We all know the stereotype of the radiant expectant mother, with her glowing, picture-perfect, clear skin, but the reality of unpredictable pregnancy hormones can be somewhat different.
For women affected by adult acne, not knowing how their skin will react – or how to keep it under control without many of the most commonly prescribed treatments – may be a concern during pregnancy or when planning to conceive. But there are a number of safe options to keep acne at bay while you’re pregnant.
According to dermatologist Dr Anjali Mahto of the British Association of Dermatologists (BAD): “Acne during pregnancy is surprisingly common and, for many, tends to occur during the first and possibly second trimester.”
It’s triggered by surges of the hormone progesterone, which increases oil production, and she adds: “Dermatologists have noted that pregnant women with acne may be more self-conscious of the change in appearance pregnancy can bring.”
For some women, deciding to start a family may mean coming off a combined oral contraceptive pill that’s been calming their acne down for years. While this can be a daunting step, dermatologist Dr Sweta Rai of the BAD says: “There really shouldn’t be any fear of coming off the pill, or that you won’t have any options. Usually, when people are using the oral contraceptive pill to calm down their acne, it’s often for mild-to-moderate acne, if that. So yes, your acne can get worse, but you do have other options available to you.”