Acne Treatments While Pregnant

David asks…

Can you use glycolic acid on your face when you are pregnant?

in skincare products and what about @%30 in a peel

admin answers:

This is from “Glow for it,” an article on

Can common ingredients such as alpha hydroxy acids and antioxidants spell trouble for a pregnant woman? Probably not, say experts. Alpha hydroxy acids (glycolic acid, lactic acid) and beta hydroxy acids (salicylic acid) improve the skin’s appearance by helping to slough off dead outer layers; antioxidants, such as vitamins E and C, are purported to quell inflammation in the skin and promote a healthier appearance. “Glycolic acid is a natural substance that can be ingested, and lactic acid is fermented milk,” says Dr. Draelos.

According to Dr. Reed, these acids belong to category B under the Food and Drug Administration’s guidelines, which means either animal studies have shown no harmful effect or, despite unfavorable animal data, human studies do not demonstrate a risk to pregnant women. “You’re applying something in a very low concentration,” she says.

From me: when I was pregnant, I read every label. If it said to consult a doctor while pregnant, I avoided it. I avoided any products with Retinol, which is a common ingredient in some acne or anti-wrinkle treatments. This ingredient is one to avoid. Your average face washes and peels will probably be just fine, but again, read the label. Also search the web for the lists of drugs/products/foods to avoid while pregnant. A great, free source for this type of info is any medical website or Congratulations and the best of wishes!

Mandy asks…

what can you recomend if you have bad pimples/acne in your face?

Can i Use Clear and Clean or Acne Free?
Can someone recomend me to use some healthy products?

admin answers:

Hi .

TREATMENT OF ACNE (Self-Care at Home)

1• Wash once or twice daily with soap and water to remove excess oil from the skin. An acne cleanser purchased over-the-counter in any drug store can also be helpful. Avoid scrubbing too abrasively because this can actually irritate the skin and cause acne to worsen.

2• Over-the-counter acne medications can be used either at bedtime or during the day. Always follow the directions on any acne product.

3• Many cover-up products are available without a prescription to improve the appearance of blemishes while they have a chance to heal. Most work well and should not worsen acne.

4• Some cosmetics and other skin care products, however, can cause acne to worsen. Look for make-up, cosmetics, and skin care products labeled with the word noncomedogenic. This means that it does not cause or worsen acne.

TREATMENT OF ACNE (Medical Treatment)

Many treatment options are available to treat all forms of acne. Medications are the main treatment for acne and usually work well. Several preparations are available over-the-counter, while others require a prescription from a doctor.

1• Over-the-counter medications: Nonprescription or over-the-counter medications for acne are plentiful and can be effective for milder forms of acne. They come in the form of soaps, washes, and cleansers.

…1.a. Many contain benzoyl peroxide, which does two things. First, benzoyl peroxide kills the acne-causing bacteria, which are thought to play a role in acne. Second, benzoyl peroxide can cause drying and flaking off of skin, which can help prevent the pores from becoming plugged. Plugged pores can develop into acne blemishes.

…1.b. Scrubbing excessively with any over-the-counter preparation can actually cause acne to worsen by additionally irritating the hair follicles.

2• Prescription medications: Doctors can prescribe medications when acne becomes moderate to severe or is not controlled by over-the-counter medications. Prescription drugs can be used effectively alone or in combination with other prescription and nonprescription medications.

…2.a. Antibiotics: Antibiotics can be effective in treating most inflammatory acne (papules and pustules). They work by killing the bacteria and also by decreasing the redness and swelling seen in the inflammatory forms of acne.

……2.a.i. Antibiotics may be applied to the skin in the form of gels and lotions, or by way of pills. We now know that using a combination of 2 medications together may be very effective in treating acne. Using a topical antibiotic with topical benzoyl peroxide, for example, may prevent bacterial resistance to the antibiotic. Giving an antibiotic by mouth is often needed for acne that is more extensive, red, and tender.

