Pregnant women often struggle with acne, especially since many are unsure which acne medications are safe to use during pregnancy and which ones should be avoided. This page provides an overview of treatments approved for pregnant women; however, always consult a doctor before using any medication during pregnancy.
Hormonal changes during early pregnancy often result in acne inflammations. Even if you have been blessed with clear skin all your life, you may experience terrible acne during your first trimester.
Luckily, acne tends to clear up as the pregnancy progresses, and if you struggled with acne before your pregnancy then your skin may look better in your second and third trimester than it ever has before. (Doctors speculate this is due to increased levels of estrogen.)
Does that mean you have to grin and bear the acne for three, four, or five months? No way! Topical medications like Benzoyl peroxide or Azelaic acid are typically safe to use during pregnancy. Oral medications, however, should be avoided during pregnancy, with the exception of oral erythromycin, which your doctor may prescribe if your acne is severe.
Tetracycline, oral isotretinoin, and topical retinoids MUST be avoided during pregnancy. These can have a harmful effect on the fetus and should be avoided even if you are trying to get pregnant.
Some herbal remedies for acne are safe to use during pregnancy, but again, always consult your doctor. Do not assume that "herbal" means "safe" – it does not! Herbal medications and supplements can be very powerful, so always talk to your doctor.
Pregnant women do not have to suffer from acne. With care and research, and the help of your doctor, you can take steps to clear your skin.