Pregnancy Breakouts…

Updated on August 24, 2008
L.C. asks from Cleveland, OH
16 answers

I am 26 weeks pregnant and experiencing acne, I could pass for a teenager if I so obviously pregnant. My OB/GYN told me that over the counter remedies were ok to use throughout pregnancy. I have been using Clean and Clear (active ingredient: Salicylic Acid 2%). There is no pregnancy warning on the box but still am a bit concerned because I read an article that says to stay away from Benzoyl Peroxide, Salicylic Acid and Retinoid (which my OB also told me).

My question, has anyone else had similar problems with acne and using over the counter solutions? What have other doctors been advising their patients? I know…I should have asked before I started using the products…

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D.I.

answers from South Bend on

They all claim to not use the products while pregnant but I did and never had any type of issues. I don't really know of anything off hand that doesn't contain at least one of those ingrediants though. I use clearasil daily blackhead control which clears blackheads as well as regular acne. That has the salicylic acid though. I wish I could be of more help.
D.
I am 31 and have been married for almost 12 yrs. My husband and I have 3 boys ages 10,7, and 4.

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D.K.

answers from Indianapolis on

ALFALFA.....changes the alkaline balances of the body which is a huge contributor to acne. You can buy it at Wal-Mart.

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S.D.

answers from Indianapolis on

I used C&C through both pregnancies without trouble. I have heard the Retinoids thing, but never salicylic or Benzoyl Peroxide. I'd go with whatever your doc or midwife says.

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Y.G.

answers from Fort Wayne on

Hi,

I was pregnant two times, and the first time I had acne, they went off when my baby was born, but I couldn't use nothing from the drugstore, so my gyn adviced me to dry them with peroxide only, you know, hydrogen, it's a slowly process, have patience, all pass, I haven't acne now, and in my second pregnancy neither.

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M.P.

answers from Indianapolis on

I used proactiv that works very well. My sister is also currently using it & she has had success. You can try & see if it works for you. I have been using Mary Kay for 10 yrs now & it did not work for me during my pregnancy. I am back to using it now that I have the baby. I am fine now.

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T.F.

answers from Fort Wayne on

I had the same issues, and my sister in law is a Mary Kay consultant and recommended a skin care regime from her line. I wasn't interested in buying all this stuff because it can get expensive, but the trial she gave me actually worked. Nothing else did. It is their Time wise face wash, SPF moisturizer and the night time lotion. I am not trying to sell you anything, because I don't sell it. I am just telling you it was the only thing, suprisingly, that worked for me.

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M.J.

answers from Columbus on

Hello L.,

I have allergies and a older lady suggested that I use apple cider vinegar. You mix one part vinegar to 2 parts water right when you are ready to use it (it loses strength if you try to mix it ahead of time). I have a small container of vinegar I keep in the bathroom. I use a cotton ball and put it full strength on my face (don't get it in your eyes). I wait a minute or so, and then I rinse it off. It seems as though the red spots/pimples/bumps get redder, some bleed a little too. I usually do this first, then take a shower, and rinse my face again. By the time I have dressed my face is 95% clearer. Many of the spots seem to disappear or fade some, and it makes the bigger ones smaller. Maybe it will work for you. The lady was an American Indian, and she also recommended that I drink a glass of water with 2 T. of apple cider vinegar in it each day. That cleans the toxins out of your body. It flushes out through your kidneys, which made my urine smelly for the first several days. Funny, after about a week, I didn't notice an odor, I felt better, and my face cleared up even more. I stopped doing it because I got tired of drinking it. My face is experiencing an outbreak now. Hope this works.

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T.F.

answers from Columbus on

Hi Lori,

I am a skin care consultant with Mary Kay and have had many clients who have experienced changes in their skin due to hormones with pregnancy. I am glad to show you what products have worked best for them and the technique to improve your skin condition, while avoiding the products you have concerns about. There is no obligation to purchase and everything has a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Thanks Lori!

T.
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B.R.

answers from Indianapolis on

I used Proactiv throughout my pregnancy, which my doc said was just fine and it worked wonders! I broke out like crazy and it made me so self conscious.
Good luck!!

