Skin disorders are not uncommon in pregnancy. In some instances, the problem can
be quite difficult and distressing. Many women have had labour induced to rescue
them from severe itching that is not relieved by anything thrown at it. However,
itching is not the only problem, even though it may be the most common (affecting
one in six pregnancies). Other problems include a localized or generalized rash,
which may or may not itch.
There may be pre-existing skin disorders such as eczema, psoriasis and SLE. All these
may behave in all sorts of ways. Take psoriasis, for example. It could remain the
same, improve with pregnancy or get dramatically worse, to the point of necessitating
termination of the pregnancy.
Other conditions are specific to pregnancy and are not encountered at any other time.
They may actually recur with each pregnancy.
And, of course, there are stretch marks - something that can cause near panic for
prospective first-time mothers. We have explained all these clearly in this chapter.