, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 25-41
Date: 10 Sep 2012

Pregnancy Dermatoses

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Abstract

Some aspects regarding the etiology and the nosologic classification of various pregnancy dermatoses are highly controversial. While some authors highlight the existence of premises allowing several skin disorders to be re-grouped within broader disease concepts, others underline the absence of clear, undisputed etiopathogenetic data that could support such classifications.

This review exhaustively analyzes the various pregnancy dermatoses (pemphigoid gestationis, intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy, impetigo herpetiformis, polymorphic eruption of pregnancy, and the papular dermatoses of pregnancy [prurigo of pregnancy, pruritic folliculitis of pregnancy, and the new classification, atopic eruption of pregnancy]) in an attempt to shed light over this confusing and disputed domain, while subsequently offering an algorithmic approach to their diagnosis and management.

While for pemphigus gestationis, intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy, and impetigo herpetiformis, specific diagnostic tests such as histopathology, immunofluorescence, or laboratory investigations will confirm the diagnosis, the identification of the other types of pregnancy dermatoses is based only on clinical criteria. In this context, the review argues for the inclusion of the whole group represented by the papular dermatoses of pregnancy within the broad spectrum of polymorphic eruption of pregnancy, separating each of these entities by focusing on their onset: early-onset polymorphic eruption of pregnancy (comprising prurigo of pregnancy, pruritic folliculitis of pregnancy, and atopic eruption of pregnancy) and late-onset polymorphic eruption of pregnancy.

In light of the same practical approach guiding it, the review provides updated treatment strategies for each of these conditions.