Managing Pregnancy with Psoriasis

Patient Expert
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Pregnancy can be a truly joyous occasion. You are bringing another life into this world. It doesn't get much better than that. Unless you just so happen to have psoriasis while being pregnant.

_Many women have reported that their psoriasis has improved during pregnancy and many other women have reported their psoriasis worsen. Because of the complicated characteristics of psoriasis and its effect on the immune system, managing your psoriasis while pregnant will be different for everyone. _

I was extremely lucky, as my psoriasis pretty much stayed the same while I was pregnant. Though I was living with severe scalp psoriasis, I didn't see any major changes. During the first trimester, the psoriasis spots on my elbows improved a little, but the flakiness and itch returned in my last trimester. I have also noticed a few random, tiny spots that have popped up. Though it's nothing some of my favorite lotion can't fix.

Since giving birth to my baby boy on November 14, 2015, the psoriasis spots on my elbows have diminished substantially. However, there hasn’t been any improvement with my scalp psoriasis. I continue to use sulfate-free shampoo for relief.

Have no fear. There are still many products that are safe to use while you're pregnant and nursing. Here is my list of favorite products I use and some easy tips you can try right now to help manage your psoriasis while maintaining a happy and healthy pregnancy:

  1. Aveeno moisturizing, non-fragrant soap. Because many soaps have chemicals that can irritate psoriasis, Aveeno's non-fragrant soap is the best. There’s no harmful chemicals and it still leaves your skin feeling incredibly soft.

  2. OGX Renewing Morrocan Oil Sulfate-free shampoo. The sulfates found in most shampoos are said to irritate psoriasis. Try switching to sulfate-free and hopefully your scalp will feel the difference. I've noticed the flakiness has definitely diminished when using sulfate-free shampoo.

  3. Parrys Botanical Line. I came across this line while bidding on it at an event. It was the best $25 I spent to try a new product. It’s an, "all natural line made with botanical extracts, free of perfumes, dyes and parabens for one of the purest forms of healthy skin care on the market.” I have continued to use this throughout my pregnancy and have seen minimal flakiness and itchiness. Bonus: I rub it on my belly to prevent stretch marks and keep my skin moisturized daily.

  1. Coconut oil has many health benefits as I’m sure you’re aware. This precious oil can also be used as a great substitute on your psoriasis spots if you’re in a jam. Cooking with coconut oil? Dab a little on your dry spots and keep on cooking! “Studies have shown that intake of coconut oil can help our bodies mount resistance to both viruses and bacteria that can cause illness. Even more, it also can help to fight off yeast, fungus and candida.”

_SOME ADDITIONAL TIPS _

  1. Keep a travel size lotion with you at all times. Psoriasis skin is very dry due to your skin cells forming every few days versus weeks in someone who doesn’t have psoriasis.  So it's important to keep your spots moisturized as much as possible. I love Johnsons and Johnson’s baby lotion. Plus, this means you'll have lotion on hand for your little one too!

  2. Drink water! Since you're already pretty limited on what you can drink, this will be easy for you. Water helps hydrate your body and keeps those psoriasis spots hydrated too.

  1. Eat a well-balanced diet. Diet can kind of fall to the wayside when you're pregnant because of the old adage "you're eating for two." Eating lots of fruits and vegetables ensures you and your baby are getting the proper nutrients during pregnancy. You’re also increasing your baby’s chances of liking those fruits and vegetables later in life.

  2. Keep your shower and baths warm/tepid, NOT HOT. The hotter the temperature the more moisture it strips away from your body.

  3. Moisturize as soon as you step out of the shower. This helps trap the moisture from your shower which is vital to your dry psoriasis spots.

What special products or tips worked for you during your pregnancy? Tell us below, we’d love to hear.