Using Pro-active Acne Medication While Pregnant

Updated on July 17, 2008
M.B. asks from Traverse City, MI
24 answers

I need a third opinion about using pro-active while pregnant. The active ingredient is benzoyle peroxide 2.5 %. I had one docter tell me not to and one doctor told me it was o.k. to use. They both said that it was a class c medication which means it hasen't been specifically tested but is seen to be generally safe. The doctor that told me not to use it said it was better to take the "better safe than sorry" approach. The thing is it really works well on my acne and I'm afraid that if I stop using it my acne will be worse than before I started using it. I would appreciate any opinions and any experiences with using the product.

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So What Happened?

Thanks for everyone's help, I went back and forth on my decision a few different times and while it is probably safe to use I would always be wondering "what if" if something did go wrong. I will try to go without using anything and see if my skin stays clear naturally from the pregnancy. Thanks again for everyones responses. It really helped to find out what others thought.

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A.R.

answers from Lansing on

I used ProActiv while I was pregnant with my son. I use it only 1 time a day because it tends to irritate my skin if used more. I never had any problems. I asked my doctors about it, and all 4 in the practice agreed that it was fine.

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B.Z.

answers from Detroit on

My doctor's both said it was fine. I used it through both of my pregnancies and everything was fine. My first pregnancy the doctor said he'd rather not have me use it but nothing else was working for my face and it was humiliating. He said it'd be o.k. Then my 2nd doctor didn't even hesitate. Maybe just try using it as sparingly as possible. I acne!!! Why do we still have it as s??? :)

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K.H.

answers from Detroit on

My doctor said that I shouldn't use any acne product containing salicylic acid, but that benzoyl peroxide was fine. I found that my skin was much better during pregnancy so I didn't use it very often. There is a lot of conflicting information out there and some doctors don't want to say okay to something and be held liable.

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A.H.

answers from Detroit on

Hi M.
It's great that your thinking about this. Woman can come into contact with over 35 carcinogens/toxins in just our hygiene and beauty products. Add in house hold cleaners and you have the reason more woman get cancer than men. If it were me I wouldn't use it. I'm using zap it from melaluka, there are a bunch of people on mamasource that sell it, you could ask for info if you want. It's made with tee tree oil a natural antiseptic.
Good luck finding whats right for you. A. H

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L.O.

answers from Detroit on

I wouldnt use any medication during the first 12 weeks.. toward the end of pregnancy it is not as criticalthat you do not use meds..

I did take meds prescribed by a dr during pregnancy but only drugs I really needed ( i had an ear infection and high blood pressure..-both of which needed treatment.

I would just live with the acne until I was done being pregnant..

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J.H.

answers from Detroit on

My personal (non-medical) opinion is that I would agree with the doctor that said "better safe than sorry". Since there's no long term testing on the drug as it relates specifically to pregnancy, the medical community simply can't be sure. It seems like so many things come out down the road about medications that were once thought of as "safe" and then we find out that they aren't. The approach I took with pregnancy was that I would try to tough it out if I could (whether it be a headache or a cold). If something was incredibly unbearable (like the hormone headaches I got), I would take some meds approved by the doctor (Tylenol) but I'd otherwise try to grin and bear it (like when I was congested and wanted cold medicine but decided to not use it). One thing that may help is that many women's skin totally changes during pregnancy - mine actually cleared up (I was worried it would break out since I was prone to break-outs when I was younger). But, like I said, that's just my personal opinion - I'm not a medical professional :)

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B.M.

answers from Detroit on

I wouldn't use any medication during pregnancy unless absolutely necessary. Medications do travel across the placenta and can get to the fetus. Don't take a risk like that...it isn't worth it.

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M.W.

answers from Kalamazoo on

I used proactive while pregnant, to be honest I didn't think twice about it and never asked if it was okay to use while pregnant. Every thing was fine with my daughter who was born this past April. One thing about my skin though is that it clears up when I'm pregnant - happened with each of my kids, so maybe if you're still concerned, just use it once/day and see what happens. Good luck

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C.A.

answers from Detroit on

I am so surprised by your post as I used proactive during my entire pregnancy and had no clue it could be unsafe. I LOVE PROACTIVE as it is the only product that works for my acne. Without it, my face goes crazy and with it I have flawless skin. I think it is a miracle acne medicine. Unfortunately, all I can say is that I used it and there were no consequences that I know of. My son is now two. I hope you get the answer you need to make a decision with your posting.

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C.N.

answers from Detroit on

I'd ask a pharmacist. And...your acne might clear up during your pregnancy anyway because of the hormore changes. When it doubt....don't. Take care.

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K.V.

answers from Detroit on

Hi M.,
I was also using a benzoyl peroxide facial treatment during my last pregnancy. It had been working so great for me that I didn't want to give it up. I called my doctor's office to ask about it and they said it was fine to use.

I did end up avoiding it for the first trimester, just to be safe. And, it took about that long for me to start breaking out again. But I used it throughout my second and third trimester and I have a super healthy and happy baby girl. For my next pregnancy, I think I'll just use it throughout.

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L.B.

answers from Detroit on

I used it has well before I became pregnant and stopped once I found out I was. I would have to agree with your one doctor in "better safe than sorry" On the up side, your hormones are all over the place when you are prego that maybe your skin won't get bad. I had the best skin the whole nine months and now that he is 4 months, I'm just starting to maybe want to use it again. I'd at least try to go without and see.

