In some cases, acne may flair up during pregnancy. Acne in pregnancy most often occurs in the first 3-4 months of pregnancy, and usually improves in the last trimester. Post delivery, acne may improve with breast-feeding!
The most common scenario we encounter is that acne has been kept under control prior to pregnancy with the oral contraceptive pill. The pill, such as Diane, Yaz, Yasmin, Estelle or Juliette, keeps hormones in check, however when females cease the pill to get pregnant…acne hits!
Treating acne in pregnancy can be very tricky as we need to take into consideration the safety profile of medications and the potential effects of acne medication on the unborn baby. The retinoid class of drug (this includes Differin, Epiduo, and Roaccutane) are absolutely contraindicated in pregnancy. High does can cause birth defects. Many other antibiotics such as the tetracycline group are also contraindicated in pregnancy.
Acne treatments with proven safety record in pregnancy include- Erythomycin, topical clindamycin (Clindatech), Duac Gel and Benzoyl Peroxide (Benzac AC wash, and Proactive).
Brisbane’s Acne Clinic also manages acne in pregnancy with a few other safe but highly effective treatments. OMNILUX Blue and Red light phototherapy can be safely used in pregnancy. These treatments do not cure acne, but can provide a level of remission. Additionally gentle fruit acid peels are safe in pregnancy.
More on treating acne in pregnancy