Battling Bad Acne After Miscarriage: The Hormonal Skin Battle

Undeniably, experiencing a miscarriage can be deeply emotional and physically challenging. Apart from the intense emotional turmoil, there are various physical changes a woman’s body goes through during this period.

One such unanticipated change could be the sudden onset of acne after a miscarriage. In this article, we’ll dive into the details of why this happens, what you can expect, and how to cope with this unexpected skin change while navigating the emotional path of healing and recovery.

Let’s explore this journey together and arm ourselves with the knowledge needed to understand and manage acne after a miscarriage.

Understanding Miscarriage


The Painful Experience of Loss

A miscarriage can be a deeply painful experience, both physically and emotionally even months after it has happened. The loss of a baby during pregnancy brings with it a torrent of emotions and often, a silent sense of grief.

From the initial confirmation of the pregnancy, parents start weaving dreams around their future baby. The loss, therefore, is not only physical but also a painful rupture of these dreams.

The Miscarriage and Hormonal Impact

A miscarriage can often cause a turmoil of hormones in the body. The pregnancy hormones, primarily progesterone and human chorionic gonadotropin, which were once rising to support the growing baby, drop drastically after a miscarriage. This hormonal shift can have diverse effects on a woman’s body.

The Unexpected Outcome: Acne after Miscarriage


Why Does This Happen?

Acne after a miscarriage, though not commonly discussed, is a reality many women face. The hormonal chaos post-miscarriage can often manifest itself in the form of a skin breakout. Hormonal acne, particularly, is caused due to an imbalance in progesterone and estrogen levels, leading to an overproduction of skin oils.

Pregnancy Acne and Normal Acne: The Difference

Pregnancy acne, similar to regular acne, is primarily a result of changes in hormone levels in the body. However, it’s distinct in several ways.

Cause: Pregnancy acne is caused by an increase in hormones, particularly progesterone, during pregnancy. The surge in hormones can increase the production of oil (sebum) in the skin, leading to clogged pores and acne.

On the other hand, regular acne, although also linked to hormonal fluctuations, can be due to various factors, including genetics, diet, stress, and skincare habits an is usually more common in a teenager than adults

Location: While regular acne can appear on various parts of the body, pregnancy acne is commonly found on the face, particularly the jawline and cheeks. It may also affect the neck, chest, and back due to the increased oil production during pregnancy.

Time of Occurrence: Regular acne can occur at any time, while pregnancy acne typically starts around the first trimester when hormonal changes begin to take place.

Treatment: Treating pregnancy acne can be a bit more complex, considering the safety of the baby. Not all acne medications that are typically used to treat regular acne are safe during pregnancy. Therefore, pregnant women experiencing acne should always consult their healthcare provider before starting any acne treatment.

In general, hormonal acne, whether it occurs during pregnancy or otherwise, can be a challenging experience. However, with the right skincare regimen and professional advice, it can be effectively managed. Always consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice.

Navigating The Breakout Phase

This phase can be disheartening, especially when you are already grappling with sadness and emotional loss. It’s hard to see your skin breakout when the pregnancy glow you expected is replaced with painful cystic acne.

From bad acne around the jawline to redness and bumps on the neck, the experience is far from pleasant.

Getting Back to Normal: Skin and Emotionally


Bleeding and Acne: Physical Symptoms

Just like the bleeding after a miscarriage, acne is a physical symptom that takes time to heal. As your hormones stabilize and your body comes back to its pre-pregnancy state, the acne too will gradually clear up.

Steps to Regain Your Emotional Strength

This journey back to normal, both physically and emotionally, is crucial after experiencing a miscarriage. It’s a process that requires time, patience, and immense self-compassion. Engaging in self-care activities, therapy, or joining support groups can be beneficial during this healing process.

Caring For Your Skin: Practical Advice


Why Washing and the Right Face Wash Matter

Proper skin care is essential during this period. Regularly washing your face with a gentle face wash while you shower can prevent further breakouts. Avoiding harsh chemicals and opting for non-comedogenic products can also help your skin breathe and recover.

