Psoriasis While Pregnant or Breastfeeding?

Pregnancy is one of the most significant times in a woman’s life. And psoriasis cannot stand in the way of this moment.

Nor should it. Flares can occur during pregnancy, and the expectant mother needs to be prepared to face it with even more serenity.

One of the main concerns is medication. The pregnant woman should consult both her dermatologist and her obstetrician to determine whether the drug indicated is not harmful to the baby.

Many of them are not recommended. The same goes for those who are breastfeeding.

The treatment does not have to be interrupted, but it needs to be adjusted.

Doubts Concerning Psoriasis During Pregnancy

Some doctors suggest stopping all drug treatments during pregnancy, but this is not unanimous.

The best solution is to discuss your case with your physician and evaluate the treatment’s risks and benefits for you and the baby.

Topical medications are usually maintained, but the product used must be under medical evaluation during this phase.

All the preventive measures, such as wearing cotton clothes, sunbathing, and moisturizing the skin well, can be maintained.

There are efficient moisturizers for pregnancy.

It’s natural to be concerned if you have psoriasis and are considering becoming pregnant.

Are women with psoriasis more likely to have problems during pregnancy? Is it true that psoriasis disappears during pregnancy?

What happens after childbirth, and are post-pregnancy flares a thing?

There is a lot to take in. So, to better understand things, we’ll look at what science has to say about them.

Can a Woman Treat Psoriasis During Pregnancy?

Your Ability to Conceive Is Not Affected by Psoriasis

Psoriasis does not affect your fertility and your ability to become pregnant and have a child.

Nevertheless, before you become pregnant, there are a few things to take into consideration.

Decide whether to stop treatment or to change your medication during this new stage.

Ideally, it would help if you discussed this with your doctor before you become pregnant so that they can determine the best course of action for you.

Your Psoriasis Might Get Better During Pregnancy

The woman determines it. Psoriasis improves in around one-third of cases during pregnancy.

This is most likely due to changes in hormones that affect immunity and can have an anti-inflammatory effect during pregnancy.

On the other hand, some women record worsening psoriasis in one out of every five cases. The others say little has changed.

Psoriasis is a box full of unexpected twists and turns. Psoriasis can strike at any age, but it is most common in the 20s to 30s or the 50s to 60s, and it affects both men and women equally.

During pregnancy, the immune system typically relaxes to ‘tolerate’ the developing baby, a stranger to the mother’s body.

It’s not unusual for psoriasis to get better during pregnancy, only to worsen after childbirth.

Your Psoriasis May Worsen After Pregnancy

Unfortunately, research shows that psoriasis can indeed worsen after pregnancy.

It is estimated that 60% of women reported worsening psoriasis symptoms postpartum.

Again, this is only one study, and psoriasis and pregnancy interact differently for each woman.

You and your doctor know your body best and can determine what can be done for you.

You May Be at Increased Risk for Complications in Pregnancy

Studies show that women with psoriasis are at increased risk of complications in the placenta and have a low birth weight baby. If you are concerned about these risks, talk to your doctor.

Your Baby May or May Not Have Psoriasis

The causes of psoriasis in children are not well defined. But it is known to be strongly related to the state of the person’s immune system.

The hereditary factor also plays a fundamental role. If you have it, there is a minimal possibility that your baby will have it; if both parents have it, this possibility increases to 65%.

Anyway, the baby is genetically predisposed to the disease does not mean that it will develop it.

Can I Breastfeed Safely if I Have Psoriasis?

Breastfeeding does not, strictly speaking, cause outbreaks of psoriasis or even the onset of the disease.

However, the experiences of all mothers are different. Even so, breastfeeding women all suffer from the same thing: sore and cracked nipples.

This can trigger an outbreak. Professionals also agree that other factors contribute to the onset – of attacks – of the disease.

Stress, sleep deprivation, and the responsibilities of being a new mother can contribute to the onset of the disease.

These are all factors that can contribute to the beginning of symptoms.

Breastfeeding is compatible with the illness, but it is not compatible with all treatments as some of them pass through breast milk.

Once again, it is recommended to talk to your dermatologist.

As we have discussed above, it is essential to talk to your doctor (or dermatologist) about your pregnancy plans to adapt your treatment if necessary.

Some medications are contraindicated during pregnancy.

They can pass into the fetal bloodstream at the placenta level: the site of mother-child exchanges. Indeed, this barrier is permeable to oxygen and nutrients, but also certain drugs.

Dermocorticoids can be used during pregnancy, but not vitamin A derivatives (in particular calcipotriol).

Vitamin D derivatives and soothing moisturizers can be used without problems. They are the best choice for the treatment of localized psoriasis in pregnancy;

Sun exposure (with protection) is the safest general treatment during pregnancy in cases of extensive psoriasis;

Acitretin (Soriatane®) and methotrexate (Novatrex®) are contraindicated in pregnancy and breastfeeding due to the risk of fetal malformations.

These treatments must be accompanied by effective contraception;

PUVA therapy, due to the use of photosensitizing agents, is also contraindicated;

Cyclosporin has no malformed effect but should only be used if necessary due to numerous side effects. That is, in very severe forms and short courses of treatment ;

Biotherapies are also contraindicated in pregnancy.

How to Care for Skin With Psoriasis During Pregnancy

  • An ideal approach is to provide good skin moisturizing with non-keratolytic dermo pharmaceuticals, such as salicylic acid and urea, in high concentrations.

    In this regard, 15-minute baths with emollients such as washing oils are suggested. These self-care guidelines help eliminate scales and prevent stretch marks but always as complementary measures to therapy.
  • A balanced diet low in refined carbohydrates and sugars is also highly recommended.
  • Use cosmetic products that are compatible with pregnancy because they all help keep our skin hydrated and treat flakiness, maintain skin comfort, and help reduce hyperkeratotic conditions.
  • For shower time, use products that do not include soap and gels with excess oil.
  • It is best to take a short shower with warm water and emollient substances that reduce itching.
  • After the shower, don’t forget to apply a moisturizer.
  • Sunbathe as UV rays positively affect psoriasis, but in moderation as they can cause sunburn. Always use a high protection factor of 50.

Will I experience a flare during pregnancy?

One of the changes that can affect some pregnant women is the occurrence of a psoriasis flare. It’s important not to ignore any symptoms you experience as a warning sign about an upcoming flare-up.

Can I still treat my psoriatic disease?

You can talk to your doctor about treatment options during pregnancy, if you are treating psoriatic arthritis there is a chance you’ll need a different treatment for it.

Will my child have psoriasis?

There is a 10% chance of a child having psoriasis if one of the parents has it as well, if both have it that chance increases to 50%

Does pregnancy psoriasis go away?

Psoriasis may disappear up to 95% during pregnancy and can worsen right after birth because of the traumatic experience that is pregnancy. If labor is done by cesarean the chances are high that you will have psoriasis.

Is red light therapy safe while breastfeeding?

Red light therapy is completely safe while breastfeeding. Red light has a unique way of penetrating the skin and being absorbed by cells.

Although it is not entirely understood how this happens, the research that has been done on it indicates there are no negative effects for adults or children receiving red light therapy treatments.


Pregnancy is a state of grace and should be lived to the fullest.

The possibility of having a crisis is not high; on the opposite, many women go into remission.

Take care of yourself, protect yourself, and keep taking care of your skin.

For your baby, you will be the most beautiful mother in the world.