What are the causes of pimples during pregnancy?

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Feb 01, 2012
Quick Bites

  • There are many reasons for the breakout of pimples during pregnancy.
  • An elevated androgen level makes the skin of a pregnant woman more prone to pimples.
  • An unhealthy diet also affects your skin.
  • You are more likely to get acne if your parents had it.

It is common to experience pimples during pregnancy. Acne experienced during pregnancy can be severe, mild or medium. Pimples can appear on any body part during the 41 weeks of pregnancy. In the first trimester of pregnancy, a woman is more likely to get pimples. 

There are many reasons for the breakout of pimples during pregnancy- increased level of androgen (male sex hormones) which results in increased acne causing secretions, body’s increased retention of fluids, dietary changes and genetic tendency. Some of them are given below:

Increased androgen level

During pregnancy, a woman’s body undergoes many hormonal changes and one of them is the presence of higher level of androgens.  This elevated androgen level makes the skin of a pregnant woman more prone to pimples. Androgen level causes increase in the sebaceous glands in your skin and induces the production of sebum (an oily substance). This sebum combines with dead skin cells to block the skin pores and cause multiplication of bacteria resulting in inflammation and eruption of pimples.

Acne during pregnancy

Dietary changes

You may experience sudden hunger pangs during pregnancy and at that time, you tend to consume things which are delicious to your taste buds. Instead of grabbing oily and greasy food, go for healthy and nutritious food. Not only the unhealthy diet affects your skin but increases your bad cholesterol and contains substances that may affect your baby’s health. Include variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet and take baked snacks.

Genetic tendency

Pimples cannot be prevented if you are predisposed to them from genetic predisposition. As the genes carry information from parents to children, you are more likely to get acne if your parents had it.  Your acne can be worsened during pregnancy, if you have it before pregnancy.



Pregnancy is a tumultuous experience and keeping your body in balance is extremely important. Doctor generally prescribes medication to keep the mother and the baby healthy.  Sometimes, this prescribed medication causes negative effects on your skin thus, giving birth to pimples. These pimples can be painful and itching. In this case, you must consult your doctor for changing your medication.



Being stressed during pregnancy is common, especially for new mothers, as pregnancy is a difficult thing to experience. Your stress can induce pimples or it can aggravate it. So try to relax your mind and indulge yourself in meditation or prenatal yoga.


Here are some preventive steps that you can take:

  • Don’t squeeze your pimples or it may cause scars.
  • Ask your doctor for a medicated facewash or lotion.
  • Use oil-free moisturizer.
  • Avoid tetracycline, doxycycline, and minocycline prescribed for acne as they can cause abnormalities in the foetus.
  • Use mild soap or cleanser to wash your face.
  • Never scrub your face instead pat your skin gently.  

Pregnancy is not the bad time for your skin. You just get some pimples or blemishes due to some unavoidable reasons. With proper skin care and healthy diet, your pimples may disappear after pregnancy.

Image Source: Getty

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