What, why and how?
Introduction & background
Acne and pregnancy interact with each other in a variety of different ways. In the majority of women, however, pregnancy has a positive, beneficial effect on the activity, severity and flare-ups of acne, because of the effect of estrogens hormones that are secreted during pregnancy.
However, in few cases, there is a flare-up of acne requiring active therapy and attention, especially if scarring is a threat. Acne may also appear for the first time during pregnancy. There are cases of mothers (especially first time mothers) having the bouts of acne only during pregnancies.
What causes acne flare ups in pregnancy?
During pregnancy, a woman may develop acne due to hormonal changes in her body. In fact, hormonal activity during pregnancy is usually at peak levels. This increase in androgen and progesterone levels can cause women's oil glands to work overtime.
For many women experiencing acne in pregnancy, the first trimester is worse, when progesterone hormone levels are high.
Mask of pregnancy
Because of the rapid and major hormonal changes during pregnancy, some women actually develop what is popularly known as a "mask of pregnancy." These are brownish pigmented areas around the cheek nose and eyes that collectively look like an “artificial, reddish layer of mask” over the face. In reality, however, it is nothing but the pregnancy-related flare up of acne.
Many times, the acne of pregnancy goes on away on its own
Fortunately, with time, acne problems that develop due to pregnancy will usually go away as the pregnancy progresses. Researchers believe that this is mainly because of an increased amount of estrogen level that by your second or third trimester, your skin starts to look better than it has in a long time.