……2.a.ii. Antibiotics taken by mouth can be associated with more side effects than if applied to the skin and may interact with other medicines such as birth control pills. Sensitivity to the sun can result in a “bad sunburn” in some people who take the antibiotic tetracycline by mouth.

…2.b. Retinoids: Medicines made from vitamin A (retinoids) are useful in treating several types of acne lesions. Topical retinoids are effective in treating the noninflammatory types of acne (blackheads and whiteheads).

……2.b.i. Topical retinoids (applied directly to the skin) help to open clogged pores by creating a mild peeling effect. Drying of the skin can be a frequent side effect. Oral retinoids are reserved for treating the more extensive nodular type of acne or severe inflammatory acne, which has not responded to other treatments. Oral retinoids not only have a peeling effect but also decrease the production of oil.

……2.b.ii. They can also be associated with a number of serious side effects including birth defects in babies of women who become pregnant while taking the medicine. They can also cause elevated blood fats (triglycerides) and damage to the liver. Your doctor may recommend certain blood tests to check for these problems (and to make sure you are not pregnant) if you are given oral retinoids. Depression and suicidal thoughts have been reported while taking oral retinoids.

……2.b.iii. A combination preparation, known as Epiduo gel, containing both the retinoid adapalene and benzoyl peroxide, was approved by the U.S. FDA in December 2008. The once-daily prescription treatment was approved for use in patients 12 years of age and older.

…2.c. Other medications: A doctor may recommend other types of drugs or therapy to improve acne. For women, medications such as birth control pills or certain “water pills” may be helpful. These drugs counteract the acne-causing effect of male hormones. Newer treatments for acne include the use of light or zinc. Your doctor can advise you whether these types of acne therapy might be good for you.

Take Care. Regards.

Michael asks…

How do you treat Poly-cystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and/or find a specialist?

I have been seeing a doctor (or several doctors) for a period of 8 years. I have changed them frequently and have finally gotten to a point where I can’t stand. Amongst the normal treatment with BC and some other medications, nothing seems to be happening.

It has only been in the last 2 years that weight gain and skin problems have gotten really bad. Nothing seems to be working. Are there any resources and/or registry where I can find a specialized doctor to assist? While my Primary Care Provider is a good doctor, I am in search of more aggressive treatment and or someone who might understand the problem from a different medical perspective.

I also want to know where I can find the criteria for allowing a patient with PCOS to use metformin? Do they have to have diabetes to do so? Any info you could provide would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

admin answers:

I agree, Soulcysters is GREAT.

Generally speaking, many physicians prescribe metformin to their PCOS patients without doing any tests.

However, the primary indication for using metformin in PCOS is insulin resistance.

Your doctor should test you for insulin resistance and put you on metformin if you have it.

Insulin resistance can be diagnosed in a few ways. The easiest is the fasting insulin value. If the value is above the normal limit, but blood glucose is normal or low, you have insulin resistance. If your fasting blood sugar is high, you may have diabetes. Either way, metformin would help. A glucose tolerance test may also provide clues. During this test, you fast the night before and then chug this awful glucose-rich drink. They then measure your blood glucose levels over a few hours.

I’m on metformin. I hated it at first because of the AWFUL diarrhea it gave me, but I’ve adjusted now, I’m ovulating again, and I could not be happier (well, unless I was pregnant!).

Metformin, rather than treating the symptoms like birth control does, gets at the root and helps your body level out its own hormones rather than adding hormones to mask the ones you’re already making. From what I understand, the symptoms of PCOS are caused by the fact that high levels of insulin cause the ovaries to make testosterone instead of estrogen, which leads to all kinds of problems including acne and infertility.

One other thing I’d suggest is low-carbing. Carbs cause fluctuations in blood sugar which can lead to insulin fluctuations. You may find a lot of improvements in your symptoms on a low-carb diet.

Good luck on your journey, and do stop by SoulCysters. The ladies there are full of beautiful advice!

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