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How Acne Treatment Changes During Pregnancy

At the offices of Brian J Williams, MD, PC, we’re proud to offer the finest acne treatment services available to a variety of patients. For those ranging from teens and young adults up to seniors or anyone else dealing with breakouts that lead to scarring and several potential self-esteem issues, we offer quality dermatologist services to help treat the issue.

One unique condition that may temporarily impact the kinds of acne treatments that can be done, particularly the medications that can be taken: Pregnancy. Because much of acne treatment is centered around hormones and the ways they impact the pores, pregnant women who are experiencing the accompanying large hormone swings may have to limit or completely eliminate certain medications or treatments until after they give birth, or sometimes a bit longer. While consultation with your doctor will always be the final word in this area, here are three categories of acne products for pregnant women – from those that are generally safe to use down to those that should absolutely never be touched.

Safe Acne Treatments During Pregnancy

Again, we want to stress that you should consult with your dermatologist and/or family doctor to confirm it’s safe to take even the products in this category while pregnant. That said, a few areas that are generally safer include:

  • Topical clindamycin: A prescription antibiotic that you can apply to the skin directly, this will generally be safe for all pregnant women.
  • Azelaic acid: A product with both antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, used for both acne and rosacea, this product cleans bacteria from the pores and is usually fine for pregnant women.
  • Benzoyl peroxide: A common over-the-counter acne treatment that can be used in limited amounts by anyone.
  • Salicylic acid: Another OTC treatment that should not be overused, but is generally safe for anyone.
  • Laser and light treatments: In the majority of cases, these treatments will be safe for pregnant women. A consultation with a dermatologist is recommended in advance, however.

Not Recommended During Pregnancy

Most doctors and dermatologists generally recommend against the following treatments, which you need specific approval from a medical professional to take while pregnant:

  • Topical retinoids, such as adapalene and tretinoin creams.
  • Topical dapsone (brand-name aczone), which has limited research for pregnant women.

Completely Off-Limits During Pregnancy

These medications should absolutely never be considered by pregnant women for acne under and circumstances:

  • Isotretinoin
  • Tazarotene
  • Spironolactone
  • Various antibiotics: Doxycycline, minocycline, tetracycline

If you are ever recommended these treatments by a friend or someone else who has had success with them in the past, stay well away. And as we’ve mentioned here several times, consult your doctor and dermatologist before beginning any new acne treatment, particularly any we’ve listed here.

For more on this or any of our skin care services, speak to the staff at the offices of Brian J Williams, MD, PC today.