What acne treatments are safe in pregnancy?

Pregnancy and Acne

Pregnancy brings a lot of changes, not just to your lifestyle but also to your skin. Acne is a common issue expectant mothers face, yet treating the problem can be tricky.

In today’s blog, we’ll explore what acne treatments are considered safe during pregnancy and which ones should be avoided. Read on as we uncover the safest approaches to keeping your skin clear and healthy during this special time.

What acne treatments should you avoid during pregnancy?

During pregnancy, it’s crucial to avoid certain acne treatments due to potential risks they pose to your baby. The oral retinoid Isotretinoin is strictly forbidden during pregnancy as it carries a high risk of causing severe birth defects.

Similarly, Spironolactone, an oral medication often used for hormonal acne, is not recommended during pregnancy due to its potential effects on the developing foetus.

Other medications to steer clear of include Adapalene and Tretinoin. These are topical retinoids and small amounts can be absorbed into the bloodstream, which could pose a risk to a baby’s development.

It is safest therefore to avoid these treatments during pregnancy.

Are any acne treatments safe during pregnancy?

While many medications should be avoided, there are some acne treatments considered safe during pregnancy. Tetracycline antibiotics should be avoided but certain antibiotics, including erythromycin for instance, can be a safe option. They target acne-causing bacteria without being absorbed systemically in a way that could harm the baby.

Azelaic acid is another safe topical treatment. It’s effective in reducing inflammation and killing bacteria. Benzoyl peroxide can also be used, but in small quantities, to avoid excessive absorption through the skin.

In terms of physical treatments, laser and light therapies are generally considered safe, but speak to a dermatologist first as some light therapies require a numbing solution that can be absorbed by the body and may be harmful to the baby.

Salicylic acid, a common acne treatment, should also be used in limited amounts and only after consulting with a skin expert. High doses of salicylic acid have not been proven safe for pregnant women.

Clear up acne safely with help from a dermatologist

While certain acne treatments are deemed safe during pregnancy, it’s always best to consult a doctor or dermatologist before starting any skincare regimen. Each pregnancy is unique, and what’s safe for one person may not be for another. A dermatologist can provide advice and recommend personalised treatments that are effective and safe for both you and your baby.

If you’re struggling with acne during pregnancy, get in touch to schedule an appointment with Dr Juliet Williams. She can help you navigate the challenges of pregnancy-related acne with safe and effective treatments tailored to your needs.