When you are pregnant, it is natural that your body undergoes some changes, both inside and outside. There are some changes that are not so fun and disturb your appearance. One of them is acne.
During pregnancy, your body undergoes many hormonal changes. Excessive hormone production can cause a “population explosion” of acne when you are pregnant, especially if you are already having acne before pregnancy. In such cases, acne that grows during pregnancy is usually more severe than usual.
At the early stage of pregnancy, your hormone levels fluctuate. Your body has a surge in hormone levels that cause hormonal imbalance and change the way your body works. As a result of the spike in hormone levels, the secretion of oil also increases. Thus, you are more susceptible to acne.
Acne and Pregnancy, Causes
There are several things that cause the proliferation of acne at the time of pregnancy. Here are some of the most common causes of acne:
- Hormonal imbalances
- The main reason for the proliferation of acne when you are pregnant is due to changes in hormone levels in your body. In the first trimester of your pregnancy, around the sixth week, your hormone levels reach their highest level.
- The hormone that experienced the biggest spike was progesterone. This progesterone spike makes your oil glands produce more oil, causing acne to grow.
- Excessive oil produced by these glands will clog the pores of your facial skin. As a result, many bacteria develop in the pores and cause infection, causing the growth of acne.
- Fluid retention
- During pregnancy, your body will also store more fluids.
- The liquid stored in your body contains toxins, which can cause acne.
- If your facial skin is acne prone or you tend to more easily have acne before, chances are you will have acne break out more during pregnancy.
- Or if you always have acne before menstruation, chances are you will also have acne breakouts when pregnant.
- If the acne does not grow during the first trimester, chances are that acne will not grow for the rest of your pregnancy until delivery.
Acne and Pregnancy, How to Handle
One of the best things you can do to deal with acne during pregnancy is to leave it alone. You may be tempted to use some over-the-counter acne medication, but using any drug is not recommended for pregnant women.
Although many acne medications that advertise themselves that they are safe for pregnant women, it is better to avoid them. There is still a risk some active ingredients contained in any cosmetics will bring side effects to your skin.
Although it is difficult to avoid the appearance of acne during pregnancy, there are some things you can do to minimally prevent and reduce the acne that arises.
Try to do the following tips to reduce acne:
- Keep your skin clean
- Keep your skin as clean as possible, naturally and regularly to reduce the appearance of acne.
- Use a mild cleanser and detergent free to wash your face. Wash your face once in the morning when you wake up and once at night before you sleep. After each wash, tap it with a clean towel to dry. Do not rub it.
- Be careful when washing and cleaning the area around your hairline and jaw, as both are areas where the pores are most often blocked.
- If your hair is oily, you are more prone to acne. Make sure you use the right shampoo to wash your hair. In addition, to avoid exposing your face to the remnants of oil from your hair, replace and wash your pillowcases regularly. Do the same with your towel, scarf and hat.
- Do not rub, let alone squeeze pimples
- You may be tempted to squeeze your pimples, but in fact, it will only worsen the problem.
- During pregnancy, your skin becomes extra sensitive. Touching or just rubbing a bit can cause more problem.
- If you rub or wash your face too much and too often, your skin’s natural moisture will decrease. If your skin’s natural moisture is reduced, the oil glands will produce more oil. It is even more troublesome for your acne problem.
- If you squeeze pimples, they can cause permanent scars on your face.
- Keep your skin moist
- You may think that your facial skin is too moist so that acne is easy to grow. But vice versa, to reduce your acne should moisturize your skin, do not let it dry.
- Use an oil-free moisturizer specially formulated for acne-prone skin. Moisturizers like this will help reduce irritation on your facial skin.
- Using the right moisturizer will help keep your facial skin hydrated and avoid your skin from drought. The skin can be dry if you wash your face too often with water.
- Pay attention to product content
- Before you buy facial skin care products for your acne, make sure you read the content label on the product packaging.
- Choose certain products specifically for sensitive and acne-prone skin.
- All products labelled oil-free, non-comedogenic or non-acnegenic are specifically formulated for facial skin and acne prone scalp. Use labelled wash products like these to reduce acne on your face.
- Avoid exposure to sunlight
- If you are taking certain medications or treatments to treat acne, your facial skin is usually more sensitive to sunlight. Avoid direct exposure to sunlight if you are in facial skin care.
- Sunlight can actually help accelerate the dryness of your acne after treatment. But drying the skin in the sun will also have a negative impact on your skin.
- Exposure to sun exposure for a long time will increase the risk of skin cancer. Not only that, sunlight can cause your skin ageing more quickly and cause pigmentation, aka blackened skin.
- To avoid sun-side effects, use a sunscreen that has a minimum SPF of 15. Make sure that the sunscreen you are using is specially formulated for the sensitive and acne-prone skin.
- Healthy and balanced food menu
- Proper food menu can be very helpful to reduce your acne problem.
- Eat fewer candies, chocolates, snacks, etc.
- Use honey instead of sugar.
- Reduce eating fried foods. Fries are loaded with unhealthy fats (saturated fat) that will make your skin more prone to acne.
- Include healthy fats in your daily diet. Some types of foods containing healthy fats include almonds, avocados and salmon.
- In addition, multiply the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables. Prioritize the green, yellow, orange and red.
- Whatever you eat, make sure it is safe for your pregnancy condition. Consult your doctor first.
- Increase intake of vitamin A
- Vitamin A greatly helps maintain the health of your skin and prevent acne outbreaks.
- Be careful not to overdo vitamin A because it can have a negative effect on the baby and cause birth complications.
- Natural food sources containing vitamin A are carrots, fish, milk and eggs.
- Do not take any vitamin A supplement products unless your doctor prescribes them.
- Stay hydrated
- During pregnancy, it is important to stay hydrated because you are more susceptible to fluid shortages during your pregnancy period. If you are not well hydrated, then your skin will be easier to become dry and more prone to acne.
- Drink at least eight to ten glasses of water every day. You can also add a few glasses of fruit juice or fresh vegetable juice.
The proliferation of acne is a normal thing during pregnancy. Women whose skin is susceptible to acne will usually suffer from severe acne at the time of pregnancy if not prevented properly.
Those are a little bit review about acne and pregnancy. May you and your baby be healthy always!