Natural Health Remedies for You

Acne in Early Pregnancy
Natural Safe Acne Treatments During Pregnancy

Acne in early pregnancy can be irritating but you should avoid using strong medication. Try to use natural safe acne treatments to get rid of this skin problem.

Acne in Early Pregnancy

Many pregnant women notice a change in their skin conditions during pregnancy. One of the most common skin problems that take place during this time is acne.

Pregnancy-induced acne is caused by a change in hormonal levels in the expecting mother's body. This hormonal change or imbalance occurs at the time of early pregnancy, that's why pregnancy-induced acne usually occurs in early pregnancy.

Specifically, higher levels of hormones called androgens cause the sebaceous glands in the skin to get bigger. This results in the over-production of an oily substance called sebum.

This extra sebum, combined with dead skin cells, blocks the pores in the skin, making it an ideal environment for bacteria to grow and multiply. As a result, the skin becomes inflammed and acne appears.

The good news is, pregnancy-induced acne usually goes away as the advanced stage of pregnancy approaches.

Signs of Acne in Early Pregnancy

Common signs of acne in early pregnancy include:

  • Red spots, bumps, or pustules, sometimes inflamed and painful.
  • Oily skin.
  • Whiteheads.
  • Blackheads.


What NOT to Use for Acne in Early Pregnancy

Although there are quite a few medications, both oral and topical ones, that may help clear up acne, some of the ingredients may have an adverse effect on the fetus.

In particular, you should AVOID:

  • the oral prescription drug isotretinoin (Accutane) because it can cause serious birth defects.
  • Prescription antibiotic creams containing tetracycline.
  • Topical retinoid.

The bottom line? Play it safe - avoid prescription drugs as much as you can during pregnancy. And when in doubt, always check with your caregiver first.


Safe Treatment for Acne in Early Pregnancy

So is there any safe treatment for acne in early pregnancy? You may wonder. There are indeed some natural "remedies" that are effective for pregnancy-induced acne.

  • Aromatherapy

    Some people have reported good results after using hydrosols as a skin toner to treat hormonal acne. (Hydrosols are like essential oils but are milder because they are in far less of a concentration and therefore can be used "as is" on the skin.)

    In particular, the hydrosol of Melissa (Melissa officianalis) has been found to be effective. Melissa is known for its anti-viral and anti-bacterial effects and is also a great toner/astringent for oily skin.

    Another hydrosol that is effective for acne is Lavender (Lavandula latifolia). Lavender is not only calming but can also fight bacterial infection. For added synergistic effects, mix the lavender hydrosol with equal parts of Helichrysum (Helichrysum italicum) hydrosol. Use the mixture either as a skin toner or as a compress on the affected skin.
  • Homeopathy

    The homeopathic remedy Pulsatilla is effective for acne caused by hormonal changes.
  • Essential Fatty Acids

    EFAs are helpful for acne and can reduce skin inflammation. Take a daily dose of flaxseed oil (1-2 tablespoons) or fish oil (3-5 grams). However, do not expect instant clear-up - it may take up to four to eight weeks before you can notice any improvement.


Prevention of Acne in Early Pregnancy

Since acne in early pregnancy is caused by hormonal changes, it is difficult to prevent it from happening altogether. However, there are a few things that you can do to minimize outbreaks:

  • First and foremost, keep your face clean. Wash gently with a mild soap or cleanser twice a day, and avoid using moisturizers that contain oil.
  • Do not squeeze your pimples as this may cause infection and could lead to scarring.
  • Wear minimal make-up. Use water-based products instead of oil-based. Wash off the make-up thoroughly before going to bed.
  • After washing, pat dry your skin instead of rubbing it. Rubbing your skin can irritate acne.
  • Eat a lot of dark-green or orange vegetables to get beta-carotene which is good for skin repair and maintenance.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Avoid junk and processed foods - these foods usually contain a large amount of toxins that are not good for the body.
  • Avoid sugar - it encourages oil production and provides food for bacteria and yeast.

Related Topic

Common Womens Health Problems


Balch and Stengler, Prescription for Natural Cures, (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2004)
Baby Center (

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