You thought those awful acne-filled teenage years were long gone, didn’t you? Unfortunately, acne is often an unpleasant side effect of pregnancy for many women. Just as it did back when you were that awkward thirteen-year-old, it comes upon us suddenly and seemingly out of nowhere. Even those who were lucky enough to evade the acne days of their youth may still see pesky pimples pop up during pregnancy. These changes in the skin are caused by the changes in hormones that occur during pregnancy. Health care providers may not always be able to determine the exact cause, which can be frustrating especially when there are many other emotional and physical changes going on in the mind and body at the same time.
Dr. Ghea, a female obgyn in Fort Lauderdale, is ready and available to address any of your concerns while dealing with pregnancy-induced acne. She can offer the best of the best in women’s health tips to get you through this uncomfortable skin condition, as sometimes it can actually be pretty painful. Skin problems are the last thing a pregnant woman should need to deal with. Thankfully, there are many treatment options, most of which can easily be taken care of right at home without visiting a doctor or disrupting your day-to-day routine.
First and foremost, make sure to wash your face at least twice daily with a mild cleanser and lukewarm water. Washing your hair every day is also important, as well as keeping it away from your face, especially if it’s oily. As tempted as you may be to pick at or squeeze the pimples or sores, do not do this. It can cause scarring which could potentially look worse than the acne itself. If you wear makeup, look for products that are oil-free — and again, be sure to wash your face at the end of the day to ensure all makeup product has been taken off. If these simple at-home tips are not enough, over-the-counter products, such as those containing topical benzoyl peroxide, azelaic acid, topical salicylic acid or glycolic acid, are safe to use during pregnancy.
As far as prescription acne medication goes, there are some that should be avoided at all costs, as they can be harmful to the baby. You should steer clear of any medications that block specific hormones, as these can increase the risk of birth defects. Another medication to avoid is isotretinoin, a form of vitamin A that could cause severe birth defects in fetuses such as intellectual disabilities or life-threatening heart and brain defects. You should also stay away from oral tetracyclines, an antibiotic that can cause discoloration of the baby’s teeth if it is taken after the fourth month of pregnancy. It also can affect bone growth in the baby for as long as it’s taken. Topical retinoids are also forms of vitamin A like isotretinoin, but because it is topical and therefore applied on the skin rather than taken orally, the amount absorbed by the body is low. It is still recommended that use of this kind of medication be avoided during pregnancy however.
The moral of the story when it comes to medicinal treatment while pregnant is to always read labels and know exactly what is going into your body. You are growing another human being inside there, and it’s important to make sure you are just as aware of the effects a medication has on your baby, as you are aware about its effects on yourself.
Pregnancy is a major life event, and with that comes many side effects and symptoms that you may not know the underlying cause of, have questions about, or need treatment advice. Dr. Ghea, an obgyn in Plantation, has the answers for you. Keeping her patients informed and knowledgeable about things going inside and on their bodies, such as acne during pregnancy, is her job as a Fort Lauderdale obstetrician and she takes care to do it well.