Pregnancy is a period characterised by hormonal upheavals that can lead to the onset of hormonal acne from the third trimester of pregnancy. But is it also a trigger for rosacea acne? Find the answer in this article.
Does pregnancy promote rosacea acne?
- Rosacea Acne and Pregnancy: Is there a connection?
- How to treat rosacea acne during pregnancy?
Rosacea Acne and Pregnancy: Is there a connection?
Also known as acne rosacea in common parlance, papulopustular rosacea is a very specific form of rosacea. It is a chronic skin condition that affects the blood vessels, confined to the facial area, and causes redness, where papules can spontaneously appear on the couperose background, but especially pustules.
Rosacea acne develops due to an increased presence of skin mites known as Demodex, which reside on the skin. The Demodex mites, specifically Demodex folliculorum and Demodex brevis, are parasites that inhabit the hair-sebaceous units of human skin. Demodex folliculorum is primarily found in the hair follicle, while Demodex brevis resides in the sebaceous glands. These mites are responsible for skin redness, as well as the formation of papules and pustules observed in individuals with rosacea. An excessive presence of these mites is associated with a dysfunction of the immune system, which results in a permanent oedema promoting an excessive proliferation of Demodex mites.
There are common misconceptions suggesting that rosacea acne is a condition specific to pregnant women, but this is not the case. During pregnancy, vascular dilation phenomena are often mistaken for this disease, as they present similar symptoms. In pregnant women, physiological abnormalities in vascularisation can be accompanied by bursting microvessels. This phenomenon resembles that of rosacea acne, but they have nothing in common. It is more a case of redness or erythrosis.
In pregnant women, acne is one of the side effects caused by the hormonal upheavals that occur during pregnancy. However, rosacea acne, not having a hormonal origin, is not part of these effects.
How to treat rosacea acne during pregnancy?
The management of rosacea acne during pregnancy includes prior knowledge of the disease's aggravating factors. These can include heat, stress or physical exertion, among others. After this stage, consulting a doctor is essential to understand the necessary therapeutic treatments for managing the disease.
Generally, there are various treatments available to combat rosacea acne. But beyond these treatments, cosmetic products are also available for the comfort of those suffering from the disease. They are also intended to soothe sensitive skin and conceal redness that can be a source of discomfort.
For women with sensitive and reactive skin, or even those intolerant to many products, it is advisable to favour ranges designed for sensitive skin. Furthermore, the use of sun protection is also recommended. For this, the skin should be protected with a SPF 50 cream on sunny days or when it is likely to be exposed to solar radiation. Indeed, UVB rays are likely to interact with the TRVP4 receptors of the epidermis, partly responsible for the deterioration of skin tissues. The stimulation of these receptors triggers nociceptive mechanisms and an alteration of the skin structure, which can exacerbate rosacea acne.
Topical azelaic acid, ivermectin, and metronidazole, found in certain treatments for acne and rosacea, can be used during pregnancy for a benign condition. However, high doses of metronidazole should be avoided during pregnancy. Antibiotics from the tetracycline family, typically used to eliminate spots, should be disregarded due to their effect on the development of the foetus's bones and teeth.
Note: Generally, it is important to consult a dermatologist at the first signs of rosacea acne to benefit from the most appropriate treatment.
JONES S. V. & al. Skin disease in pregnancy. British Medical Journal (2014).
GOMOLIN T. & al. Treatment of rosacea during pregnancy. Dermatology Online Journal (2021).