Pimples During Pregnancy: What Are The Causes & Treatments for This?

pimples on forehead

Pregnancy is an arduous and beautiful journey, filled with numerous changes both inside and out. While mums-to-be’s are showered with love and filled with excitement as their belly swells, many also grapple with some unwelcome visitors like acne. In fact, more than 50% of the women who get pregnant are likely to face acne ranging from mild to severe cases. In this article, we explore what causes pimples during pregnancy and discuss the various ways to go about pregnancy acne treatment and care.

What is Pregnancy Acne?

Pimples that occur during pregnancy due to the fluctuations of hormones are called pregnancy acne. This type of acne is very common and many expecting moms face regular acne flare-ups, redness and irritation. Women who have had a history of acne or who tend to break out during the start of their menstrual cycle are more likely to face pimples during their pregnancy.

The best way to deal with pregnancy acne is to use safe and gentle skin care products and resort to natural home remedies.

What Causes Acne During Pregnancy?

While the experiences of women during pregnancy can vary, there are some common factors that may affect their skin negatively and cause pimples during pregnancy:

  • Hormonal imbalances or fluctuations which begin in the first trimester are one of the major reasons why acne can show up during your pregnancy. Hormones such as testosterone or androgens can exacerbate the oil production process
  • During pregnancy, stress and emotional changes too can impact the skin and lead to breakouts.
  • Cravings are commonplace in pregnancy. This means extreme diet changes which can trigger the overproduction of oil in the glands and lead to acne breakouts.
  • Oily skin, having a history of acne or breaking out every month during the start of your menstrual cycle are all causes that can lead to pimples during pregnancy.
  • Some skincare products that are heavy, greasy or irritating can also cause acne in this period.

Safe Pregnancy Acne Treatment

It can be tempting to opt for acne-fighting serums or ponder about starting oral medication or topical treatments for acne, but you should remember that most of the acne-fighting products and medication available today contain potent chemicals which may cause birth defects in unborn children.

This is why expecting mothers are advised to always practise caution while treating pregnancy pimples. Doctors mainly prescribe against using oral medication isotretinoin, topical treatments like tretinoin and adapalene, hormone therapy, and even salicylic acid, one of the best acne ingredients as all of these can cause birth defects once the skin absorbs these ingredients into the body.

So what’s safe?

Azelaic acid, benzoyl peroxide and glycolic acid are some ingredients that experts have deemed safe when used in moderation for pregnancy pimples. You can also choose natural ingredients like tea tree oil, aloe vera, apple cider vinegar, citrus, honey, coconut oil, jojoba oil etc., to make homemade acne face masks and spot treat new breakouts too.

Note: Always check with your doctor before choosing skin care ingredients during your pregnancy. Make sure to check with them for home remedies and facials.

Tips for Managing Hormonal Acne Caused by Pregnancy

  • The best way to manage your acne without strenuous and harmful acne medication is by practising a simple and gentle skincare routine.
  • Wash your face twice a day to keep your face clear, oil-free and sweat-free. Use a gentle face wash or cleanser that suits your skin type, uses natural ingredients, and is alcohol-free, sulphate-free, and non-abrasive.
  • Use cotton pads or a microfiber towel to wipe your face gently and avoid rubbing your skin intensely.
  • Avoid over-washing your face as that can lead to excessive dryness, which can trigger oil glands to produce more oil and result in acne.
  • Change your pillow covers regularly to avoid excess contact of germs with your skin.
  • Wipe your phone screen with microbial wipes to keep it free from germs too.
  • Avoid touching your face often and only use clean and washed hands while touching your face.
  • Ensure to check the ingredients of skin care products and choose baby-safe skincare only to keep your baby healthy.

Choose makeO skin(formely skinnsi) Acne Treatment

makeO skin(formely skinnsi) is a leading skin care brand that focuses on providing the best skincare solutions and delivering them right to your doorstep! If you are struggling with acne and looking for ways to overcome this serious skin condition, choose from a range of acne treatment options like chemical peels, acne scar reduction procedures and oil-control facials. You can also pick the best skincare products for your acne-prone skin from our range of excellent skin-loving products like the acne away kit, the be bright aha bha exfoliating peel and the oil control diy facial kit! You can now book a free consultation with our doctors for yur acne issues during pregnancy. No need to step out of the house, get your consultation done on either phone or video call. You can also fill out the free online assessment form.

Lastly, pregnancy is a wonderful journey full of changes that expecting mothers must embrace, but pregnancy pimples don’t have to be one of them! Explore safe and natural methods to treat these pimples and visit your doctor to understand what causes pimples during pregnancy and which are the safest methods of treating them while keeping your baby safe!


At what week does pregnancy acne start?

Women tend to notice pregnancy acne crop up in their first trimester as their hormones begin to fluctuate. You may notice pregnancy pimples arise at 6 weeks too but for many women who escape this emergence, there is a high chance that they will not face any further pimples during pregnancy.

Is acne common in early pregnancy?

Yes, as early in the pregnancy the hormones in a woman’s body start to increase, this can cause an overproduction of oil or sebum which results in clogged pores and hence, acne. More than 50% of women are likely to face pimples during pregnancy!

What does pregnancy acne look like?

Pregnancy pimples look like regular pink and red pimples that form due to excess oil presence on the skin’s topmost layer. Generally, these pimples can be found not only on the face but also on the neck, back and chest.

How can I clear my pregnancy acne?

You can avoid your pregnancy acne by following a simple and effective skincare routine using gentle and non-abrasive products. Other ways include using natural home remedies like tea tree oil, aloe vera, honey, etc and doing safe and professional facial treatments.

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