So you’re pregnant. Now apart from dreaming about your baby, you are also looking forward to that ‘glowing face’ syndrome you have often heard being associated to pregnant women. But a few weeks into your pregnancy, your hopes are dashed when you find zits or pimples on your face. How and why did this happen? Let’s learn about pregnancy acne, its causes and how we can deal with it.

Causes for Acne

Pregnancy acne can arise at any time during your pregnancy. It may spring up during any one trimester and then disappear totally or may last through the entire nine months of pregnancy. Causes of acne during pregnancy are as follows:

  • The main reason of pregnancy acne is the increase in hormones secreted during this period. This result in the sebaceous glands producing more oily substance called sebum. The excessive secretion combined with the dead skin and grime block the skin pores. Eventually, bacteria begin to grow and multiply and this results in the sudden spurt of acne during pregnancy.   
  • An oily or excessive fried food diet also attributes to pregnancy acne.
  • Stress is also a major trigger of acne during pregnancy.
  • Air and dust pollution also contributes to the pregnancy acne and other skin eruptions.
  • In some cases acne during pregnancy may be genetic too.

Preventing Acne

Prevention is always better than cure and more so when you are pregnant. Pregnancy acne can be prevented by:

  • Maintaining personal hygiene at all times.
  • Do not frequently touch your face with your hands. Cleanse your face with gentle cleansers and rinse/splash with cold water.
  • Wash your hair regularly if you have oily hair. Keep your hair dandruff- free.
  • Do not try to break/pinch a pimple. It will not only scar your skin permanently but will also aggravate the acne breakout.
  • Get a facial done occasionally to get rid of dead skin, whiteheads and blackheads.
  • Use only clean towels, tissues and even pillow cases.
  • Clean, moisturize, pamper and care for your skin.
  • Add a lot of fruits and vegetables to your diet. Stay away from fried stuff as much as possible. This will keep a check on your digestive system.
  • Increase your water intake to keep your skin hydrated always and helps flush out the toxins.
  • Use an umbrella and sunscreen (after checking with your gyanec) whenever you step outside to protect your skin from the harsh climatic conditions and pollution.
  • Use only good quality, oil free cosmetics and always remove your make-up before going to sleep.
  • Try to lead a stress free life and get enough rest.6-8 hours of peaceful, undisturbed sleep is essential during this period.

Curing Acne

A few smart methods to treat pregnancy acne if it develops inspite of utmost care are:

  • If acne during pregnancy is mild, try natural remedies like using coconut oil. It has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial qualities and will help in clearing the pregnancy acne.
  • Lime juice is also said to be good to clear pregnancy acne .Squeeze half a lemon and dab a few drops of lime juice on the pimples and let it work its magic.
  • Honey also has antiseptic powers and helps in killing the bacteria that causes acne. Apply honey to the infected areas and wash off after 7-10 minutes.
  • Turmeric too is an antiseptic and can be applied on the acne directly. Wait for it to dry and then wash off with cold water.
  • Consult your gynecologist if the condition is painful or infected and needs medical attention. Do not self-medicate during pregnancy. There are many drugs which can harm your baby. At times certain chemicals used in these drugs can cause serious birth defects hence do not buy any over the counter drugs, creams or ointments without getting a valid prescription from your physician.
  • After confirming with your doctor, you may use calamine lotion for the acne. Make a paste with the lotion and water and apply .Let it dry. Rinse off with cold water.
  • Monitor your diet and ensure a healthy, well-balanced and skin-friendly meal each time.
  • Stop or minimize the use of cosmetics till your skin clears up.
  • Keep your skin clean and moisturized. Pat dry the affected areas after cleansing and dab on some oil free moisturizer.
  • Flush out the toxins accumulating in your pregnant body by drinking adequate amount of water.

Acne developed during pregnancy goes off within a few weeks of delivery or at times even before the beginning of the next trimester. So do not fret. Keep the prevention techniques in mind and ensure that a pimple or two doesn’t raise your stress levels. As long as the outbreak is mild, it can be healed and controlled by trying out the home remedies mentioned above. Natural solutions do not have any side effects absolutely and hence can be used safely during your pregnancy. So enjoy this beautiful period of your life and through your happiness, the so-called ‘radiant glow’ of pregnancy will certainly show.