Expecting mamas experience many bodily changes during pregnancy, but some changes are often unexpected - like variations in hair growth cycle or changes in skin conditions, like pregnancy acne.
Hormonal Pregnancy Acne:
Since hormone levels are elevated, it is no surprise that many women experience body acne while pregnant, including acne of the chest and back. Generally, the acne will subside post-pregnancy.
Two factors make acne more prevalent during pregnancy are:
- The first is the progesterone hormone. Progesterone is the hormone that makes the bed of implantation healthy for the fertilized egg. The ovary produces this hormone but after the first trimester the placenta that usually makes it. Besides making implantation stable, it also relaxes smooth muscle, which prevents premature labor but also causes constipation. It loosens up the joints, particularly the pubic joint, which makes more room for the baby to fit through during labor. But because progesterone is more androgenic (male hormone-like) than estrogen, it also causes the secretions of your skin glands to increase, which will lead to more acne.
- The second cause of acne during pregnancy is dehydration. Proper hydration is hard enough to keep up with even when you're not pregnant, but drinking about six to eight glasses of water a day will not only dilute secretions to improve skin but also contribute to the relaxation of the uterus and even help with constipation. Hydration is not a cure for acne, but it can certainly help. Drink up, mama!
What can & can't I do?
Skin creams that contain erythromycin and other antibiotics are safe only if cleared by your obstetrician. Dermatologists are usually quite sensitive to and knowledgeable of pregnancy, and they will work with your doctor when prescribing such creams. Tetracycline pills, a standard treatment for acne, are absolutely forbidden during pregnancy because they can permanently discolor your unborn baby's teeth or even theoretically cause bone deformities. There are, however, many natural and organic pregnancy skin care alternatives you can do to treat your body blemishes when you are expecting. We recommend using our pregnancy acne prevention bundle, a collection of two products that contain ingredients that are safe to use during pregnancy and sensitive enough to address your changing skin conditions - all while letting you keep your beautiful healthy "glow."