Salicylic Acid and Pregnancy

Pregnant women already know that what they put into their body matters – anything that goes into your body can potentially go into your child’s body as well. But did you know that what you put on your body can be absorbed through your skin, and that can affect your child as well? Everything you come into contact with has the potential to affect your baby. Some topical ingredients can be absorbed into the bloodstream, and that can hurt the baby. One of the questions about this concerns salicylic acid and pregnancy.

Is It Safe to Use Salicylic Acid During Pregnancy?

Salicylic acid is a member of the aspirin family. It is found in numerous products, including many formulations for acne, dandruff, cleansers, anti-aging creams, toners, facial peels and wart treatments. It is meant to reduce redness and inflammation in the skin, and at higher concentrations it can be used as a chemical peel.

  • Oral form. What does this mean for pregnancy? There haven’t been many studies done on salicylic acid and pregnancy, but the ones that have been completed are a little alarming. Those who took an oral form of salicylic acid were found to have a higher risk of birth defects, miscarriage, heart and lung problems for the baby and bleeding issues for both the mother and infant. These are the same complications that might occur if a woman takes aspirin during pregnancy.
  • Topical form. The topical form of salicylic acid has not been officially tested during pregnancy, but given the results of the oral studies, doctors now say that pregnant women should avoid using salicylic acid until they have delivered their child. The more solution that is rubbed into the skin, the bigger the chances of absorption. For instance, one chemical peels is the equivalent of ingesting one tablet of aspirin. The more you use the salicylic acid, the more of these compounds build up in your body, potentially causing problems.

If you do choose to use salicylic acid on a very limited scale, you can opt for those that contain less than 2% of the substance. This is typically considered safe for pregnancy. However, bring up the question with your doctor at the next visit.

Other Options. There are other options for acne during pregnancy. Some use benzoyl peroxide or azelaic acid, which might be safer for pregnant women. Some creams contain erythromycin or other antibiotics, and can be prescribed for you by a doctor who is aware of your pregnancy. Never use any medication unless you have cleared it with your doctor first.

Want to learn more about salicylic acid and pregnancy? This video is full of information:

What About Other Acne Products?

Those who are accustomed to using salicylic acid might be dismayed to learn they can’t do it anymore. But there are other products that can help tame the acne during pregnancy. Talk to a dermatologist about what topical applications might be safe during pregnancy. Once you have asked a dermatologist and received recommendations, double-check with your obstetrician to make sure that medication really is okay before you use it.

What Are Some Natural Alternatives?

Many pregnant women choose not to worry about the question of salicylic acid and pregnancy, and instead look for alternatives that are definitely safe. There are several pathways to proper skin care that won’t hurt your baby at all.

1. Maintain Proper Skin Care

Start by taking good care of your skin. Drink plenty of water for hydration, and wash your face twice a day, during the morning and evening. Be sure to rinse thoroughly and pat your face dry with a clean towel. Wash your hair on a regular basis to avoid the oils from seeping down into your facial skin, thus creating even more acne issues.

2. Take Plenty of Vitamin A

Eat foods that are high in Vitamin A, such as milk, eggs, carrots and fish. Vitamin A can help keep your skin healthy and clear. However, avoid taking Vitamin A supplements, as this can harm the baby. You should get all of your Vitamin A through great foods!

3. Read the Labels

Before you jump at that great acne medication, read the label thoroughly to make sure that all the ingredients are safe for use during pregnancy. Not sure? Speak to your doctor before you spend your money on these formulations. When it comes to makeup, moisturizers and other things that will be in contact with your skin, make sure they are oil-free. This can help prevent acne flare-ups.

4. Watch Out for the Sun

Look for an oil-free sunscreen that is safe for use during pregnancy, and make sure that you are staying in the shade as much as possible. Though the sun has a habit of drying up acne, it also increases your risks of cancer, and that’s something you definitely don’t want! And remember that many acne medications can make you even more prone to sunburn, so sunscreen is a must.

5. Eat Right

Keep your skin in mind and don’t reach for fatty foods, or those that have been heavily processed. Look for foods with minimal ingredients, all-natural ingredients, and those that are friendly to the skin, such as avocados, nuts, fruits and veggies, dark chocolate, salmon and other foods that are great for both your body and your skin.

6. Don’t Scrub or Pop Zits

You want to get rid of the acne as soon as possible, so you are tempted to scrub – but don’t! Be gentle with your skin, even when it is erupting with a pimple. Don’t pick the pimple, squeeze it, or otherwise irritate it. This is counterproductive, as it stimulates the oil glands to produce even more oil, which in turn leads to more zits. Use gentle cleaners, and for serious breakouts, talk to a dermatologist.

Click here to learn more remedies for acne during pregnancy. 

All Categories