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Pregnancy And Acne

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Hi Everyone,

I haven't seen any boards specifically related to acne and pregnancy on here - granted, I just had a quick look. Short background on my acne situation: got some as a young teenager, went on the pill for about 10 years and had great skin, went off and had a year of good skin, and then a year of moderately severe acne. In the last year I've managed to get it under control (I did antibiotics and then topicals). It's still not totally clear, but I can live with it.

I just found out this week that I'm pregnant (yay!). This is my first pregnancy, so I'm new to this. I've stopped using my Benzaclin cream, except for a little dab on a few of the bigger spots here every couple of days (I was formerly using it on my whole face every night). I'll speak more in depth with my doctor about whether or not I should use it at all, but I was wondering:

- Anyone on here have any info about what pregnancy hormones do in terms of acne? Did you (or your pregnant partner) get better/worse acne during pregnancy? After pregnancy?

- What types of pregnancy-friendly acne treatments have any of you found to be helpful or successful?


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Hi there! I found this post over a year after you wrote it, while searching for answers to the same questions. I'm 35 and planning on getting pregnant in the next year. I've suffered from acne since I was 13. Over the years, I have been on multiple courses of accutane, oral antibiotics, BCP, zinc, B5, and of course the full range of topicals from tea tree oil and witch hazel, to Differin, retin-A gels, sulphur creams (both pharmacy-mixed and Clearasil), salicylic acid, and creams that combine antibiotics and benzoyl peroxide.

From my limited research, it seems women have different experiences with pregnancy acne: some women, who suffered all their lives, see a great improvement, while others see an increase in face (and sometimes body) acne. There are some discussions on line about the gender of the baby influencing your experience, but this is very difficult to believe early on in pregnancy, since the fetus is basically androgynous until the 9th or 10th week.

In terms of treatments, erythromycin is considered ok if absolutely necessary, along with benzoyl peroxide. Salicylic acid is considered unsafe. I'm not sure about sulphur-based treatments. Accutane is obviously out of question, as is spironolactone due to the risk of feminization of the fetus (unless you're also having blood pressure problems that put your life at risk). Tetracycline and any penicillins are off limits too.

All in all, I am still learning all this and would love to hear people's experiences, especially those who experienced pregnancy acne and then found a safe way to manage them.

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