Taking Acne Medications While Nursing

Many women take acne medications today and while most are compatible with breastfeeding, some are not. Every medication should be discussed with your physician before you begin any regiment, but this is a brief discussion of what the AAP deems compatible or non-compatible with breastfeeding.

Antibiotics are often prescribed in the treatment of acne. Mothers should be forewarned that the risk of thrush is increased with the use of any oral antibiotics. (Thrush is a yeast infection of the baby’s mouth that can be passed back and forth between baby and the mother’s nipples during feeding.) The AAP recommends, while many oral antibiotics are safe to take, that nursing mothers use a topical antibiotic.

Over the counter medications are casually used by millions for skincare. Products that contain benzoyl peroxide and salicyclic acid are considered safe for both mother and nursling. Popular brands that contain these include Clearisil, Noxzema, and and Clean & Clear. Proactiv is another popular acne product that is considered to be safe and is preferred by physicians over the use of oral antibiotics.

Retin-A is considered safe if used topically, as the body metabolizes it before it enters the milk. However, it is not generally recommended to be used orally. It is put in a higher risk category than any of the previously noted medications. The riskiest acne medication that is popular on the market is Accutane. Accutane should not be used by either pregnant or nursing mothers, as it may cause defects in the baby.

Every medication mentioned above should be discussed with one’s doctor before taking while nursing. Further research can be done by visiting the AAP’s website. There, they have a list of many medications and have classified them according to risk. Although some are risky, it is good to know that a mother does have options for their skincare while nursing their children.

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