Pregnancy Acne Treatment | Dr. Anastasia Therianou

Acne treatment during pregnancy

28 Feb 2022

It is believed that almost half of all pregnant women will experience pregancy acne. Acne is a common skin condition which is most often present during adolescence although it can appear in adults as well. The sebaceous (oil) glands normally secrete sebum (oil) to keep the skin moist. When the sebaceous glands secrete an elevated amount of sebum, it can clog the pores of the skin in combination with skin bacteria and dead skin cells that are present.
Acne tends to be more severe in people with oily skin.

Table of Contents

When does Pregnancy Acne Start?

Acne is common during pregnancy but, of course, it’s not guaranteed that your face will break out. The breakouts usually tend to hit sometime around week 6 of pregnancy.

Pregnancy Acne Causes

During during the first trimester of pregnancy, hormone levels are increased, which heightens the production of sebum. All that extra sebum can clog up pores and cause bacteria to build up, leading to breakouts. In addition, women who have had acne in the past or have acne flare ups at the beginning of the menstrual cycle, are at a higher risk of developing acne during pregnancy.

Pregnancy Acne Unsafe Treatments

Not all acne treatments are safe to continue during pregnancy, thus treatment might need to be altered while a woman is pregnant.
Medications that are unsafe to use during pregnancy because they can cause serious birth defects are those that include the following chemical substances: Isotretinoin, Tazarotene, Spironolactone and Tetracyclines.
There are no sufficient data to prove that chemical substances such as benzoyl peroxide, dapsone, azelaic acid oil are safe to use during pregnancy, but on the other side, there has not been proven that these are harmful, therefore it is essential to ask your dermatologist and obstetrician before using such medication for treating acne while pregnant. Laser and light therapies are also thought to be safe, however the consultant dermatologist determines which therapy is the safest and most suitable for each individual.

Pregnancy Acne Treatments

Pregnancy acne is a natural condition. It usually goes away when your hormone levels return to normal. The safest thing to do is to avoid any prescription acne medications and rely on drug-free home remedies.

Below are a few suggestions for a skincare routine that the patient can follow during pregnancy:

If you would like to discuss this treatment option further, or you want to see what other treatments are available, you can contact Dr Anastasia ‘s Therianou dermatology clinic by phone: 02038695134 or 02034684884 or by sending an email to

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