Some women notice that their acne worsens when they are trying to conceive, or once they become pregnant. Sometimes acne flares after stopping acne medications or oral contraceptive pills that were previously keeping the acne at bay. Other times, acne flares after conception. Thankfully, not all women experience this pregnancy flare (and for some women acne improves during pregnancy!), but it is important to know which acne treatments are safe and appropriate during this crucial time.
The most important step, for all women trying to conceive, is to check with your obstetrician regarding the medications that you are taking or applying. Even some topical medications can interfere with the development of your baby. The FDA has published pregnancy categories, which are assigned to all medications. These categories can help to sort out what is appropriate for use during pregnancy, and what is not, based on potential fetal risk. Medications are assigned a grade of A through D, with X also used to denote medications that are known to cause harm. However, following the guidance of the FDA categories does not replace a consultation with your OB/GYN.
There are several prescription medications available for the treatment of acne during pregnancy. We will review these with you further during your consultation. There are also in-office treatments, such as the Isolaz acne treatment and Blue and Red LED Light Therapy, there are safe and effective while trying to conceive and once you are pregnant. Additionally, we have a licensed esthetician we performs medical facials that are appropriate during pregnancy. At-home treatments, such as the Clarisonic cleansing brush and the Tria blue light, can provide much-needed relaxation while they improve the health of your skin. Acne during pregnancy and while trying to conceive can be frustrating, but there are thankfully many treatment options that remain safe to try during this time.