Can I use Retin-A while I'm pregnant?

I am pregnant with my first child so I am pretty much worrying about everything that I regularly use to make sure it will not affect my pregnancy. Is it okay to use Retin-A during my pregnancy for some occasional acne or should I avoid it? Thanks.


F, 38, Iowa

Tags:woman age 25-34 acne pregnancy

I have always been a diligent Retin-A user, and so when I found out that I was pregnant a few weeks ago during a pregnancy test, I was unsure if I would be able to continue with the treatments. This is my first child, and I really want to make sure that I do everything right and not put my baby at risk. My friend, who has 4 kids of her own and is a health fanatic and Retin-A user, told me to avoid using it while I'm expecting because while it hasn't been proven to be harmful, it also hasn't been shown to be 100% safe either. Retin-A actually comes from Vitamin A, and I do know that too much of that can cause birth defects, and so I'm not going to risk it. If my skin starts breaking out badly again, I'll look into an alternative while I'm expecting. It's definitely not worth the risk!

Congratulations on your pregnancy! Retin-A and some over-the-counter acne medications should be avoided with pregnant women due to possible birth defects and side effects. I am pregnant, and I understand the frustration that you are experiencing with breakouts. My doctor encouraged me that I shouldn't panic about using Retin-A in my early pregnancy because only 10 percent of Retin-A passes into your bloodstream and less of that reaches the baby. My doctor encouraged me not to use Retin-A, and he gave me some other suggestions for minimizing acne breakouts. I recommend that you see a dermatologist to get safe acne treatments for your pregnancy.

I have been pregnant three times, and I had severe breakouts each time. My doctor would not prescribe Retin-A during this time. She told me it is a Pregnancy Category C drug, and not safe during pregnancy. It is ironic that at the time when I most needed topical tretinoin, my doctor was not able to prescribe it. This is the time when I needed to steer away from prescription medicine and use over-the-counter retinol skin products. I was using Retin-A before I knew I was expecting a baby. My doctor assured me that this was okay, I just couldn't continue to use the product for the remainder of my pregnancy.

When you're pregnant, you have to scrutinize everything that you put in your body. Fortunately, Retin-A has not been linked to any serious birth defects. Unlike isotretinoin or Accutane, which is an oral version of Retin-A and has been linked to severe birth defects. Of course, nothing is completely safe but there is research that does not show a significant increase in birth defects among babies born to mothers that used Retin-A. One of the possible reasons for this is that it is a topical ointment. It is absorbed through the skin and a relatively small amount enters the mother's blood stream. An even smaller amount will enter the baby's bloodstream. Though it has not been deemed unsafe for developing babies, it is a very good idea to seriously consider taking any medicines during pregnancy. Consultation from a physician and research may help you make your decision.

I suffer from terrible acne (and other skin problems). The only issue is, I am pregnant right now. I know that Retin A is great for treating acne, but I am hesitant to try it. Many people have no opinion on whether Retin A is safe to use while pregnant. Some of my friends feel that it is just fine, while others have advised me to wait until after the baby is born. As someone who likes to proceed with caution, I have decided to wait. After doing some research, I discovered that using Retin A during pregnancy is highly unlikely to cause harm to an unborn baby. However, no matter how little the risk is, it is still there. I just do not feel comfortable using Retin A during this time.