Acne Treatments While Pregnant

Sandra asks…

should i go to a dermatologist for acne?

i’ve tried many different things from stores, and proactiv too, it worked for a little while but i have to wash my face two times a day everyday and if i forget one or two days then i get horrible break outs, i just can’t keep up with it. right now my acne is really bad, the worst it’s ever been. i would rather take a medication then have another thing to wash my face with, which would they more likely want me to do? did going to the dermatologist help you with your acne problems?

admin answers:

If you are not able to control your acne with over the counter meds and have health insurance, it is probably time to make an appointment with a dermatologist. They do have access to some really good prescription medications that they can prescribe to you. The only problem is finding a good dermatologist who can accurately diagnose what is exactly going on with your skin and give you what you need to get it cleared up.

A good combination approach is to use Retin-A micro gel before bed (mix it with an equal amount alcohol/dye free aloe vera gel -retin-a is EXTREMELY drying so you do need to apply at least some kind of moisturizer with it after you have been applying it for awhile but at first when the skin is really overproducing you could probably go with straight retin-a) and use clindamycin in the AM. Both should be applied very sparingly -stretch it out, do not overapply or you will dry the skin and cause excess sebum production and cell turnover that will clog pores worse and therefore make the acne even more uncomfortable for you.

You might have to take your suggestions in to the doc -some do not appreciate this, but if they are wasting your time and not giving you what you know you need, demand it or go online. No one should have to suffer due to a doctor’s incompetence or analness.

A good moisturizer to keep on hand is Lac-Hydrin 5. In case your skin has had too much treatment, you still want to apply something to fight bacteria at least. The L-H 5 maintains the normal pH balance of the skin and after some time of treatment you may be able to maintain the effects by just keeping the skin inhospitable to bacterial invasion (by using the L-H 5 and spot treatment with retin-a and clindamycin).

Regardless of the treatment that you decide on, you are going to have to remember to wash your face gently with a mild cleanser in the AM and PM if your skin is oily and you really want to control the acne. I find that washing my face in the morning helps me wake up and I just wash my face in the shower before bed (or vice versa if I get my shower in the AM).

If you do indeed have a severe case of acne that is uncontrollable by any other means, there is a pill called Accutane that is a last resort. It shuts down all of the body’s capabilities to produce oil. It is nearly 100% effective for acne treatment, but the entire body can get very dry and the facial skin prone to premature wrinkling. You would need to apply a very heavy moisturizer to most of your body daily for comfort. Accutane can only be taken for a short period of time to get the acne under control and then maintain the effects with other medications. You also cannot have sex while taking Accutane (or if you do and get pregnant, you MUST be okay with the prospect of abortion or raising a severely malformed child since Accutane is highly toxic to fetuses and is known to cause horrible if not fatal birth defects. You are required to maintain a reliable form of birth control while on the medication, but since no forms are completely reliable, abstinence is unfortunately the best option in this case.

I hope that you can get some assistance and relief from the acne. Good luck!

Sandy asks…

Would stopping birth control be why I am breaking out?

I have always suffered with acne. Especially back acne. A few years ago I took Accutane to get rid of it for good. After 4 months of hell, it was finally gone! Then I started on birth control due to marriage, well I ended up pregnant anyways, with twins! Anyways while on birth control and during pregnancy,it was still good. Maybe a few breakouts here and there, but now me and my husband are trying to get pregnant again, and ever since i stopped (about a month) I have been really bad. Its also very frustrating, because Accutane is suppose to get rid of it forever! So I wonder if it because I stopped birth control? Different homones? What can I do to help it?

admin answers:

It may be a factor.

Hormonal birth control suppresses your menstrual cycles – if acne is hormonal then it means it gets hidden with the suppression of your own hormonal changes – when you come off hormonal birth control it takes time for your body to adjust to having it’s own hormones and cycles back, so it can cause irregular cycles and hormonal irregularity which in turn may trigger off hormonal acne.

You can help by regulating your hormones – eating well and using herbal treatments like chaste tree or evening primrose oil daily – you can also help by adopting more skin-friendly cleaning, for example stop using soap…for your body use dry-brushing and for your face use oil cleansing method. Irregularity can be normal up to 12 months after stopping birth control, but I suggest waiting 3 months and if you’re still having problems go to your doctor for further investigation and to be referred to a dermatologist.

