Acne in Pregnancy: Why Pimples appear in pregnancy and how to treat them

I have an outbreak of pimples in pregnancy, what can I do?

Have you noticed that you have more pimples since you are pregnant? Do you have an acne breakout and do not know how to treat it during pregnancy? First of all you have to know that it is something totally normal.

Due to the increase in androgen hormones, many women suffer from acne in early pregnancy. These hormones can make your skin oilier, which can clog pores. Acne during pregnancy is usually temporary and disappears after the baby is born.

We explain in depth what causes acne in pregnancy and how you can treat it.

What causes acne during pregnancy

More than half of pregnant women suffer from acne during pregnancy. Even though before they were pregnant they only had pimples very occasionally, they can suffer from an outbreak all over their face. To what is due?

The main reason why you can go back to having your face as when you were a teenager is the increase in hormone levels during the first trimester of pregnancy. In fact, if they have not come out during these first 12 weeks of pregnancy, it is rare that they appear in the second or third trimester.

This high production of hormones also increases the production of natural oils in the skin. This causes a clogging of the pores and, consequently, the appearance of red pimples or blackheads.

Generally, those women who already have a history of acne suffer it more, either because they suffered it in adolescence, or because they tend to break out more pimples at the beginning of the menstrual cycle.

At this point, if you are part of that group of women whose pregnancy hormones have triggered the presence of pimples, you may be wondering if you can do your usual treatments or if glycolic or salicylic acid can harm you.

How to treat acne in pregnancy

That acne breakout in pregnancy will disappear when hormonal levels return to normal, something that usually happens as the pregnancy progresses or when it ends.

But, if you have developed a lot of pimples and you have taken an oral acne treatment prescribed by your doctor before, it is preferable that you avoid it until you consult with your doctor. In general, treatments with chemicals or drugs such as those for hormone therapy, tetracyclines or topical retinoids are discouraged.

Some specialists recommend not using topical treatments that contain salicylic acid. This is an ingredient found in many over-the-counter products.

On the contrary, you can resort to more natural treatments to control acne in pregnancy:

Keep your skin well clean and hydrated

One of the best methods that you can use, both during and after pregnancy to control the production of natural oil in the skin is to keep it very clean.

Wash your face well with a neutral soap and warm water twice a day, rubbing well in those areas where oil accumulates more, such as the chin, forehead or nose. Rinse your face very well after washing it and apply a suitable moisturizer for your skin type. If you apply a very grease, the problem is likely to get worse. And, while it may seem that applying cream can cause more pimples, actually using an oil-free moisturizer can help minimize skin irritation.

Don’t touch the pimples

Don’t be obsessed with pimples. Do not wash your face excessively or use masks, scrubs and other products because excessive washing removes the natural moisture from the skin, which makes the sebaceous glands try to produce more oil to supply the missing one, causing your skin to become make it more prone to breakouts.

It is also not advisable to squeeze or squeeze pimples and pimples no matter how tempted you feel. This practice can not only leave a scar on your face, but it can also cause skin infections and spread the breakout of pimples.

Eat a healthy diet

Eliminating or drastically reducing sugar and other refined grains and replacing them with whole grains can do wonders for your skin. In addition, it is advisable not to abuse the saturated fats that are present in fried foods, pastries and processed products since they can activate acne, as well as they can make you gain more kilos than desired. Likewise, you must have correct hydration, it is recommended that you carry a small bottle of water with you and drink throughout the day.

In case the acne outbreak is uncontrolled and excessive, talk to your doctor so that they can recommend a topical treatment that is not harmful to the baby during pregnancy. You may be able to use a product with benzoyl peroxide in small portions after the first trimester of pregnancy or a prescription antibacterial cream to stop the infection.


During pregnancy, the severity of acne or the number of pimples you have can get better or worse. It is common for acne to get a bit worse early in pregnancy and get better as it progresses. This is usually related to the increased levels of estrogen present during pregnancy.

Because it is preferable to avoid medications during pregnancy, because they can have effects on the baby, it is preferable that you consult with your doctor to treat your acne or that you perform natural treatments that do not contain the presence of any drug such as good facial hygiene, a healthy diet, correct hydration and do not touch the grains.

In general, most experts agree that the treatments topics that can be used safely during pregnancy include: benzoyl peroxide in small amounts and after the first quarter, fruit acids such as glycolic acid or preparations salicylic acid in a very low concentration. In any case, if you have a major breakout of acne during pregnancy, consult your obstetrician for the most appropriate treatment for you.

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