What Acne Medications Should I Avoid During Pregnancy?

Acne is the most common skin disorder among teens and young adults. Acne tends to appear during our teenage years and often continues into adulthood. Acne is characterized by inflamed pimples that typically develop on the face, neck, chest and back. It is not uncommon for adults to suffer from acne as well, although most of them will see a flare-up during their middle years.

Acne can damage your self-esteem and, more importantly, can lead to permanent facial scarring if left untreated. There are several very effective treatments for mild acne that lower your chances of developing more serious scarring and also reduce the amount of pimples you receive. Acne is present almost anywhere on the human body. However, it is most common on the face, neck, shoulders, chest and back.

The severity of acne varies from person to person. Acne is classified into mild, moderate and severe, and each level has its own separate set of symptoms, severity and risk factors. Those at higher risk for developing acne include people with oily skin, those who lift weights regularly, people who have hormonal changes, those with clogged pores, those who wear tight-fitting clothing, those who consume large amounts of caffeine or smoke, those who are overweight, those who lack a healthy diet, and children who eat dairy products. Acne usually affects teenagers and young adults at the onset of puberty, and the severity of the condition can increase during later years. For some individuals, acne flares up after years of being able to successfully maintain an active lifestyle.

Benzoyl peroxide is one of the most commonly used medications for treating acne, but there are side effects that make it less than ideal for some patients. Some people experience dryness of the skin, flaking, itching and redness in the treated areas. Using benzoyl peroxide can cause dryness and irritation around the mouth and nose, as well as redness of the eyes, cheeks, scalp and eyelids. In addition, this medication can cause people to develop more acne in the future if they stop using it. Using benzoyl peroxide to treat your acne could result in future flare-ups.

If you have whiteheads or blackheads, you will want to avoid using any type of over-the-counter medication, as the topical solutions do not effectively get rid of blackheads and whiteheads. Some sufferers notice that cold compress or ice bags work better than benzoyl peroxide. You might also want to try a natural solution to get rid of these blemishes. Combine lemon juice with either Castor oil or grapefruit seed extract to form a paste. Rub the paste on the affected areas, leave on overnight and rinse out in the morning.

If you have a chance to check yourself during your pregnancy for hormonal changes, you may want to use over-the-counter medications during this time, especially if you are taking oral contraceptives. Oral contraceptives help control your hormones, which can affect your acne. During your pregnancy, hormonal changes could make your acne worse, so speak to your doctor about other acne treatments, such as topical creams, herbal remedies and antibiotics. Using over-the-counter medications during your pregnancy can also cause your acne to worsen if you’re not following the direction.