Understanding the link between Pregnancy & psoriasis flare-ups Understanding the link between Pregnancy & psoriasis flare-ups

Women with psoriasis who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant might be worried about how their condition might impact pregnancy. It’s not uncommon for psoriasis flare-ups to occur during pregnancy and after giving birth, but can psoriasis treatments cause complications for the mother or the baby?

If you have psoriasis and want to know how to treat psoriasis flare-up safely, your GP, dermatologist, or pharmacist is a great resource. There are ways to deal with the symptoms of psoriasis that are safe for you and your baby both during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

What is Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that affects up to 2 out of 100 people in the UK. It causes flaky patches of skin that have silver or grey scales.

The symptoms can appear anywhere, but they usually appear in small patches on the elbows, knees, lower back, and scalp. People of any age can develop psoriasis, but the first episode often occurs in adults between the ages of 20-30 and ages 50-60. Both men and women are equally susceptible to being diagnosed with psoriasis.

The severity of psoriasis varies greatly from person to person. For some, it's just a minor irritation, but for others, it can have a big impact on their quality of life. Since it’s a chronic condition there’s no cure and will usually be a life-long concern for those who have it. No matter how intense your symptoms are, you’ll most likely have periods where you’re symptom-free before they come back, often worse than they were before.

Psoriasis Causes

Psoriasis is caused by the increased production of skin cells. Everyone’s skin cells go through a cycle of regeneration, but the skin in people with psoriasis regenerates much faster. This results in a buildup of skin cells that creates the patches and scales associated with psoriasis.

It’s believed that psoriasis is caused by your immune system incorrectly attacking healthy skin cells. Many people with psoriasis will experience worsening symptoms when they’re sick and their immune system is working harder than usual.

Psoriasis can also run in families so there may be a genetic component to it as well, but it isn’t contagious. Other causes may include injury to the skin, certain infections, and the use of some medications.

Psoriasis and Pregnancy

Psoriasis can flare up or even change when there are significant hormonal shifts in the body. These shifts can be caused by puberty, menopause, and during pregnancy or after birth. Not all women will notice a change while they’re pregnant or after they give birth. Studies show that up to half of women with psoriasis will actually see an improvement in their symptoms while they are pregnant and just after they’ve given birth. About 10-20% of women, however, will experience worse symptoms than usual, especially during the period shortly after they’ve given birth (postpartum).

If you have psoriasis, be sure to inform your GP, obstetrician, and midwife so that they can evaluate your condition and make any necessary recommendations. It’s also important to let them know what type of psoriasis you have because they may require different considerations, like with genital psoriasis.

Sometimes giving birth or having a C-section can increase the skin’s sensitivity, meaning that psoriasis flare-ups may be worse than usual if they’re in an area of skin that’s recently been injured. Your healthcare providers can take steps to protect your skin while you’re having a baby.

Treating Psoriasis During Conception, Pregnancy, and Breastfeeding

While perfectly safe most of the time, some psoriasis medications may not be suitable when pregnant, breastfeeding, or trying to become pregnant. Every type of medication comes with its own set of precautions and instructions, including psoriasis treatments, so speak with your healthcare provider to discuss your options.

Some topical medications are perfectly safe to use when you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, but you should be careful about where you apply them. For instance, if you have a flareup on your breasts or around your nipples, applying medication to these areas risks exposure to the baby.

Using over-the-counter moisturizers can help manage the symptoms of psoriasis if you’re unable to use your regular topical treatment.

If you take oral or tablet medications, check with your GP or healthcare provider to discuss whether they are appropriate for you to keep taking while pregnant or breastfeeding.

Another common treatment for psoriasis is ultraviolet B (UVB) phototherapy. Usually given at a hospital or specialist center, UVB phototherapy uses a wavelength of light that’s invisible to the human eye. The light works by slowing down the production of skin cells. Each session takes a few minutes, but you will most likely need a few sessions for the effects to kick in.

UVB phototherapy is generally safe during pregnancy and breastfeeding. However, your skin may be more sensitive to light than usual during these periods so you may want to use suncream on unaffected skin.

Treatment of Psoriasis

If you have psoriasis, you can get treatment from us like Eumovate Ointment and Betnovate Cream. If you are pregnant, trying to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding, speak to your GP or pharmacist before using these or any other medications.

Eumovate cream and ointment is a ‘moderately potent’ anti-inflammatory topical steroid. It’s used to relieve the symptoms of skin inflammation and itching caused by contact dermatitis, insect bites or stings, nappy rash,  psoriasis and eczema. If you’re pregnant, you should only use Eumovate if your doctor has directed you to do so and only apply it to small areas of your skin.

Betnovate ointment and cream is a ‘potent’ anti-inflammatory topical steroid that’s used to treat dermatitis, psoriasis, and eczema. It can also be used on the scalp to treat moderate to severe dandruff and scalp psoriasis. Small amounts of Betnovate are generally safe to use on small areas of skin during pregnancy but check with your healthcare provider first.

Buy Betnovate Cream and Ointment Online in the UK and Eumovate Ointment online in the UK from us.