When does pregnancy acne start?

If you are wondering about when does pregnancy acne start? Pregnancy acne starts at any time during pregnancy and pregnant women often suffer from it. but what matters is how long pregnancy acne can last. Women start to notice a small mark on their skin and those marks can have a serious effect on some women. People assume that the appearance of acne suddenly on a face might be a sign of pregnancy.

Usually, pregnancy acne starts in the first week of your pregnancy and it can last until the last week of the third trimester. Pregnancy acne continues to stay in some women even after they have given birth to a baby.

Why does pregnancy acne start to appear on the skin?

Pregnancy acne starts to appear on the skin when there is an abnormal change in the hormones and that can lead to pregnancy acne to the women who are pregnant. Progesterone provides a healthy environment for the fetus during the initial days of pregnant women. This hormone can make your skin produce more sebum which is an oil. Having excess sebum can create bacteria in your skin and can cause acne during pregnancy.

Pregnant women tend to maintain more water in their bodies to support the fetus growing in the uterus. A pregnant woman’s body habituated to maintain more water and release fewer toxins. Your body then releases the excess toxins in the form of pores. The formation of pores can lead to the cause of acne. Even experts are not sure about how long can pregnancy acne lasts.

What are the risk factors of pregnancy acne?

Several well-established risk factors developing the pregnancy acne and it can also determine how long pregnancy acne last or the following risk factors can increase the acne period. It includes

  • Age
  • Extreme changes in Hormones
  • Family history
  • Oil or greasy substances
  • Friction or pressure on your skin
  • Stress

Let’s discuss the above risk factors in detail


Pregnancy acne starts or can happen at any age and some women get pregnant before entering into adulthood. They can also experience pregnancy acne and it doesn’t matter when they become pregnant.

Extreme changes in hormones

A lot can happen to your hormones when you become pregnant. The abnormal changes to your hormones can increase your risk of acne during pregnancy. Pregnancy acne starts to build up due to extreme changes in the hormones.

Family history

If any member in your family developed pregnancy acne in the past, then the chances are high that you will also experience the same during the phase of pregnancy.

Oil or greasy substances

Don’t apply any gels or lotions to your face when you are pregnant. These greasy or oil substances can increase your risk of getting acne.

Friction or pressure on your skin

If you put more pressure on your skin intentionally or unintentionally, it can lead to the formation of acne. The pressure can be applied through things that we use at home. It includes

  • Telephones
  • Cell phones
  • Backpacks
  • Tight collars
  • Helmets



Pregnancy acne starts due to excessive stress or if you feel nervous all the time. Stress may not contribute to the cause of acne but it can worsen the situation if you already having it.

How to treat pregnancy acne safely?

There are medications and natural remedies to get rid of pregnancy acne. But some medications can cause birth defects. So, it is really important to know about those medications. It includes

  • Isotretinoin
  • Topical retinoids
  • Spironolactone
  • Tetracycline antibiotics

Let’s discuss the above medications in detail:


One shouldn’t take Isotretinoin to treat acne when they are pregnant. This medication can cause several birth defects. Don’t take this medication even when you are experiencing the signs that you are pregnant. The following are examples of Isotretinoin drugs. It includes

  • Claravis
  • Sotret
  • Accutane

Dry skin, feeling nervous all the time, itching, feeling sleepy all the time, rash, dizziness, pain in the back, nose bleeding, pain in the joints, and inflammation of the whites of the eyes are considered as the side effects of this drug.

The above side effects can occur at any time during medication use. It is advised to consult a physician when you are experiencing the side effects of this therapy. Your physician may change the dosage of the medication or switch you to another one.

Topical retinoids

These retinoids also belong to the same group of Isotretinoin. People who are using this will apply on the top of their skin and it is absorbed into the bloodstream of a woman and reach the fetus growing in the uterus. The following are examples of topical retinoids. It includes

  • Tretinoin
  • Adapalene
  • Tazorac

There are very few side effects associated with topical retinoids including skin discoloration, blistering, stinging, and swelling of the skin. But it is one of the effective way to treat when your pregnancy acne start showing symptoms.


This drug is used to treat acne and hypertension. It is recommended for pregnant women. Because it can negatively affect the baby growing in the uterus. Due to this reason, physicians never prescribe this drug to the women who are pregnant or who are showing the signs of pregnancy.

Feeling sleepy all the time, unable to maintain an erection during sexual intercourse, low levels of energy, pain in the head, cramps in the abdomen, pain in the breast, electrolyte disturbances, hives, hard bowel movements, cramps in the legs, and enlarged breast tissue in males are the most associated side effects of this drug. These side effects can contribute to the start of pregnancy acne in women.

Tetracycline antibiotics

These antibiotics can negatively affect a fetus’s tooth, bones, and can cause permanent damage to it. Examples of tetracycline antibiotics include

  • Doxycycline
  • Minocycline

Blistering, yellowed skin, severe peeling, red skin rash, nausea, hard bowel movements, poor appetite, vaginal itching, swelling in the genital area, difficulty swallowing, white patches or sores inside your mouth, hairy tongue, and sores on the lips are the common side effects associated with the above drugs. These side effects can occur at any time during drug use. See your physician immediately if you are experiencing any of the side effects.

What are the natural remedies to treat pregnancy acne?

Instead of going for medications, it is recommended to try some natural remedies to get rid of pregnancy acne. Some of the natural remedies include

  • Wash your face
  • Stay hydrated to flush out toxins
  • Maintain a diet rich in Vitamin A
  • Honey
  • Coconut oil

Let’s discuss the above natural remedies in detail:

Wash your face

Clean your face with fresh water and never wash your face with soap. It is due to the ingredients present in the soap that might irritate your skin instead of improving it. Try a cleanser and it should not contain

  • Oils
  • Alcohols
  • Soaps

Scrub your skin smoothly with the help of cleanser and too much scrubbing can irritate your skin.

Stay hydrated to flush out toxins

Women need to stay hydrated and especially during pregnancy. It can flush out the toxins and help you to get rid of acne. Pregnancy acne starts in women who consume a little amount of water throughout the day. It is advised to consume two liters of water daily.

Maintain a diet rich in vitamin A

Boiled Eggs Nutrition Facts

Eat smartly and add foods that are rich in vitamin A in your diet. Vitamin A can reduce the negative effects of sebum does to the skin. Sebum can contribute to the cause of acne in pregnant women. Following are the foods consists of vitamin A includes

  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Cod liver oil
  • Carrots

Milk also contains vitamin A, but the dairy foods can make the acne worse over time.


Honey is very beneficial to the skin due to its antibacterial and antiseptic properties. To get the benefits of honey to your skin, all you need to do is clean your face with fresh water and add honey directly over the acne. Leave it on your skin for twenty to thirty minutes and repeat this same procedure twice daily for getting the best results.

Coconut oil

coconut oil

People use moisturizers that ultimately cause damage to the skin. You can try coconut oil instead of moisturizers. It has antibacterial and antifungal properties that will be beneficial for your skin. Try virgin coconut oil and apply it on the affected area before your bedtime.


Acne is common during pregnancy time. If pregnancy acne is a big problem for you then talk with a skin specialist about some of the available treatment options. Before going to your physician, try some of the natural remedies described above so that you can get ready with treatment options when your pregnancy acne start.


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  2. http://pjms.org.pk/index.php/pjms/article/view/131
  3. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/jdv.13667
  4. https://www.scmsjournal.com/article/buy_now/?id=338
  5. https://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/19/1/70


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