Pregnancy is a new and unusual state for the female body, especially if you’re pregnant for the first time. That’s why “strange” symptoms become a reason for concern. Pregnancy rash is quite a widespread occurrence, but this fact doesn’t make it less unpleasant. Is rash during pregnancy always a sign of a disease or it can be just a normal physiological process? There is a whole number of skin problems during pregnancy. Here we’ll do our best to categorize them and help to get rid of them.
It should be noted that a future mom needs to turn to a dermatologist with any skin problems. You’ll be able to find such an expert in any healthcare center. During the visit, you should tell the doctor about pregnancy because it’ll help to make out a correct diagnosis and prescribe a course of treatment which isn’t contraindicated to expectant mothers.
The possible causes of pregnancy rash
The most probable reasons for rashes during pregnancy are:
- Allergic reactions;
- Viral infections (rubella, herpes, chicken pox);
- The itch mite;
- Rashes related to pregnancy: polymorphic rash, gestational pemphigoid, prurigo, pruritic folliculitis, and impetigo herpetiformis;
- Chronic skin problems, such as psoriasis or eczema;
- Insect bites.
In fact, the number of possible causes of pregnancy rash is enormous. A lot of diseases which don’t have any apparent connection with skin can have an influence on its state. But there are usually other symptoms making the woman question her health and go to the doctor. As a rule, diagnosing the cause of a rash isn’t complicated for a professional. By the exterior appearance of the rash, medical history and accompanying symptoms, a medical expert will make out the correct diagnosis without difficulties.
Localization of rashes during pregnancy
On the face. The most common cause of pregnancy rash on the face is acne. It can appear due to the hormonal changes during pregnancy, poor hygiene or increased keratinization of the skin. Rash on the face can also be a consequence of some infection – rubella, measles, herpes, chicken pox.
On the hands. Pregnancy rash on the hands is often the first sign of scabies. This kind of rash is most common among the future moms who already have children of preschool of school age. The rash is itchy and concentrates mostly between the fingers. Pregnancy rash on the hands can also be a symptom of psoriasis or eczema.
On the belly. Here we should pay attention to the rashes which occur only during pregnancy – the so-called “pregnancy dermatoses”. They usually appear around the navel and can be accompanied by stretch marks (during later terms). Viral rashes also emerge on the abdomen.
On the feet and legs. Pregnancy rash in these areas usually appears because of insect bites – bedbugs, fleas, mosquitoes. That’s why before looking for an internal reason you should check your room and especially the bed you sleep in. Maybe, there are little pests!
Pregnancy rash on any part of your body as well as all over your skin can mean you have an allergic reaction, viral illness, or severe dermatosis.
The kinds of pregnancy rashes
The external appearance of pregnancy rash can tell you a lot:
- It’s usually a round red element, raised over the surface of skin a bit. Blisters appear immediately after an insect bite or due to allergies.
- A small cavity (about 5 mm) filled with semitransparent liquid. A symptom of herpes, allergies, eczema.
- They usually look like vesicles but are larger in size; indicate an allergic reaction or a side-effect of some drug.
- They are raised above the skin surface, filled with pus. Indicate acne, impetigo, bacterial skin diseases.
- The patches of skin changing their color. They can be a normal occurrence during pregnancy (for example, dark line on the lower abdomen, pigmentation on the face and breasts) or a pathological process (hives, impetigo).
- Small seals about an inch in diameter. They are a common sign of psoriasis, eczema, shingles, and warts.
- Large seals which are very rare.
Is pregnancy rash dangerous?
The rash itself represents a risk only when the affected area is large because then a generalized infection or sepsis can develop.
But rash during pregnancy often indicates a dangerous disease, for instance:
- Infections threatening the baby’s health – measles, rubella, chickenpox, herpes;
- Severe allergic reactions and toxicodermia – the rash can be the first sign, and then angioedema develop.
Impetigo herpetiformis is also dangerous for pregnant women disease, but such cases are rare.
Pregnancy rash – treatment
The treatment of rashes during pregnancy depends on their causes. You don’t need an urgent consultation with an expert only if you have acne. Any other kind of a rash should be examined by a health professional.
Allergic reactions during pregnancy are treated with a hypoallergenic diet and antihistamines. In severe cases, your doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory ointments.
The treatment of infections during pregnancy is closely monitored by an expert! Unfortunately, during the first trimester, some of the infections can lead to an abortion on medical grounds. During the second and third trimesters, infections are not as dangerous, but they still can influence fetal development.
Dermatoses during pregnancy can disappear even without treatment. The symptoms of such skin disorders are relieved with the help of medicinal herbs, ointments, and lotions.
Scabies requires specific medicaments, and you’ll need to cleanse your clothes and furniture. Other family members may also need treatment. Consult with a dermatologist in order to buy correct products because pregnant women shouldn’t use some of them.
To prevent skin diseases of any sort, you should observe the rules of hygiene. Specific preventive measures include the elimination of allergens from your diet, vaccinations against measles, rubella, chickenpox before trying to conceive, no contacts with infected people.
Pregnancy rash can be not only a normal reaction but also a sign of a dangerous illness! That’s why you should consult a doctor immediately after noticing anything unusual. The most important rule is not to disregard the symptoms. Remember: treatment will be more effective during the initial stages of any disorder.