Understanding Pregnancy Acne: When Does It Start and How to Manage It

Understanding Pregnancy Acne: When Does It Start and How to Manage It

Pregnancy is a beautiful and transformative journey for many women, but it can also come with its fair share of challenges. One such challenge is the onset of acne during pregnancy. As hormones fluctuate and the body undergoes various changes, it is not uncommon for pregnant women to experience breakouts and blemishes on their skin. In this article, we will delve into the causes of pregnancy acne, explore when it typically starts, and discuss effective ways to manage and treat it.

Causes of pregnancy acne

To understand pregnancy acne, it is essential to grasp the underlying causes. During pregnancy, hormonal changes play a significant role in the development of acne. The surge in hormones, particularly androgens, stimulates the oil glands in the skin, leading to increased sebum production. This excess oil can clog pores and create an environment for acne-causing bacteria to thrive. Additionally, the increased blood flow during pregnancy can contribute to skin inflammation, further exacerbating acne breakouts.

When does pregnancy acne start?

Pregnancy acne can manifest at different times for different women, but it commonly begins during the first trimester. The hormonal changes that occur during this time can trigger an increase in sebum production and lead to the development of acne. However, some women may not experience acne until later in their pregnancy, while others may not experience it at all. Each woman's body reacts differently to hormonal fluctuations, making it difficult to pinpoint an exact timeline for the onset of pregnancy acne.

How to manage pregnancy acne

While pregnancy acne can be frustrating, there are several ways to manage and minimize its impact on your skin. It is important to note that not all acne treatments are safe during pregnancy, so it is crucial to consult with your healthcare provider before trying any new products or remedies. Here are some effective strategies for managing pregnancy acne:

Skincare tips for pregnancy acne

  • Cleanse your face twice daily with a gentle, non-comedogenic cleanser to remove excess oil and impurities without stripping the skin.
  • Avoid using harsh scrubs or abrasive exfoliants, as they can irritate the skin and worsen acne.
  • Use oil-free and non-comedogenic moisturizers to keep the skin hydrated without clogging pores.
  • Resist the temptation to pick or pop your acne, as it can lead to scarring and further inflammation.
  • Use oil-free and non-comedogenic sunscreen to protect your skin from harmful UV rays.

Safe ingredients for treating pregnancy acne

  • Look for skincare products that contain safe ingredients such as glycolic acid, lactic acid, or benzoyl peroxide in low concentrations. These ingredients can help exfoliate the skin and reduce acne-causing bacteria.
  • Avoid products containing retinoids, salicylic acid, or high concentrations of benzoyl peroxide, as they are not considered safe during pregnancy.

Natural remedies for pregnancy acne

  • Apply aloe vera gel or tea tree oil topically to reduce inflammation and promote healing.
  • Use a honey and cinnamon mask once or twice a week to help control bacterial growth and soothe the skin.
  • Incorporate foods rich in antioxidants, such as berries and leafy greens, into your diet to support overall skin health.

Over-the-counter treatments for pregnancy acne

  • If over-the-counter treatments are necessary, opt for products specifically formulated for pregnant women. These products typically contain safe ingredients and are labeled as pregnancy-friendly.
  • Consult with your healthcare provider or a dermatologist before using any acne medications, even those available over the counter.

When to seek professional help for pregnancy acne

In most cases, pregnancy acne can be managed with the aforementioned tips and remedies. However, there may be instances where professional help is necessary. If your acne is severe, persistent, or causing significant distress, it is advisable to consult with a dermatologist. They can assess your unique situation and recommend safe and effective treatment options tailored to your needs.


Pregnancy acne is a common occurrence for many women and is primarily driven by hormonal changes during pregnancy. Understanding the causes, knowing when it typically starts, and learning effective management strategies can help alleviate the frustration and discomfort associated with pregnancy acne. By adopting a gentle skincare routine, incorporating safe ingredients, exploring natural remedies, and seeking professional help when needed, it is possible to navigate pregnancy acne with confidence and maintain healthy, radiant skin throughout your journey to motherhood. Remember, always consult with your healthcare provider for personalized advice and guidance.