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Skin care 101 during pregnancy and lactation.



During pregnancy and lactation, bodies of women undergo a lot of changes. Increased acne is very common with these hormonal changes. Proper education is important to ensure the baby is safe not only during pregnancy, but also afterwards while breastfeeding. Below are nine commonly used medications for acne and their safety profile.


  1. Benzoyl Peroxide - This medication has been shown to reduce acne lesions and is safe to use during pregnancy and lactation.

  2. Antibiotics - Cephalexin and Penicillin decrease inflammation and inhibit bacterial growth. They are considered safe to use during pregnancy and lactation.

  3. Salicylic Acid - This exfoliant is considered safe during pregnancy and lactation with concentrations less than 2%.

  4. Azelaic Acid - This anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial medication is considered safe during pregnancy and lactation.

  5. Retinoids - This medication should be discontinued during pregnancy, but is considered safe postpartum. It reduces keratinocyte proliferation.

  6. Clascoterone - This medication inhibits androgen receptors in the sebaceous glands and has limited data on safety during pregnancy and lactation. It is best to be avoided.

  7. Isotretinoin - This medication should not be used during pregnancy or lactation. It is highly effective at treating severe acne, but its use has a high risk of birth defects and is also excreted in breast milk.

  8. Spironolactone - This medication is used for hormonal acne in adult patients. It is not recommended during pregnancy because it can feminize male fetuses. It should also be avoided during lactation due to its limited safety data.

  9. Corticosteroids - Oral steroids, such as Prednisone, are generally not recommended during the first trimester because they increase the risk of cleft lip and palate. Intralesional corticosteroids, such as Triamcinolone Acetonide, have very little systemic absorption and are generally considered safe during pregnancy and lactation.

It is always best to consult your obstetrician while pregnant when using any medication to make sure they also agree that it is safe to use.


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