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A.C.

answers from Detroit on

Hallo-
I am a licensed esthetician and had many clients that are pregnant. Benzol Peroxide is actually the safest ingrediant to use while pregnant and usually the only one that a doc will perscribe you. I used it as well when I was pregnant. Other products that contain glycolic acid or selicilic acid are not safe for the fetus. I hope this helps.
If you have any more questions let me know
A.

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S.H.

answers from Grand Rapids on

My doctor always told me to stay away from salicylic acid, but if I was desperate (which I was) I could use something with low amounts of benzoyl peroxide. Both of my kids are fine!

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J.S.

answers from Detroit on

I had no idea that you weren't supposed to use it. I guess I never thought of it as medication. I used it during my whole pregnancy and my daughter is fine. I guess I won't use it next time though!

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C.B.

answers from Detroit on

Go online and check the ingredients for it. And check out SkinID. I saw a commercial for that yesterday and they were saying it's more effective than ProActive. Not that it means it's any safer, per se. But ask your MDs about SkinID. Better yet, see a dermatologist about your situation, and ask the dermotologist which is better to use.

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S.R.

answers from Lansing on

I used it when I was pregnant with both of my kids and it had no affect on them. I would say go ahead and use it, especially since you already feel different and getting noticed for being pregnant, you don't want the added stress of thinking people are looking at your acne too.

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A.H.

answers from Detroit on

The only class C drug I used and very little of was codeine for my migraines. My son was 6 weeks early, but granted where I worked I was under a ton of stress as the women I worked with were extremely catty.

My skin was actually fine as I too am prone to break-outs. (You should also be avoiding excess vitamin A or retinal products.).

One thing that I know of that is natural that helps to flush the skin: WATER. This helps me. Another thing that a client of mine brought to my attention, Reflexology, as her daughter commented on her complexion when she was participating in my practicals. Even now I would be very careful about natural items in pregnancy - including essential oils as these are so strong and contain their own properties.

When we get blemishes, it is your body's way of detoxing anyway. Diet can also help this. Or it is an indicator of an imbalance of something in your body (for the pimples that just do not seem to go away - I have a ton on my chin, and this is representative of the small intensives; I was on an antibiotic for over a year for my Rheumatoid Arthritis and this tore up my system.)

I feel it is better to be safe, than to be sorry. It is completely up to you. Good luck~ ;)

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N.M.

answers from Detroit on

Hi M.,

I did not really think of the acne treatment as medication either. I used it off and on during two of my pregnancies but to be be honest my skin was glowing and I didn't really need it. I would say follow your doctors order. Better safe than sorry. I'm sure that you would much rather a beautiful healthy baby.

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R.B.

answers from Benton Harbor on

Hi M.,
Have you thought about trying natural products for acne relief? Jordan Essentials carries several selections such as Oatmeal Milk & Honey Soap, Spa Polish, and Salt Scrub as well as aloe infused facial toner. Go to www.jordanessentials.com with rep# 8783 to view the complete line of natural based skin care products. I have never found anything better in caring for my skin.

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J.N.

answers from Detroit on

I would go with the doc who is cautious. You just never know what could happen, and you want your unborn baby to have the best start possible. I know of another line that is safe you may wish to consider. It's Enfuselle, by Shaklee. They are even paraben-free! The website is www.shaklee.com. I am a distributor, so I can offer you special discounts if you decide to order. They are the only products I use, even still while breastfeeding... just to be safe.

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G.F.

answers from Grand Rapids on

I used Proactive throughout my 2nd pregnancy because I was getting those really bad zits that hurt. My dr. cautioned me but said it would more than likely be fine - and it was. I used the cleanser, toner and lotion at night and then just rinsed my face in the morning and used a little more toner. That was enough to help my situation. (skin wasn't perfect but it kept the really painful breakouts away.)

BTW - my 4 year old son is fine. He's starting to read and he's ahead of the scale on his motor skills. He started rolling at 2 months, scooting across the floor at 4 months and was walking at 9 months.

Hope it puts your mind at ease a bit. Congrats on your 2nd baby - and hang on for the ride! :O)

G.
SAHM of 2 boys, ages 6&4, in Michigan

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K.H.

answers from Detroit on

Hi M.,

My name is K. Henderson. I'm a Independent Beauty
Consultant with Mary Kay Cosmetics. I have worked with all skin types and am knowledgable with Acne-prone skin.
We have 3 products that DO NOT have penzoyle peroxide in them. The first is the Deep Cleanser, the second is the
Blemish Control Toner and the third is Acne Treatment Gel.
I have had clients that have experienced acne and found great
results from using these products. Dermatoligist have recommended and approved Mary Kay products to their patients. If you would like we could obtain an approval information sheet from the Medical Department of Mary Kay Corporate for your Doctor to review. If you are interested and would like to contact me, my phone # is ###-###-####. My e-mail is [email protected]____.com

Looking forward to hearing from you and helping you out anyway I can.

K.

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P.W.

answers from Benton Harbor on

Hi M.,

I'm not sure about ProActive specifically, but you may want to ask the doctor who said "no" about products with Salycilic Acid as a natural alternative to BP. It is highly effective in the treatment and prevention of acne, without chemical side effects. If you are interested in information, I do have a product line called Clear Advantage from Arbonne that I would be happy to send to you as an option.

Good luck!

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