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Feature Article

Managing the skin in pregnancy. Part 2. Pre-existing, new and postpartum skin conditions

Nina Wines

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Abstract

Management of pre-existing skin conditions, such as acne, psoriasis and atopic eczema, and new conditions such as skin cancer may need to be modified during pregnancy, when many of the usual treatments are contraindicated. Management of postpartum nipple and breast problems can be helped by a simplified diagnostic approach and knowledge of medication safety during breastfeeding.

Key Points

  • Pregnancy has an unpredictable effect on pre-existing skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis and atopic eczema; options exist for treatment during pregnancy, but optimising control before conception is recommended.
  • Surgical procedures are best performed in the second trimester or delayed until after the birth if possible.
  • Management of certain types of new melanoma is not necessarily altered by pregnancy.
  • In pregnant women with superficial nonurgent nonmelanoma skin cancer, monitoring the cancer and postponing treatment until after the birth may be considered in some cases.
  • Management of postpartum nipple and breast problems can be helped by a simplified diagnostic approach and a confident understanding of the safety of skin medications during breastfeeding.

    Picture credit: © Bartek Tomcyk/iStockphoto

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