Feature Article

Managing the skin in pregnancy. Part 1. Pregnancy-related skin concerns

Feature Article

Managing the skin in pregnancy. Part 1. Pregnancy-related skin concerns

Nina Wines

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Abstract

Pregnancy-associated skin concerns range from common benign conditions such as stretch marks and skin pigmentation to rarer specific dermatoses of pregnancy, some of which are associated with maternal and fetal risk. Management requires knowledge of which treatments are safe and practical while a woman is pregnant or breastfeeding.

Key Points

  • Benign pregnancy-related skin concerns are common and are mostly treatable either during the pregnancy or, if they persist, after the birth.
  • Specific dermatoses of pregnancy such as intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy and pemphigoid gestationis are associated with maternal and fetal risk.
  • Topical medications are usually the first-line choice for treatment of most skin conditions during pregnancy (estimated percutaneous absorption 4 to 25%).
  • Selected systemic medications may be used after consideration of their safety and the high-risk periods during pregnancy.
  • Referral to a dermatologist is recommended when the diagnosis is unclear or the condition does not respond to treatment or is associated with potential fetal or maternal risk.

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