Pregnancy is a beautiful time to portray a woman’s natural radiance, but it does come with body alterations such as hormonal fluctuations that can potentially cause skin changes in some women. Acne is a common skincare condition that individuals can experience prior to or during pregnancy. Thus, it is critical to know all of the acne treatment contraindications in pregnancy to avoid causing any harm to an unborn child.

Safety always comes first and since medications are not tested on pregnant people during
research studies, it is more difficult to determine treatment options for acne. However, there
definitely are some major classes of acne medications that are deemed unsafe during
pregnancy and must be stopped immediately. The first medication is oral isotretinoin, also known as accutane, which can cause birth defects. Additionally, topical retinoids such as tretinoin and tazarotene also should be avoided during pregnancy. Another medication that should be avoided is oral Aldactone or spironolactone, which is a common hormonal treatment for acne. Furthermore, many individuals with acne are being treated with both oral and topical antibiotics. Considering there are many different classes of antibiotics, individuals must
discontinue all antibiotics until approval from a healthcare provider that they are safe to continue during pregnancy.

When in doubt, it is best to avoid using any medication or skin care product until a medical professional is consulted. However, there certainly are skincare practices that can be safe for pregnant women. To begin with, gentle cleansers that do not contain fragrances and have minimal ingredients are typically considered safe. Also, there are many pregnancy-safe
moisturizers, which can be used to keep the skin hydrated during the changes of pregnancy. Lastly, choosing a sunscreen in pregnancy is extremely important because there are many hormonal changes making the skin more sensitive to the sun. It is essential to make sure that when utilizing gentle cleansers and moisturizers the companies deem them as pregnancy safe and all of the ingredients are checked prior to use of the products to avoid any of the unsafe pregnancy ingredients, especially the ones listed above.

As you can see, without a lot of research information on acne treatments for pregnant
individuals, it is critical to fully investigate any medication before use. During pregnancy, it is imperative to consult with a Dermatology provider or obstetrician before using any types of skin care product. This is the best way to ensure the treatments are not only effective, but safe for pregnancy to avoid any dangers to an unborn baby! Thus, future mothers can enjoy the natural changes of their skin in pregnancy while establishing a safe and beneficial skincare routine.

The information above is from the American Academy of Dermatology and UpToDate.
Megan Bacall, PA-C