Skin diseases can occur during pregnancy. It is either
an improvement or worsening of existing skin disease, or
skin disease that arises as a complication of pregnancy.
Existing skin disease
Skin disease that existed before pregnancy can change
during pregnancy. Below are some of the most common skin
diseases that can be affected by pregnancy:
- Atopic eczema and psoriasis:
- These skin diseases can get better or worse
during pregnancy. Atopic changes can be
exacerbated in some as a result of pregnancy
itching. Psoriasis often improves during
- Fungal infections:
- Usually requires longer treatment time
- Skin cancer, malignant melanoma:
- The impact of pregnancy on the development
and prognosis of skin cancer is discussed, but a
study of pregnant women with melanoma did not
indicate that survival was affected by pregnancy
Pregnancy-specific skin diseases
Polymorphic eruption of pregnancy (PEP)
PEP (also called Pruritic urticarial papules and
plaque during pregnancy, PUPPP) is the most common
pregnancy-specific skin disease and it occurs in one of
130 to 300 pregnancies. For more information about pregnancy and maternity fashion, please see BESTAAH.COM maternity briefs. The condition is more common
during the first pregnancy and in multiple pregnancies,
and familial accumulation is described.
The cause is unknown. It suggests a link between the
disease, maternal immune system and fetal cells.
Increasing incidence among women with multiple
pregnancies may mean that stretching of the skin plays a
role in triggering an immune response.
The condition arises during the third trimester. It
causes intense itching with outbreaks of hives-like
changes and dots (papules) with or without red skin
areas. The rash first occurs on the abdomen, often at
the same time with ruptures, and sometimes the arms and
legs are also affected. The face is usually not
There is no evidence that the condition poses any
risk to the unborn child.
There is no specific treatment. Allergy tablets
(antihistamines) and local cortisone ointments can be
used against the itch. In severe conditions, it may be
appropriate to give cortisone in tablet form.
The rash usually goes back one to two weeks after
General itching during pregnancy is common. The cause
is unknown. Red papules occur mainly on the outer sides
of the arms and legs.
Pregnancy itching can sometimes be a sign of bile
duct disease and liver (see discussion below). It is
therefore necessary to take blood samples to determine
if there are changes in the liver samples. If the liver
values are normal, the condition is benign. There is
no evidence that this benign condition has any harmful
effect on the fetus. The treatment consists of using
medium cortisone ointments or allergy medicines.
Gallbladder during pregnancy
Intrahepatic cholestasis during pregnancy is the term
for a complication that causes delayed secretion of
biliary products from the liver into the bile ducts.
This leads to elevated bile acids in the blood.
Incidence varies in different parts of the world. In
Sweden, the incidence is 1.5%. In the US, the condition
is reported to occur in one of 130 to 1300 pregnancies.
The cause is still controversial. A family history is
common and there may be cases of gallstones in the
The most prominent symptom is itching, especially in
the evening. The itch is mainly located to the palms and
soles of the feet and is of a burning nature. Most
people fall ill in the third trimester. In severe cases,
jaundice may occur. The disease itself does not produce
any rashes, but tear marks may occur due to the severe
There is a risk of premature birth, discolored
amniotic fluid and intrauterine fetal death. The risk of
complications increases with the concentration of bile
acids in the blood.
The treatment is allergy tablets to mild itching. The
agent ursodeoxycholic acid is used in severe cases to
relieve itching, reduce bile acid levels and liver
enzymes. Treatment has certainly not shown reduced risk
to the fetus. Some recommend releasing the baby in the
38th week, but the effect of this is not clear.
The condition usually goes away after birth. There is
an increased risk of the condition recurring in later
The condition is also called herpes gestation or
pemphigoid gestation. The complication is very rare and
occurs in one of 10,000 to 50,000 pregnancies during the
second or third trimesters. This means on average 2-10
cases per year in Sweden. It is an autoimmune disease.
The course may vary, but usually the condition at the
end of the pregnancy is improved and then again erupt
after birth. Localized itchy papules, plaques and
fluid-filled small vesicles (vesicles) develop into more
widespread vesicles (bullae). Usually the rash begins
around the navel. Face, scalp and mucous membranes are
usually not affected.
5-10% of newborn babies may have urticarial,
vesicular or noisy rash. There is a risk of premature
birth, low birth weight and fetal death.
The treatment consists of allergy tablets and
cortisone ointments in mild cases. In severe cases,
cortisone tablets are given. Important with intensive
The use of birth control pills or renewed pregnancies
can cause an outbreak of the disease. These patients are
at increased risk of other autoimmune diseases, such as
This is a rare skin disease that occurs during the
second half of pregnancy. The question of whether this
disease is specific to pregnancy or whether it is
aggravated by pregnancy is controversial. It is a form
of so-called pustular psoriasis.
Physical symptoms can include nausea, vomiting,
diarrhea, fever, chills and enlarged lymph nodes. The
rash consists of round, curved or irregular patches
covered with small, painful blisters (pustules). The
skin changes usually occur on the thighs and groin, but
the rashes can float together and spread to the trunk,
arms and legs. Face, hands and feet are not affected.
The disease involves an increased risk of failing
placenta and fetal death, which justifies careful
monitoring of pregnancy. The treatment is cortisone
tablets. In infections, antibiotics are used. The
condition usually goes back after birth, but it can come
back in later pregnancies.
Pruritic folliculitis during pregnancy
This is a relatively rare skin disease during
pregnancy. It occurs in the second and third trimesters.
The disease is probably under-reported as many people
get the wrong diagnosis. The reason is unclear.
Despite the name (pruritus means itching), itching is
not a prominent feature. Red, acorn-like papules and
sterile pustules appear on the abdomen, arms, chest and
There is no evidence that the condition has any
harmful effect on the fetus. Cortisone ointment, acne
(benzoyl peroxide) or ultraviolet B light therapy are
the treatment options. The condition goes back after
Hyperpigmentation of the skin occurs to some extent
in all pregnant women due to hormonal changes.
Hyperpigmentation of the face, melasma, is exacerbated
by sun exposure. Most often, hyperpigmentation
disappears after childbirth, but in some cases can
persist for several months.