Chris asks…

How do you deal with having acne? Roacutin?

I’m so fed up with it, I just want to hide when it flares up. I know I should be grateful that I’m relatively attractive but I feel deformed when it gets bad. I’ve thought about taking roacutin Vit A drug but heard some horror stories. Any good tips to get rid of acne??

admin answers:

Silverspoon,

First thing to say is that I’m not a GP!! The reason I feel I can answer you is because my wife and I have an 18-y-o son who has just been through this, so maybe our experience can help you (but you must, of course, take your GP’s advice).

18 months ago his complexion was as clear as a bell. Over a few weeks, he then got very severe acne, despite being good with hygiene and being very active in a sporting sense. He lost interest in high school, hung around in his bedroom watching TV, and barely said anything to us. There were lots of tears and lots of four-letter words to describe how he thought his face looked, so I understand how you feel when you use the word ‘deformed’.

Second thing is this: you acknowledge that you are “relatively attractive” – that’s a good start, and you must hang onto it. I’m assuming, by the way, that you are female? You don’t say how you feel you are being viewed by others at the moment, whether friends and family are being supportive – I hope so. But, even when you are feeling down about your looks, try to realise that others are NOT staring at your face all the time. You will come through this, and I know its a matter of time, but there’s more to you as a person than just your face. Try not to mope around – stay active (good for your complexion in any case), keep going out (though you may not feel like doing), and try to think about other things – difficult I know, but do try.

Thirdly, to come to your point, what about treatment? Again, you don’t say what you have tried so far, so apologies if you already know this. If you’ve gone past the stage of creams and lotions, I assume you have been to your GP. If not, you must! And you must make it clear how unhappy you are with your acne. The GP is most likely to try you with antibiotics first and/or perhaps a Vit A-based cream. The antibiotics will be one of the tetracycline group and you may have to take it for quite a while. Our son was tried with lotion first, which did nothing. He was then put on a long course of monocycline (one of the tetracyclines). This helped a little, but nowhere near enough to get rid of spots, redness, etc. And, of course, boys of that age are likely to be shaving, which just makes the acne flare up even more. So his mental state just wasn’t lifting.

I then started to read about roaccutane, and I asked my GP friend about it. Yes, you will hear nasty stories about it, and doctors still have varying opinions about its dangers – the warning leaflet (which we still have) that comes with it is VERY long! It works for MOST people, but there are no promises.

Eventually, we asked our GP to prescribe it. Doctors cannot usually do this without referring you to a dermatology clinic first for an assessment. A skin consultant must assess you to see what else you have tried, whether your other organs are in good order (e.g. Liver, kidneys), what your mental state and home life are like and, if you are female, whether you are looking to become pregnant (roaccutane is bad news for an unborn foetus). In our case, our son was deemed a good candidate for the drug even though he was already feeling low (because we could keep an eye on his mental state if it got worse). The consultant said that the suicidal tendencies associated with roaccutane are often overplayed, especially in the United States.

If the consultant says ‘yes’, the primary care trust then have to decide whether to let your doctor prescribe it. It isn’t madly expensive, but it isn’t cheap, and you must usually take it for 16 weeks. We got the green light for the prescription.

Whilst taking it, you may get sore joints. Your face may actually go redder and look worse at first – thats normal. You skin will dry up (thats how the Vitamin A works, by drying up the excess oils), so you may need to use lip balm to stop your lips from cracking. Don’t hold your breath – you won’t see results in the first few weeks, but more likely the final 6 weeks. You mustn’t get discouraged at this point – the result should be worth it.

In our son’s case, he did feel depressed whilst taking roaccutane – but he would have felt like that if he WASN’T taking anything. There were more tears. But he finished his course about 2-3 months ago and the change in his complexion is unbelievable. And there is no scarring. Yes, he complains about the very vague, pale blotchiness that is left, but it really is barely noticeable and the consultant and GP are very pleased with the results and have said that any small marks left over will fade even more as the months go by.

To be honest, we all had no hesitation in going with the drug, despite its possible side-effects, and it has worked wonders. We would recommend it, but the decision has to be yours and that of your doctors.

I hope this helps. If you want more info, don’t hesitate to post again.

Gary.

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