Here is some good news for pregnant women affected by psoriasis: There is a chance that your itchy, scaly skin problem will improve as a result of the hormonal changes that are taking place within your body. Are there any other advantages? While more research is needed to be sure, specialists believe that having mild or moderate psoriasis in pregnancy does not increase the chance of problems or problems for the fetus.
What is obvious is that if you conceive while your disease is in remission and you are no longer taking medications, you will have the best pregnancy outcomes.
What is psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory disease of the immune system that affects approximately 3% of the population and causes raised, red, scaly patches on the skin that itch, burn, or itch.
Other diseases and conditions, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and depression, have been linked to this skin problem.
Stress, a skin injury (sunburns, scratches, bites), certain medications, and infections are all possible triggers for psoriasis flare-ups (strep throat, respiratory infections).
Allergies, diet, and weather are possible factors. What causes psoriasis flare-ups in one individual may not affect psoriasis flare-ups in another.
What are the effects of pregnancy on psoriasis?
During pregnancy, many pregnant women notice a reduction in the intensity of their psoriasis. Others, on the other hand, claim that their condition is deteriorating.
If this is the case for you, you should talk to your doctor and your prenatal care doctor about the best (and safest) method of treating your symptoms during pregnancy.
Also, even if your psoriasis improves during pregnancy, you may have a flare after the baby is born. If you are breastfeeding, talk with your doctor about the best treatment options for you and your child.
How will psoriasis affect my baby?
According to several studies, women who have severe psoriasis are more likely to have children with low birth weight than women who have mild psoriasis or who do not have chronic skin disease. In other studies, women with psoriasis have not had negative pregnancy outcomes.
People with a family history of psoriasis are indeed more likely to develop the disease. According to scientists, if one of the parents has psoriasis, the child has a 10% chance of having it as well.
However, if both parents have psoriasis, the child’s chances increase to about 50%. Still, people must be exposed to specific external stimuli, or triggers, to be at risk for an outbreak.
So if you have psoriasis, don’t worry that your baby might have it. After giving birth, tell your doctor about your medical history and keep up with your regular wellness checkups so he or she can evaluate your baby for signs or symptoms of the disorder.
How do you treat psoriasis during pregnancy?
The severity of your psoriasis during pregnancy will determine your treatment options. Among the possibilities are:
- Topical treatments: Topical therapies (lotions or creams applied to the skin), emollients (such as petroleum jelly), moisturizers, or low-dose topical corticosteroids are the treatment of choice for expectant mothers whose psoriasis affects less than 5-10% of the body. . After your daily shower, apply a thick layer of moisturizer to keep your skin nourished. If your doctor advises you to use topical corticosteroids, apply only a small amount to a small area of your skin.
- Light treatments: UVB phototherapy (light therapy that reduces inflammation that causes skin symptoms) is the preferred treatment if your psoriasis is more severe and topical medications are not enough. Natural sunlight can also help you feel better; If UVB light therapy is not an option for you, it is a good alternative. Keep in mind that phototherapy can lower your folate levels, so be sure to get enough folic acid in your prenatal vitamin and ask your doctor if you need to take an additional supplement.
- Systemic medications: Most pregnant women with psoriasis can be treated with topical treatment or phototherapy, although severe psoriasis may require medication. Because not all psoriasis medications are safe to take during pregnancy, your doctors will need to choose the ones that pose the least danger to your pregnancy and your fetus. Biologics that inhibit TNF such as adalimumab and infliximab (which must be reduced before the third trimester) or cyclosporine are two options (which carry the risk of preterm delivery and a baby small for gestational age). Due to the risk of birth defects and miscarriage, several medications that are often used to treat psoriasis (such as methotrexate, tazarotene, and acitretin) are not safe to use during pregnancy.
Another thing to think about is having your doctor monitor your vitamin D levels. Insufficient vitamin D can exacerbate psoriasis symptoms, so if you are deficient, a supplement (especially a topical one) may be beneficial.
Finally, because stress can exacerbate psoriasis symptoms, it is critical to reduce your stress levels as much as possible. A healthy lifestyle during pregnancy, including eating healthy, getting enough sleep, exercising, and using relaxation techniques, can help you achieve this.