Skin eruptions specific to pregnancy: an overview



Key content

  • Pregnancy results in various physiological skin changes. As a consequence, some common dermatoses can present more frequently in pregnant women. In addition, there are a number of skin eruptions unique to pregnancy.
  • The aetiology of physiological skin changes in pregnancy is uncertain but is thought to be due to hormonal and physical changes of pregnancy.
  • The four dermatoses of pregnancy are: atopic eruption of pregnancy, pemphigoid gestationis, polymorphic eruption of pregnancy and intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy.

Learning objectives

  • To understand the physiological skin changes in pregnancy.
  • To identify the skin conditions that require appropriate referral.
  • To be able to take a history, to diagnose the skin eruptions unique to pregnancy, undertake appropriate investigations and first-line management, and understand the criteria for referral to a dermatologist.