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Week by Week

Psoriasis May Improve During Pregnancy

By Medically reviewed by Dr. Duyen Le.

During pregnancy, a woman body releases more estrogen than usual. And, fortunately, these higher levels of estrogen can relieve psoriasis.

What is psoriasis?

Psoriasis is one of the most irritating skin disorders. It is a condition in which skin cells multiply 10 times faster than normal. Once the cells reach the skin’s surface, they die, causing raised, red plaques or white scales covering the outside surface. Psoriasis often develops in areas like the knees, elbows, and scalp. Sometimes, psoriasis occurs and affects the torso, palms, and feet’s soles.

Psoriasis may improve during pregnancy

A study conducted on May 16, 2005, proved that psoriasis tends to relieve during pregnancy and it is because of the increased levels of estrogen. According to Jenny E. Murase, MD, the number of women with psoriasis getting better is two times more than those getting worse. Initially, people believed progesterone is responsible for the positive result. However, they later found out that it was the estrogen increase that helps the patients get better.

The process of the study

Researchers did the study on women in childbearing age. 47 of them were pregnant and 27 of them were not. They were told to keep a record of their psoriasis conditions. They measured and marked the psoriasis areas, then rated its levels of severity. Later, they checked all the figures five times in total.

The result of the study

The group of pregnant women reported that 55% them had some improvement, 21% had no improvement and 23% got worse. For those who improved, the best result came between the 10 and 20 weeks of the pregnancy.

For the group of nonpregnant women, psoriasis did not change during the study.

Six weeks after childbirth, 65% reported to experience worsen psoriasis, 25% had no changes while 9% told that they still had improvement.

In general, 30% had a worsening situation from week 30th to 6 weeks after childbirth.

Finally, when the two groups get back to the prepregnancy state, the body parts with psoriasis are the same.

Hormone levels are the main factors

During the process, the researchers kept records on hormone levels changed during and after pregnancy. They found out that psoriasis conditions underwent changes due to the fluctuations in the levels of hormones released. In that process, progesterone levels have no effect. The hormone playing the critical role is estrogen. Also, researchers believe that the estriol released during pregnancy can improve psoriasis or prevent the worsening of psoriasis.


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Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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