Article

Dermatoses of Pregnancy - Clues to Diagnosis, Fetal Risk and Therapy

Department of Dermatology, Medical University of Graz, Graz, Austria.
Annals of Dermatology (Impact Factor: 0.95). 08/2011; 23(3):265-75. DOI: 10.5021/ad.2011.23.3.265
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The specific dermatoses of pregnancy represent a heterogeneous group of pruritic skin diseases that have been recently reclassified and include pemphigoid (herpes) gestationis, polymorphic eruption of pregnancy (syn. pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy), intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy, and atopic eruption of pregnancy. They are associated with severe pruritus that should never be neglected in pregnancy but always lead to an exact work-up of the patient. Clinical characteristics, in particular timing of onset, morphology and localization of skin lesions are crucial for diagnosis which, in case of pemphigoid gestationis and intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy, will be confirmed by specific immunofluorescence and laboratory findings. While polymorphic and atopic eruptions of pregnancy are distressing only to the mother because of pruritus, pemphigoid gestationis may be associated with prematurity and small-for-date babies and intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy poses an increased risk for fetal distress, prematurity, and stillbirth. Corticosteroids and antihistamines control pemphigoid gestationis, polymorphic and atopic eruptions of pregnancy; intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy, in contrast, should be treated with ursodeoxycholic acid. This review will focus on the new classification of pregnancy dermatoses, discuss them in detail, and present a practical algorithm to facilitate the management of the pregnant patient with skin lesions.

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    ABSTRACT: Pregnancy is associated with complex of endocrinological, immunological, metabolic, and vascular changes that may influence the skin and other organs in various ways. Pregnancy is a period in which more than 90% women have significant and complex skin changes that may have great impact on the woman's life. The dermatoses of pregnancy represent a heterogeneous group of skin diseases related to pregnancy and/or the postpartum period. The dermatoses of pregnancy can be classified into the following three groups: Physiologic skin changes in pregnancy, pre-existing dermatoses affected by pregnancy, and specific dermatoses of pregnancy. Though most of these skin dermatoses are benign and resolve in postpartum period, a few can risk fetal life and require antenatal surveillance. Most of the dermatoses of pregnancy can be treated conservatively but a few require intervention in the form of termination of pregnancy. Correct diagnosis is essential for the treatment of these disorders. This article discusses the current knowledge of various skin changes during pregnancy and the evaluation of the patient with pregnancy dermatoses with special emphasis on clinical features, diagnostic tests, maternal and fetal prognosis, therapy, and management.
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    ABSTRACT: Pemphigoid gestationis (PG) is a rare vesiculobullous dermatosis of pregnancy. It is commonly seen in second or third trimester. The diagnosis is frequently made with direct immunofluorescence studies of perilesional skin. Prompt recognition and appropriate management may reduce morbidity of this disease. Herein we present a case of pemphigoid gestationis occurring in a 33-year-old primigravida woman with symptoms of generalized pruritus.
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    ABSTRACT: Intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy is a reversible disease of variable frequency. The pathophysiology involves an increase of the bile acids in the fetal blood of the mother and the fetus. The high concentrations of the bile acids cause maternal pruritus and high perinatal morbimortality. Primary Care physicians in close contact with the patient must have a high index of suspicion when faced with typical symptoms of cholestasis, such as generalized pruritus in women in the second or third trimester of gestation to be able to act on the consequences.

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