancy is acne, which can result from multiple factors: hormonal changes, increased hunger, and cravings from a need for extra energy, as well as the stress the situation brings to your mind and body. Staying informed and in tune with your body’s needs can help you adjust your skincare routine for your pregnancy to maintain clear skin and let you glow.
Acne is a common skin condition caused by a combination of bacteria, hormones, inflammation, and clogged pores. It commonly appears on the face, but it can show up anywhere on the body. Rising hormone levels over-stimulate the skin’s sebaceous glands and cause them to produce extra oils and excess skin cells. This excess material causes a blockage in the gland and forms the basis of the sticky material commonly found in whiteheads and blackheads.
During pregnancy, your hormone levels change enough that they can affect oil production in your skin and cause acne flare-ups. The acne treatment you used effectively before your pregnancy may not be safe for you to use while pregnant. This is especially important to consider if your previous acne medication was one that you took orally.
When you’re pregnant, you’re eating for two. Anyone who has had a baby usually remembers their favorite and most random cravings. In general, diet-related factors can cause acne, so when hormones are already high, skin can be more prone to a breakout. Dairy, sugars, and refined grains can irritate the skin. This is, in part, a result of how refined carbohydrates are processed by the body. They are absorbed quickly into the bloodstream, which means blood sugar levels rise rapidly, which in turn raises insulin levels. The insulin is what causes the problem, as too much insulin can, in turn, boost sebum production. Knowing how and why certain foods trigger acne can help you balance them with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and other whole foods.
When you’re stressed, your body creates more cortisol than usual, which is thought to stimulate your sebaceous glands and trigger oil release. Excessive oil production can clog your pores and lead to an acne breakout. The stress your body experiences during child development can be difficult to deal with, so finding ways to manage both mental and physical stress will help keep your potential for acne down.
The right pregnancy acne treatment for you will be unique to your own body, and working with both your doctor and dermatologist will help you manage your skin so you can look and feel your best throughout your pregnancy. If acne does happen, it may clear up after you have your baby and your hormone levels readjust. In the case that scarring occurs, you can have a discussion with your dermatologist on how to best treat that.
Schedule an appointment today to talk to one of our experts about how to get rid of acne during your pregnancy!