The Challenges of Pregnancy
Pregnancy has the potential to change life in more ways than one. Of course, the advent of a new baby into the home is an amazing change. But, there are changes that occur in a woman's body during the pregnancy that can cause all kinds of challenges. Once such change is acne. During pregnancy, outbreaks can be mild, moderate, or severe. They can come and go, last the entire duration of the pregnancy, and occur at any point in time during the pregnancy. Surprises everywhere!
Pregnancy can trigger an acne outbreak or make an existing situation worse. Yet, there are women who report that their acne actually got better during the time of their pregnancy. You just never know how it will happen.
Why Do I Have Acne?
The increase in the hormone levels of androgens (male hormones) are considered to be at least partly responsible for pregnancy outbreaks since they encourage the sebaceous glands in the skin to enlarge and in turn boosts the production of sebum, a very oily substance. Combine the sebum increase with shedding skin cells that line the hair follicles and you have blocked pores. The blocked pores create the perfect growing environment for bacteria which leads to inflammation which leads to skin eruptions of acne.
How Do I Fix This?
Although there is no way to prevent the situation, there are some things you can do to help minimize it. Keeping your skin clean is paramount, so wash morning and night with a mild soap or skin cleanser. Be gentle with your skin; don't scrub it like you would a piece of dirty linen. Rather than using a face cloth, use your hands to wash your face and pat it dry rather than rubbing it dry with a towel. Use oil-free moisturizer, if you use anything on your skin.
Popping pimples aggravates the condition, so resist the urge to squeeze. Besides, squeezing pimples can cause scarring. Water-based cosmetics are much better than oil based because then don't tend to plug the pores as badly. Just be sure to wash all of it off before you head for bed at night.
Check Before Using Anything Toxic
Before you start using any type of medicated gels or lotions, check in with your doctor or midwife. Although a number of over-the-counter products work well to clear up acne, some of them have ingredients in them that are not suitable for pregnant women. If your acne is severe, you should see a dermatologist.
As with anything in life - it all changes and nothing is terminal. Take good care of your skin and you will survive the outbreaks intact.