Acne & Pregnancy: How to Treat Blemishes Safely

Pregnant woman with face mask Acne & Pregnancy: How to Treat Blemishes Safely

The body goes through many changes during pregnancy–the skin included. And while some people may enjoy a “pregnancy glow,” this isn’t always the reality. Acne during pregnancy is a common skin concern. Fortunately, your dermatologist can help you clear your complexion with safe treatments.

What to Know About Acne Treatment While Pregnant

What Causes Acne During Pregnancy?

As with many pregnancy changes, a burst of blemishes comes down to hormones. An increase in progesterone during your first trimester causes your skin to produce more oil. And for many pregnant people, this means clogged pores and acne. Anyone with a history of hormonal acne may be more at risk for these types of pregnancy breakouts.

This acne often clears up by the third trimester, but this isn’t always the case. Managing your acne from the start can help you get these breakouts under control, so you can feel confident throughout your entire pregnancy.

Which Acne Treatments Are Safe During Pregnancy?

Remember to always talk to your doctor before starting any type of skincare regimen. You want to make sure that the products are safe for both you and the baby. It’s also important to tell your dermatologist that you’re pregnant when making your appointment.

Certain acne removal medications, like topical retinoids and oral isotretinoin, are not safe to use during pregnancy. Providers may prescribe topical antibiotics like clindamycin and acne treatments like benzoyl peroxide, but this can vary. The bottom line is to always check with your healthcare provider before trying a new product, even if you can purchase it over the counter.

At-home care is a helpful (and baby safe) place to start when managing acne during pregnancy. Using a gentle cleanser and moisturizer can help balance your skin. You should also stick with non-comedogenic skin and makeup products and pay attention to hair care products that might be clogging your pores. Avoid touching your face and picking your blemishes when possible.

Your healthcare provider may also have advice on how to eat for both pregnancy and healthy skin. Diet, sleep, and hydration all support a smooth complexion, as well as the health of you and your baby. And, of course, it’s important to remember that your skin will likely clear up after pregnancy.

What Other Skin Changes Can Happen During Pregnancy?

Pregnancy acne treatment is often one piece of the puzzle. There are several skin changes that can happen during each trimester, so it can be helpful to speak with a dermatologist. Many pregnant women will experience a type of hyperpigmentation called melasma. Eczema, varicose veins, hives, and hair loss can also happen.

While there may be steps you can take to manage your pregnancy skin concerns, you likely won’t be able to start topical treatments and certain cosmetic procedures until after your baby is born. Talk to your dermatologist about your skincare options during pregnancy, as well as steps you can take to support your skin in the years to come.


If you’re experiencing acne or other skin concerns during pregnancy, the team at Pacific Dermatology Specialists can help. Our providers offer pregnancy acne treatment, as well as procedures to help heal your skin postpartum. With locations in Redondo Beach, CA, and other communities around the Greater Los Angeles area, we provide cosmetic, medical, and surgical treatments to support your skin’s health during every phase of life. Contact us today to book an appointment.

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