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P.A.

answers from Youngstown on

Rodan and Fields, who make ProActiv, also have a wonderful sulfur based cleanser line you can order through www.rodanandfields.com. It really cleared up even my most severe breakouts.

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E.C.

answers from Canton on

Hi L.-
What a frustrating problem. While pregnant with my son I broke out a lot. I too read and heard from my doc that Benzoyl Peroxide was not safe in pregnancy. I was so bummed because it was the only thing that has ever worked for me for acne. So I broke out the whole pregnancy. But during my daughter's pregnancy I decided that I was going to use the Proactive (benzoyl peroxide) anyway. I couldn't find any conclusive evidence anywhere to back up the claim that benzoyl peroxide was a potential harm to the baby. So I had beautiful skin during my daughter's pregnancy. And guess what, my daughter was born bigger, healthier and more robust than my son. So it didn't cause any problems for her.

I think the post about using alfalfa is interesting. I would look into that if I were you. Sounds like a simple and safe remedy.

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H.G.

answers from Columbus on

i'm currently in my 2nd pregnancy & i have been prescribed a sulfur based face wash from a dermatologist that is safe to use during pregnancy. when i started getting acne again with this pregnancy, my midwife said i should see a dermatologist & approves of using a prescribed wash (product is called clenia). during my 1st pregnancy, my midwife (a different one) said that i should use the clinique line, or something with salysilic acid, so i did & i had terrible acne. right before i became pregnant again, i read that salysilic acid is not recommended to take during pregnancy as are the other products you mentioned. so that's when i asked the midwife/ob about which is better prescription or over the counter & they recommended that i see a dermatologist to get a prescription instead of using over the counter products (b/c we will all know what i'm using & the ingredients, etc). i love clenia so far, it's helped a lot for preventing breakouts & i was also prescribed a pimple treatment cream when i do happen to have a pimple. this pregnancy, i don't seem to look so much like a teenage pregnant mama! ;o)
i hope all of this makes sense, i'm not sleeping very well at 37 weeks pregnant, so please understand if things are a bit jarbled...

K.P.

answers from Portland on

Well when i was pregnant with my son I broke out so bad!!!! but my doc. told me that anything with peroxide,or salicylic acid was to be avoided because these chemicals can be absorbed through the skin and cause potential hazards to the baby..so the way i treated my acne was washed my face with dove moisturuzer bar (it's not really soap so it won't dry your face) twice a day morning and night and after i applied toner(alcohol free) and a little moisturizer and i was set for the day..it sounds like a lot to do but it really only takes 5 mins. And the best part is that i cleared my face within a week and kept it clear throughout the rest of my pregnancy. after i delivered i didn't need to go back to topical or over the counter meds...i just kept up with the face washing and toner.

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J.G.

answers from Columbus on

L.,
I've always struggled with oily skin, occasional breakouts, etc., however, when I first got pregnant, my skin went crazy during the 1st trimester so I too used salicylic acid (Clean and Clear). I mainly just used it in my facial wash, and once a day would use either the astringent or topical gel until I cleared up. I had a nurse practitioner tell me it was fine because the percentage of the salicylic acid in it is not much. FYI, in my second trimester and on, I then had the great skin everyone always talks about when you're pregnant, so hopefully, your breakouts won't last long and I wouldn't worry about using something mild. I think its the major strength stuff used frequently that a lot of those internet articles talk about.

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T.C.

answers from Indianapolis on

I had the same problem and concern. I talked to my dr. and she said it was ok with over the counter as well. I think they want you to stay away from super strong perscription stuff. So although drugstore brands have those questionable ingredients, it's not nearly as strong as say a ProActive. I used that apricot scrub stuff a couple times a week and that really helped. The good news is, it should all clear up after the baby arrives! Good luck.

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L.L.

answers from Evansville on

L. -

Let me know if you still need something to try for your skin. I can send you a sample of my skin care system to try at no charge. It may help -- contains no mineral oil, or animal byproducts. It is not an acne line, so has none of the ingredients you mentioned.

L. L.

Next question: Safe Acne Treatment During Pregnancy?