Women with psoriasis and eczema need to take extra precautions when considering treatments if they’re planning for pregnancy, according to a presentation at the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) Annual Meeting.
A previous study found that eczema accounts for about one-third to one-half of all dermatitis cases during pregnancy. While most pregnant women may feel they should stop treatment completely, this may not be the best course of action.
“It is unfortunate to me how often women think they have to stop all treatment during pregnancy, so I am always happy to share that we actually have a number of options with very good safety data,” Dr. Elizabeth A. Kiracofe said in an AAD press release. “Pregnancy is hard enough without women also having to deal with an itchy rash.”
Different treatment options are available for eczema or psoriasis, but not all are suitable for pregnant women.
“The potential for motherhood requires constant vigilance in evaluating medical choices,” Dr. Elizabeth said. “Traditional medications that suppress the immune system are often not recommended during pregnancy,” she added.
Dermatologists have noted that medicines that target the source of the disease more precisely, while generally safer for patients, are not approved for pregnant women. Dr. Kiracofe advises that these drugs be discontinued before starting a family.
Some of the safest and most widely explored treatment options for pregnant women include moisturizers, mild corticosteroids, and phototherapy. Moisturizers work by assisting the skin in protecting itself, whereas mild corticosteroids stabilize symptoms. However, despite the safety of this medication, it is crucial that a dermatologist be on site to monitor administration.
Dr. Kiracofe added that pregnancy registries also play a vital role in helping dermatologists determine the best treatment options for their patients.
“It’s important to remember that dermatologists can help women treat their skin conditions during every stage of their lives, especially when they are considering starting a family,” she said. “Our goal is to guide them through a shared decision-making process and support them in deciding which treatment plan is best for their unique situation.”
Primary source: AAD