Health Conditions Hub Psoriasis

How Will My Psoriasis Affect My Pregnancy?

It’s an important issue that goes undiscussed by patients and their doctors

Though psoriasis doesn’t affect the reproductive system, you’ll need to consult your doctor to find out if treatments for the disease are safe to use while you’re pregnant.

The severity of psoriasis during pregnancy varies from pregnancy to pregnancy, with some women seeing improvement and others reporting their condition worsens. In fact, “about two-thirds of females during pregnancy will find that psoriasis tends to spontaneously improve,” Alan Menter, M.D., a dermatologist at Baylor University, said in an interview with IMNG Medical Media. But research on the impact of psoriasis on pregnant women is limited.

In 2012, the National Psoriasis Foundation released guidelines in 2012 for treating psoriasis in pregnant women. According to the guidelines, topical moisturizers and emollients like petroleum jelly are the preferred treatment. Limited use of low- to moderate-dose topical steroids also appears safe. Narrow-band ultraviolet light B (UVB) phototherapy should be the second-line treatment. If narrow-band UVB is not available, broad-band UVB can be used.

Psoriasis can present complications after childbirth. One study, published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, found women with severe psoriasis are at a higher risk of having a low birth weight baby than women without psoriasis.

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And severe post-partum flares are also a risk. “It’s seldom discussed by either by dermatologists with their patients or by ob/gyns,” Dr. Menter said, “but it’s a significant problem. It’s up to us to discuss it with our patients who are pregnant. It’s an important issue that is neglected.”

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