Three Acne Medicines That Are Safe To Use During Pregnancy

pregnancy, medicine, pharmaceutics, health care and people concept - close up of pregnant woman reading label on medication jar at pharmacy

Being pregnant is both exciting and stressful time. With many changes going on within your body, much of your experiences come down to hormones. “Fluctuating hormone levels  can often be hard on a woman’s body, not to mention the skin,” says Dr. Miriam Hanson, board certified dermatologist in Austin, Texas. “Moles can change, the skin can darken. Even if you’ve never had skin problems, you may have problems now!”

Acne is one of the most common concerns for women during pregnancy. So it’s quite common to ask: which acne medicines are safe to use during pregnancy?

Naturally, when you are pregnant you want to be sure to use medicines that won’t harm your baby. “The woman’s health is really the focus at this time,” says Dr. Hanson. “We always consider that the skin condition, and the medication we use to treat it, are in no way detrimental to the patient or the health of the baby.” So if treating your acne at home, using methods such as washing your face twice a day, showering daily, using non-comedogenic cosmetics and skin care isn’t working, then prescription medications may offer additional help.

“Most acne medicines are classified as pregnancy category,” says Dr. Adam Mamelak, board-certified dermatologist at Sanova Dermatology. This means the medication has been tried in animals and found not to be harmful to the fetus. Dr. Mamelak explains that category A medications are few and far between for acne treatment. “Most drug trials that are undertaken to get medications approved do not recruit pregnant women in their studies. It’s not really practical and the FDA understands this.”

Three medications that are considered safe during pregnancy include:

1. Erythromycin. This prescription antibiotic medication is classified as Pregnancy Category B. There is no known risk to the fetus, and you can either take it as an oral medication or use it as a topical preparation. This medication is considered to be safe and effective to treat acne.

2. Clindamycin. Another safe medicine to use during pregnancy. Generally, you will be able to find this as a topical antibiotic, used to treat acne. Rated in the Category B as well, this could be another alternative to treat your acne while having peace of mind that you aren’t harming your unborn baby.

3. Azelaic Acid. This pregnancy-safe medicine is highly effective for acne, but can help with pigmentation issues as well. Post inflammatory pigmentation can result from acne breakouts, but also from pregnancy itself. Melasma, often referred to as a “pregnancy mask” appears as dark patches on the face, and this medicine can be used to treat it. Again, this is a topical preparation that is considered safe for pregnant women.

All of these medications are classified as pregnancy category B, which means that they are the safest medications possible for your situation. If you are concerned about the medication it is always wise to double check with your OB to make sure it is appropriate for you.

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As a pregnant woman, you want to take care of not only yourself, but your unborn child. If you are struggling with acne or are concerned about another skin problem, please contact us at Sanova Dermatology, and find the best treatment for you.

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