Pruritic Folliculitis of Pregnancy

Pruritic Folliculitis of Pregnancy

Pruritic Folliculitis of Pregnancy

Pruritic folliculitis of pregnancy is a rare skin condition which appears one in three thousand pregnancies. This disease is different from many types of folliculitis, it is not caused by bacteria and the actual cause of this dermatosis is unknown. Some investigators believe it is caused by hormonal changes.

Pruritic folliculitis of pregnancy symptoms

It is characterized by a benign dermatosis  with several small, red, follicle-centered bumps(papules) and may or may not have the appearance of small pustules(filled with pus).

Honestly, the condition is similar to acne but there are not bacteria in the papules. They are sterile. These bumps are usually on the abdomen, arms, chest, arm and back and may be very itchy. These condition is often misdiagnosed as bacterial folliculitis.

When does pruritic folliculitis of pregnancy appear

The onset of pruritic folliculitis of pregnancy is most often in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy. The symptoms last between 2 and 8 weeks and then a spontaneous resolution will occur after delivery.

The good news is that pruritic folliculitis of pregnancy is usually not severe or extensive, and there are no scientific reports linking this disease to any associated fetal morbidity, mortality or negative effects on the baby.

How is Pruritic folliculitis treated?

Treatment consists of topical medication such as :

  • Low-potency corticosteroids, 10% benzoyl peroxide or a mix of both, or ultraviolet B light therapy.  Antibiotics are not needed.
  • Oral antihistamines are useful to treat the itching.
  • Other drugs have been tested, such as topical antifungal medications and topical or systemic antibiotics, but they have shown minimal effects.

Be sure to address any medications (including anything applied to the skin) to your doctor first, to ensure it is safe for the baby.

Final thought

The majority of pregnant women experience common skin conditions during pregnancy. The conditions generally can be separated into three categories: hormone-related, preexisting, and pregnancy-specific. Most of them will go away after delivery of the baby, such as linea nigra. But there are a few conditions that may pose a risk to the mother or baby.

This is the reason why you should not self-diagnose a skin problem. Get it checked out by your doctor.