Q: Do you have anything that treats dark spots resulted from acne and black heads? My main pregnancy concern is the scars on my face.
~ Denise, Pennsylvania
A: I hear often from women with red or dark spots on their faces from acne scarring. Unfortunately, benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid, common ingredients in over the counter acne treatments, may be to blame for worsening dark acne scars in women of color. These ingredients can cause reddish or brownish acne scars in women with any skin pigmentation. Along with the chemical reaction from anti-acne ingredients, acne inflammation itself causes skin damage that results in the scars. While many skin care experts recommend retinoids to improve the skin damage acne scarring and hydroquinone to improve the darkness, both of those ingredients should be used avoided during pregnancy.
So what to do?
To treat acne scars, you need a product that will work on skin cell regeneration and healing. Rehab Serum for Pregnancy Acne
is a plant-based pregnancy skin care product made to control pregnancy acne breakouts, decrease the appearance of acne scars and promote smoother, more even skin tone. You can use it as a spot treatment on red or dark acne scars. Note that it does contain retinyl palmitate, but the amount in the product is less than the recommended amount cleared by the FDA for topical use by pregnant women. You can use it worry-free as a spot treatment for acne scars.
Another way to treat acne scars during pregnancy is to spot treat them with products designed to help heal c-section scars. We have two organic products designed to heal Cesarean section scars that you could use safely during pregnancy. Look into Scar Booster Repair
and C-Mama Healing Salve
If your acne scars are fairly recent, say less than 9 or 10 months old, you should be able to see results using topical treatment methods with daily use for 12-16 weeks. For best results, make sure to use a pregnancy safe sunscreen that's an SPF 25 or SPF 30, as sun exposure weakens your skin cells and makes it more difficult to heal.
For added support, incorporate skin-healing nutrients into your daily diet. Red and orange vegetables, dark, leafy greens, nuts and fish, meats and foods rich in zinc will all help your skin's natural collagen production--to help not only your acne scars during pregnancy, but your stretch marks, too.
If your acne scars are over 9 or 10 months old, you may have to treat them with a combination of skin-regenerating facial products and microdermabrasion. Because of the potent ingredients in these products and the extra sensitivity of your skin during pregnancy, wait until after you've had your baby to begin this type of acne scar treatment.
In the meantime, use concealer and foundation to hide your older acne scars during pregnancy.
Real question from a Maternitique mom, and real answer from Maternitique founder and CEO, Tara M. Bloom. Have a question about pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, or baby care? Send it to me! Reach me on Facebook, Twitter, or via our contact page above. Subscribe to Materni-Talk by email or RSS to get regular suggestions for how to expect the best during pregnancy and motherhood. And please share with others!