What is Pregnancy Acne

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

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Many women suffer from pregnancy acne during their nine-month term, and it is important to know what causes it, and also how you can treat the condition.

What is Pregnancy Acne?

Pregnancy acne as the name suggests occurs during pregnancy. It is caused because the hormone balance of a pregnant woman undergoes massive shifts during their pregnancy. More specifically, an increase in androgens within the body can lead to pregnancy acne.


This condition can manifest in different ways, such as:

  • Redness
  • Spots on the cheeks
  • Inflamed patches around rising pimples and spots

pregnancy acne

Pregnancy acne can not only be unsightly but also uncomfortable and itchy. While some women say that pregnancy causes a spike in their acne symptoms, others say that it has the opposite effect. Every woman truly is different when it comes to this condition. Typically, the acne symptoms can begin as early as the second month and may last for months after the pregnancy ends, as this isn’t a condition that can get cleared up overnight. There is no way to prevent this condition if you are in the roughly 50% of women who experience it, but there are some prescriptions and natural remedies, as well as lifestyle changes that can alleviate the symptoms.


The main cause of pregnancy acne is related to unusual hormonal activity in the body.

With elevated levels of androgens in the body, the body’s sebaceous glands often grow in size. This leads to an overproduction of sebum. As with normal cases of acne, sebum begins to build up in the sebaceous glands. Excessive levels of sebum can cause bacteria and other particles in the open sores. This can lead to infections and inflammation, leading to the symptoms of acne.

Good hygiene is essential during pregnancy, but be sure to speak with a doctor before taking any traditional acne medication.

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, and publisher who earned his English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign, Urbana (USA). He is the co-founder of a literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and calls the most beautiful places in the world his office. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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