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Pruritus in pregnancy. A frequent diagnostic and therapeutic challenge

, : Pruritus in pregnancy. A frequent diagnostic and therapeutic challenge. Der Hautarzt; Zeitschrift für Dermatologie, Venerologie, und Verwandte Gebiete 56(1): 48-57

Pruritus is the leading dermatological symptom during pregnancy. Besides preexisting or acquired dermatoses, there are a number of pregnancy-specific dermatological diseases such as PEP (polymorphic eruption of pregnancy, previously named PUPPP), pemphigoid (herpes) gestationis, and pruritus gravidarum that are accompanied by severe itching and scratching. Because of potential effects on the fetus, the treatment of pruritus in pregnancy requires prudent consideration. The use of topical and systemic treatments depends on the underlying aetiology of pruritus and the stage and status of the skin. In general, emollients, topical anti-pruritics and topical corticosteroids appear to be the safest options for localised forms of pruritus in pregnancy whereas systemic treatments and/or UV phototherapy are adequate for generalized pruritus. Systemic corticosteroids and a restricted number of antihistamines may be administered in severe cases. This paper highlights the major aetiologies of pruritus during pregnancy and points out the cornerstones of antipruritic therapy in recognition of our own clinical experiences and the current literature.


PMID: 15536515

DOI: 10.1007/s00105-004-0833-1

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