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Dermatologist Shares Advice on Treating Acne while Pregnant

The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) just recently started their 72nd Annual Meeting this past Friday in Denver, Co. The meeting, which runed from March 21-25, will offer the latest scientific advances in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of skin, hair and nail conditions from the foremost experts in the field.

One of the topics being discussed is the Treatment of Acne in the Pregnant Patient. The purpose of this presentation is to give information about the safe, effective acne treatments for pregnant patients.

Dr. Jonette Keri, board-certified dermatologist and member of the American Academy of Dermatology, talked to Brandi Walker about how prevalent is the skin condition in these type of patients, what effective over the counter products are safe enough for them, and what prescription medications are effective as well.

1. How prevalent is acne in pregnant patients compared to not pregnant patients?

This adult acne group seems to be changing and becoming more apparent OR more reported so it’s hard to provide an exact answer. The numbers suggest that up to 54% of women over the age of 25 have acne. As regards to pregnant women having more acne, it is not so straight forward; some women get better, and some women get worse during pregnancy. There is one study available looking at this, and it looked at women after delivery. Of those 75% said their skin looked better after delivery; 13% reported no change, and 12% of women reported worsening of acne after delivery. This one study would suggest acne got better after pregnancy.

2. Does stress or hormonal changes play a part in a person's skin condition? Yes, hormonal changes can play a part in a person’s skin condition. Specifically, a rise in serum androgen levels can lead to acne.

3. What over the counter products are safe and effective in controlling skin breakouts for pregnant patients? Over the counter glycolic acid products as well as mild non-abrasive cleansers.

4. What prescription medications are effective for these patients? Topically, azelaic acid, erythromycin, clindamycin. Oral medications use the antibiotics erythromycin, azithromycin, and cephalexin. Rarely, in cases of severe acne we use oral corticosteroids, such as prednisone.

For more information on AAD’s Annual Meeting, visit

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