Pregnant women suffering from psoriasis should be aware about some critical aspects listed below. Since pregnancy involves widespread hormonal changes, there is an underlying fear about the worsening of psoriasis symptoms. However, there are no clinical tests to confirm the worsening or improvement of such symptoms.
Pregnancy and Psoriasis Symptoms
Many women have reported a slight improvement in their psoriasis symptoms with the onset of pregnancy. The alleviation of psoriasis symptoms among such women has been attributed to cortisone. During pregnancy, this hormone is secreted in higher concentration. Cortisone is a strong anti-inflammatory agent and thus, it reduces the discomfort caused by the skin lesions.
Conversely, the symptoms can exacerbate in other pregnant women. A pattern has been noticed wherein the severity of symptoms among subsequent pregnancies is similar to the extent of changes noted during the first pregnancy.
Pregnancy and Psoriatic Arthritis
Many people suffering from psoriasis tend to develop psoriatic arthritis. This is a painful condition of the joints of the hand and feet. However, psoriatic arthritis is seldom witnessed among pregnant women.
Psoriasis Treatments during Pregnancy
Pregnant women should avoid topical treatments involving the use of:
- Emollients—used for extreme itching; these can be replaced with moisturizing creams.
- Corticosteroids—prescribed for reducing stretch marks; they should not be applied on the hips, abdomen and breasts.
- Exfoliants—salicylic acid is a common ingredient of skin exfoliants and has the potential to induce birth defects.
- Vitamin Derivatives—all types of Vitamin A & D supplements should be avoided.
Pregnant women should avoid systemic treatments involving the use of:
- Cyclosporin—a conventional medication for psoriasis; it is known to induce premature births.
- Retinoids—supplementary compounds concentrated with Vitamin A are called retinoids. These are an established cause of birth defects when consumed during pregnancy.
- Methotrexate—is severe enough to cause miscarriage and congenital defects.
- PUVA—this is a skin therapy involving the use of U-VA radiation and a biological compound that can adversely affect the developing fetus.
Psoriasis and Breastfeeding
Pregnant women using the systemic or topical compounds listed above should avoid breastfeeding before consulting their specialist. These compounds are retained for some time after discontinuing their usage. Thus, a waiting period is required before the breast milk can be considered safe. This is best evaluated by a medical professional.