Treatment Options: From Home Remedies to Dermatologists

When dealing with acne during pregnancy or while trying to conceive after you miscarry, it’s crucial to choose treatments that are safe for both the mother and the baby. Not all acne medications are suitable during this period, and some can even cause birth defects.

Here are some safe acne treatments for pregnant women or women trying to conceive:

Topical Benzoyl Peroxide: This is one of the most common over-the-counter acne treatments and is generally considered safe during pregnancy. It works by killing the bacteria that cause acne. However, as with any medication during pregnancy, it should be used under the guidance of a healthcare professional.

Topical Salicylic Acid: Salicylic acid is another common ingredient in over-the-counter acne products. It helps to unclog pores and reduce inflammation. While systemic salicylic acid (aspirin) is not recommended during pregnancy, topical use is generally considered safe. It should be used in moderation and as directed by a healthcare provider.

Glycolic Acid: This is an alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) that is often used in chemical peels and acne products. It’s considered safe during pregnancy and works by exfoliating the skin and helping to clear pores.

Azelaic Acid: Azelaic acid is a prescription medication that reduces inflammation and prevents pore blockage. It’s considered safe during pregnancy and can be an effective treatment for acne.

Lifestyle Changes: Sometimes, lifestyle changes can significantly improve acne symptoms. These changes may include a balanced diet, regular exercise, adequate hydration, and proper sleep. Regular and gentle cleansing of the skin can also help manage acne.

It’s important to note that while these treatments are generally considered safe, what works best can vary from person to person, and one should always consult a healthcare provider before starting any new medication during pregnancy.

Some acne medications, like isotretinoin, are known to cause birth defects and should be avoided by pregnant women or women trying to conceive. Always ensure to discuss any symptoms or concerns with your healthcare provider to ensure the safest and most effective treatment plan.

The Journey of Trying to Conceive Again


Taking Care of Fertility Health

I’m so sorry to say that for many women, the journey doesn’t stop with a miscarriage. Trying to conceive again after a loss can be a daunting but hopeful process. Taking care of your fertility health, maintaining a balanced diet, and consulting with your OB-GYN are all integral steps.

And always remember, you aren’t alone!

Supporting Each Other: The Role of Your Partner

This journey is not just a woman’s. Partners play a crucial role in providing emotional support and understanding during this phase. Remember, it’s okay to grieve together and to seek help when needed.

The Healing Process


The Power of Support: Forums and Communities

Forums and online communities provide a platform for shared experiences. They offer a space where you can express your feelings, ask questions, and most importantly, realize that you are not alone in this journey. even if you feel like it .

Moving Forward, Carrying the Memory

Moving forward doesn’t mean forgetting. It’s about cherishing the memories, however brief, and allowing them to be part of your life. It’s about acknowledging that it’s okay to feel the loss, to miss what could have been, and yet, to continue to hope and dream for the future.


Miscarriage and its aftermath, including unexpected issues like acne, can be a painful journey. But with time, self-care, and support, healing is achievable. Remember, it’s important to care for your physical and emotional health during this time. You are not alone in this journey.



Why am I experiencing acne after a miscarriage?

Acne after miscarriage is primarily due to the hormonal imbalance following pregnancy loss.

How long does it take for acne to clear up after a miscarriage?

There is no set timeline. As your body gradually returns to its pre-pregnancy state, the acne should clear up.

Is it normal to have bad acne after a miscarriage?

Yes, hormonal acne can occur as a result of the hormonal changes your body undergoes following a miscarriage.

What can I do to treat acne post-miscarriage?

Regular cleansing, using non-comedogenic products, and consulting a dermatologist for severe cases are advisable steps.

When can I try to conceive after a miscarriage?

Consult your healthcare provider for personalized advice. Generally, it’s safe to try after your menstrual cycle returns to normal.

What are the symptoms of hormone imbalance after miscarriage?

Symptoms of hormonal imbalance after a miscarriage may include irregular menstrual cycles, mood swings, fatigue, weight changes, and skin conditions like acne.

What are the common side effects after miscarriage?

Common side effects after a miscarriage include physical symptoms like bleeding and cramping, as well as emotional effects such as grief, depression, and anxiety.



This post is written and edited by Sandy who is a clinical pharmacist with over 20 years of experience specializing in pre-natal and post-natal care.