Part 3: Acne Treatment during Pregnancy: Ingredients to Avoid
About 20% of all adults have active acne according to acne-resource.com and 50% of adult women (above 25 years) experience acne. Acne is even a more frequent condition during pregnancy. And unfortunately acne is one of the most complicated conditions to treat during pregnancy as many anti-acne ingredients are not recommended during this period.
However, do not leave breakouts untreated as untreated acne can result in scars. You should not use the usual anti-acne creams readily available over the counter or from some well known brands. First of all some of the topical as well as oral treatments are prohibited to use during pregnancy. Second, break outs during pregnancy are not the teenage type ones and often need special professional care.
What to do if you start experiencing break outs when pregnant?
If you start having break outs consult your dermatologist, reconfirm with your obstetrician and double-check at FDA resource on ingredients safety during pregnancy www.safefetus.com. Remember, if you do not find a certain ingredient in the database it does not necessarily mean it is safe to use.
Basics of acne treatment:
Common treatment for acne will involve regularly cleansing your facial skin with a cleanser containing some type of exfoliating acid or any other ingredient that will help to exfoliate your skin. Another step in acne-treatment is applying oil free non-comedogenic moisturizer for imperfection prone skin that will also have regulating impact on oil production.
Ingredients to Avoid:
Salicylic acid (BHA or Beta Hydroxy Acid)
Retinoids: often used to treat cystic acne and have been clearly linked to certain birth malformations. Tretinoin is a type of retinoids and is a component of various acne treatments used topically. According to some studies 5-31% of tretinoin can be absorbed systemically depending on the skin condition and health. Tretinoin should be avoided in pregnancy.
Isotretinoin (Accutane), is used orally to treat severe acne and is to be avoided by women trying to conceive and is strictly prohibited to use during pregnancy as it has clearly shown signs of serious birth defects.
Benzoyl peroxide: A topical antibacterial treatment for acne that according to FDA has shown toxic effect on fetus in animal studies.
Sodium sulfacetamide (belongs to the Sulfanomides class): Topical medication with anti-infective properties used to treat acne. In several studies has been clearly linked to certain birth complications and malformations when used during pregnancy.
Hydrocortisone (corticosteroid): Used topically in acne treatments. According to FDA data topical use is linked to “increased risk of cleft palate, omphalocele, and even growth suppression with extensive use” Make sure you check the ingredients list and confirm your choice with your doctor.
You can also go for a clean up facial at a beauty salon. However make sure your esthetician has experience and knowledge needed for working with pregnant women as there are some procedures that are prohibited during this time like for example chemical peeling or D’arsenval treatment for acne.
Read more about beauty treatments during pregnancy.