Vitiligo Treatment During Pregnancy

  • Posted: June 21, 2017

The birth of a baby is a very emotional experience. Pregnancy is tremendously stressful on the female body, and affects it on many levels. It can also flare-up some chronic conditions, and vitiligo is no exception. How to treat the disease, and why does it appear during pregnancy?

Vitiligo and pregnancy

Vitiligo is characterized by the appearance of white depigmented spots on the skin. Vitiligo is not only a dermatological condition, but also an autoimmune disease. Often, vitiligo can develop as a side effect of other pathology such as diabetes, thyroid disease, kidney pathology, gastrointestinal tract diseases, etc. A pregnant woman would need a comprehensive diagnostic study if she noticed the first signs of vitiligo.

What does vitiligo look like?

The main symptom is the appearance of small, pigmented spots ranging in size from 0.2 to 0.6 cm. Discoloration happens due to the lack of pigment melanin, so the color varies from white to pale pink.

The borders of the spots are clear with a visible accumulation of pigment along the edges. There are no additional pathological elements, and it does not cause any unpleasant sensations. Stains quickly increase in size and can merge with each other.

Common areas affected by vitiligo:

  • Face, neck.
  • Upper or lower limbs.
  • Trunk.

Palms, soles

Why is it dangerous?

The pathogenesis of vitiligo is diverse. It is often accompanied by a metabolism disorder and other biochemical processes. During pregnancy, it can lead to many complications:

  • Miscarriage or premature birth.
  • Pre-eclampsia.
  • Anomaly of fetal development.

It is still unknown if the disease can be transmitted genetically, however, some cases have described the transmission of vitiligo from parent to child.

Pregnancy complications can not be caused by vitiligo itself, but by the negative factors or pathologies that cause the skin disease.

Vitiligo treatment during pregnancy

Taking medications during pregnancy is not recommended. In case symptoms get worse and there is no way to avoid taking drugs, the best option are medicines that don’t have teratogenic properties and cannot influence the course of pregnancy. This recommendation can be applied to vitiligo. Treatment can only be prescribed by a doctor, who will consider all factors and health conditions of the pregnant patient.

First of all, it’s necessary to understand what could cause the disease. A pregnant woman will need to undergo a number of tests.

Doctor

After determining the cause of the disease, the following treatment methods can be prescribed:

  • Diet plays an important role. The exclusion of allergens as irritant factors can reduce skin symptoms. Unwanted products include canned food, sausages, chocolate, coffee, alcohol, fruits and vegetables of red color, as well as citrus and exotic fruits, sauces, etc.
  • If the disease was caused by hormonal changes associated with pregnancy, a woman is usually recommended to avoid sunlight and to use sunscreen.
  • If vitiligo is associated with stress, a woman should be prescribed symptomatic treatment, sedative medications, psychotherapy, etc.
  • When the disease develops as a side effect of endocrine and other pathologies, a specific treatment is prescribed according to the actual state of the pregnant woman.
  • Vitamins not only strengthen the immune system, but also prevent the development of fetal pathologies.
  • In the case of pre-eclampsia, urgent hospitalization is needed to avoid any threat to the life of the woman and child.

If vitiligo starts on its own and does not threaten the health of the woman and child, experts recommend the aesthetic defect be treated after childbirth, without the risk of side effects.

According to some studies, folic acid helps to reduce skin symptoms of vitiligo. It also prevents the development of fetal pathologies, including dementia, and reduces the risk of miscarriage and premature birth.

Today, UVB lamps are successfully used to relieve local symptoms of vitiligo and prolong the remission process.