Acne is a common skin problem during pregnancy. Acne during pregnancy can be mild, moderate or even severe, and it can occur at any time during the pregnancy. It may come and go, or it may last the entire nine months.
Hormonal fluctuations in the body are partly responsible for pregnancy breakouts, as it prompts the sebaceous glands in your skin to boost production of an oily substance called sebum.
Sebum combined with the dead skin cells block the skin pores. This in turn creates a favorable environment for bacteria to rapidly multiply, leading to inflammation and eruptions of acne.
Women who have a history of acne or have acne flare-ups at the start of their menstrual cycle are at a higher risk of having acne breakouts during pregnancy.
During pregnancy, you should not use over-the-counter medicines to treat acne. It’s highly recommended to talk to your doctor or dermatologist before taking any medication while pregnant.
Fortunately, with the right skin care routine and some all-natural remedies, you can successfully deal with pregnancy-related acne.
Here are the top 10 ways to treat acne during pregnancy.
1. Good Skin Care
The most effective way to treat and prevent acne breakouts during pregnancy is to take good care of your skin.
Always clean your face gently with a mild cleanser twice a day, once in the morning and once at night before going to bed. This will help prevent accumulation of oil and dirt on your face. Make sure to wash and rinse your face thoroughly, especially around your hairline and jaw, where pores tend to get clogged.
Apart from the face, you must also wash your hair on a regular basis to prevent oil from your hair transferring to your face.
You must not touch your face unnecessarily with dirty hands. Also, avoid using lots of makeup on your face. If you need to, use products labeled “noncomedogenic,” which means it does not tend to clog pores.
Above all, avoid the temptation to squeeze or pop your acne, as it usually results in permanent acne scars.
2. Warm Compress
A warm compress can help clear up your acne quickly. The warm temperature will help draw out bacteria and pus from the pores and hair follicles, which in turn aids the healing process. Plus, it helps reduce pain.
- Mix 1 teaspoon of table salt in 2 cups of warm water.
- Soak a washcloth in this solution and wring out the excess.
- Apply the warm compress on the affected area for 10 minutes.
- When it starts cooling down, apply a fresh one.
- Do this a few times a day.
Turmeric is a natural antiseptic that can help treat acne. It has an antibacterial property that helps kill the bacteria that cause acne.
Also, it works as a complexion-enhancing agent and gives your skin a nice glow.
- Combine 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder and a little water to form a paste.
- Dab the paste on the affected area.
- Leave it on for about 1 hour, then wash it off.
- Use this remedy 1 or 2 times daily for a few days.
4. White Toothpaste
White toothpaste is also very effective in treating acne that develops on the skin during pregnancy. Its antibacterial ingredients help get rid of the bacteria that cause the problem.
It also helps dry out the acne quickly.
- Dab a small amount of white toothpaste on the acne.
- Leave it on overnight. If you have somewhat sensitive skin then leave it on for just 5 minutes.
- The next morning, wash it off with cold water.
- Repeat daily until the skin is free from any sign of acne.
5. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is another wonderful natural remedy for pregnancy-related acne breakouts. It helps treat acne effectively with its healing and anti-inflammatory properties.
Being rich in antibacterial properties, aloe vera also helps fight the bacteria responsible for acne.
- Slice open an aloe vera leaf and scoop out the fresh gel.
- Apply some of this gel on the affected areas and massage gently for 1 minute.
- Leave the gel on for 20 to 30 minutes, then rinse it off.
- Do this 1 or 2 times daily.
6. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil can also help clear up pregnancy acne, due to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
The oil is effective against the bacteria causing the acne. Also, being an emollient, it helps hydrate and keep the skin nourished.
- Apply organic coconut oil on the affected area.
- Gently rub it into your skin.
- Reapply a couple of times per day. You do not need to rinse it off.
Honey has antibacterial and antiseptic properties, thus it’s very effective at treating different types of acne, including that which occurs during pregnancy.
Honey is also soothing and hydrating for the skin.
- Dab a little raw honey on the affected area. Wait 10 to 15 minutes before rinsing it off with warm water. Repeat 2 or 3 times a day.
- Alternatively, prepare a paste with 1 tablespoon of honey and ½ teaspoon of cinnamon powder. Apply it on your acne. Wait about 10 minutes, then rinse it off with warm water. Use this once a day.
Lemon is another natural acne-fighting ingredient that you can easily find in your kitchen. It is antimicrobial in nature, which means it can fight the bacteria responsible for acne.
It also restores the skin’s pH balance, thus reducing breakouts.
- Apply fresh lemon juice on the acne using a cotton swab.
- Allow the juice to sit for 20 minutes or so.
- Rinse your face with water.
- Do this once or twice a day.
Oatmeal has soothing and cooling properties and is highly effective when you need to deal with acne breakouts.
It sloughs off dead skin cells, improves skin texture and speeds up the healing process.
- Combine 1 tablespoon each of oatmeal powder and plain yogurt with 1 teaspoon of turmeric.
- Mix thoroughly to form a paste.
- Apply the paste on the acne.
- Scrub it around using circular motions for 2 minutes.
- Leave it on for 10 minutes, then rinse it off with warm water.
- Do this once a week.
10. Healthy Diet
Eating a healthy and nutritious diet is an important aspect of a healthy pregnancy. Moreover, by eating healthy, you can keep your skin free from acne breakouts.
Try to increase your dietary intake of vitamin A by eating foods like milk, fish, eggs and carrots. These foods help keep skin healthy. Green vegetables and fresh fruits are also very beneficial.
Eat skin-boosting healthy fats contained in foods like avocados, salmon, walnuts and almonds. Avoid unhealthy fats like saturated fats that can aggravate acne.
At the same time, you need to cut back on sugar and refined flour products.
Drink plenty of water to help flush toxins out of your system, which helps keep your skin moist and clear of breakouts.
- Avoid scrubbing your face with a washcloth, as it can irritate the skin and make the problem worse. Instead, use your hands to gently wash your face.
- Pat your skin dry with a soft towel rather than rubbing it.
- Using a moisturizer is a must for your skin health. Always opt for an oil-free moisturizer.
- Change your pillowcases frequently and always use clean towels.
- Always wash your makeup off thoroughly before going to bed.
- Apply broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF (sun protection factor) of 30 or better before going out in the sun.
- Rest as much as possible. Stress and fatigue can trigger acne outbreaks.