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Topical Tretinoin

Safety of skin care products during pregnancy

Pina Bozzo, Angela Chua-Gocheco, MD and Adrienne Einarson, RN

June 2011



Many of my female patients complain about acne, unwanted hair growth, and other skin problems that have only developed since they became pregnant. Are products used for these types of benign skin conditions safe to use in pregnancy, as it is understandable that women want to look their best at this important time in their lives?


With the exception of hydroquinone, which has a relatively high systemic absorption rate, and tretinoin, for which the evidence is controversial, these products act locally and therefore produce minimal systemic levels. Consequently, in most cases women can deal with these cosmetically unappealing skin conditions without compromising the safety of their unborn children.


Plusieurs de mes patientes se plaignent d'avoir de l'acné, des poils indésirables et d'autres problèmes de peau qui ne sont apparus que depuis leur grossesse. Est-ce que l'utilisation des produits habituels pour ces problèmes dermatologiques bénins est sécuritaire durant la grossesse, étant donné qu'il est compréhensible que les femmes souhaitent avoir belle apparence durant cette importante période de leur vie?


À l'exception de l'hydroquinone, dont le taux d'absorption systémique est relativement élevé, et de la trétinoïne, au sujet de laquelle les données probantes sont controversées, ces produits agissent localement et produisent des niveaux systémiques minimes. Par conséquent, dans la plupart des cas, les femmes peuvent prendre en charge ces problèmes de peau non attrayants sur le plan cosmétique sans compromettre la sécurité de l'enfant à naître.

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