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Cutaneous changes during pregnancy

  • 07



    I have only summarized the non-infectious cutaneous changes during pregnancy from the following study which was published in the Journal of Epidemiologic Global Health, published March 2017;  7(1): pages 63-70.

    The authors of the study are Panicker VVRiyaz N and Balachandran PKDepartment of Dermatology, Government Medical College, India. 



    The authors report that pregnant women experience a myriad of physiological and metabolic changes that affect different organ systems in the body. Cutaneous and appendageal alterations that manifest during pregnancy are largely modulated by hormonal, immunologic, and metabolic factors.


    The authors summarize the "cutaneous changes are divided into physiological changes, skin diseases aggravated by pregnancy, and specific dermatoses of pregnancy". 



    This study included 600 pregnant women attending the Obstetrics and Gynecology Department of a tertiary teaching hospital.



    The authors showed that "cutaneous changes were seen in a majority of patients, of which physiological changes were the most common (99%). The most common cutaneous manifestation was hyperpigmentation (526; 87.6%), followed by striae gravidarum, i.e. stretch marks (72.8%). Other changes were vascular, including pedal edema (10%), pregnancy gingivitis (1.8%), and varicose veins (1%). 



    The researchers concluded from this important study that "pregnant women are prone to suffer from a wide range of dermatological problems apart from specific dermatoses of pregnancy.



    Dr. Karamanoukian's note:  This is an important study showing cutaneous manifestations during pregnancy, most interesting to a vein specialist was leg swelling in 10%, varicose veins in 1%, skin hyperpigmentation in 87.6%.  Of importance to patients and plastic surgeons is that 72.8% develop stretch marks.