WORK/LIFE BALANCE FROM A MOM AND NURSE PRACTITIONER

The pregnancy glow myth and my favorite skin care products

9/10/16
I am currently in my second trimester of my second pregnancy, and I have never struggled with breakouts this much in my life before.  As if dealing with the other symptoms that come along with pregnancy, mood swings, nausea, fatigue, and frequent urination wasn't enough, I have also had to deal with adult acne. The old wive's tale is pimples means you are having a girl, so we shall find out if this holds true. My skin has always been sensitive and prone to breakouts, and I have tried many products and routines to establish a clear complexion, however the hormones and stress this pregnancy have completely thrown my skin for a loop. In the first trimester I stopped using topical face wash with benzoyl peroxide, as it a pregnancy category C drug (animal studies show risk and human studies not available or neither animal nor human studies done), which may have contributed to my increase breakouts. In my second trimester, however, my skin was just getting worse, so I started using a small amount of clean and clear face wash with benzoyl peroxide once in the morning. I also started to use a dab of erythromycin, a prescription antibiotic gel on problem areas after using the face wash twice a day. Erythromycin topical gel is a pregnancy category B (either animal studies show no risk but human studies not available or animal studies showed minor risks and human studies done and showed no risk). Irregardless, only small percentage of topical medications are absorbed systemically especially when washed off quickly, so they pose very little risk to the developing fetus. I also switched to makeup that is noncomedogenic to avoid irritation to the skin. The NARS creamy concealer and tinted moisturizer are both light but provide adequate coverage throughout the day. I also use a daily sunscreen that is water-based in the morning, to prevent darkening of acne or other blemishes which can occur during pregnancy. There are limited studies on links to dairy and acne, but some have found a correlation, so I have been (unsuccessfully) trying to limit my dairy intake. Of course psychosocial stress can increase breakouts, as with other inflammatory conditions, so I'm trying to limit my stress (also somewhat unsuccessfully). I am neither a dermatologist nor OB/GYN, so this is not intended to be taken as medical advice, these are just some products I have found helpful. Always check with your OB/GYN first before trying a new skin product if you are pregnant, and always avoid rentin A products, isoretinins, or oral tetracycline antibiotics, as these are teratogenic (known to cause birth defects). If you have any tips or advice on controlling acne during pregnancy, please leave them below.
 
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