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Pemphigoid gestationis

Conditions such as pemphigoid gestationis (left) are unique to pregnancy and are not encountered at any other time in a person’s life.

24. Skin disorders in pregnancy

Psoriasis SLE (lupus) Itching Cholestasis Pemphigoid

By Dr Joe Kabyemela, MD

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.

Psoriasis, SLE, Herpes, Itching etc: Next Page