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West Afr J Med. 2011 Jul-Aug;30(4):239-44.

Specific dermatoses of pregnancy: a review.

[Article in English, French]

Author information

  • 1Department of Obstetrics Gynaecology, Royal Alexandra Hospital Paisley,United Kingdom PA2 9PN



Some dermatoses worsen during pregnancy, some improve, yet others have unpredictable course.


To conduct evidence-based search, and review of current management of specific dermatoses of pregnancy.


Comprehensive literature search was conducted, with Medline and Cochrane Database regarding skin diseases in pregnancy from 1990- 2005. International pharmaceutical abstracts science search (1997- 2003) was used for search references found in the articles. All articles selected for inclusion in this review were evaluated critically with regards to their impact factor, source, and evidence based contribution on this topic as measured by their citation index and the journals they were published in. This review was limited to specific dermatoses of pregnancy generally and some of the skin disorders modified by pregnancy.


Intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy should be managed as high risk pregnancies as several investigations have shown foetal complications. Recent randomised trials have demonstrated beneficial effects of ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) in intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (ICP). Pruritice ruption of pregnancy is associated with multiple pregnancies. It has variable clinical features and has to be differentiated from pemphigoid gestationis, which is associated with an increased incidence of both prematurity and small for date's babies. Prurigo of pregnancy is extremely itchy with papules appearing on the extensor surfaces of the limbs and trunk. It has no maternal risk. The eruptions in pruritic folliculitis of pregnancy clear spontaneously in the postpartum period, with no associated morbidity either in the mother or baby.


Some skin diseases like obstetric cholestasis may have adverse foetal outcome, while other disorders like pruritic folliculitis of pregnancy have no significant effect on either the mother or baby.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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