While living with psoriasis can be difficult, being pregnant can add another level of uncertainty to the psoriasis and diagnosis journey. What I found especially difficult was determining what was right (or wrong) when it came to my psoriasis treatment during my pregnancy. That’s why I have rounded up (and dispelled!) the top six myths about psoriasis and pregnancy.
Myth 1: I have to stop all my medication when I become pregnant.
Not entirely true. There are certain topical steroids that have not been shown to cause birth defects. It’s important to talk to your dermatologist to determine what low-dose steroid is best for you. According to the National Institute of Health, “emollients like petroleum jelly, topical steroids, and dithranol are considered safe in pregnancy.”
Myth 2: My psoriasis will get worse or better with pregnancy.
Many women have reported their psoriasis improved dramatically during pregnancy. Others have reported the exact opposite. Unfortunately, it is impossible to predict which category you fall into. The good news is that psoriasis should not affect your ability to conceive a child.
Myth 3: I cannot breastfeed while on biologics.
Though biologics have been around since 1999, there are still biologics being developed as we speak, which means we are still in the early days and there is still research that needs to be done. Many lactation consultants believe there is no harm and you can still take a biologic if you’re breastfeeding. It’s vital to talk to your dermatologist to determine the best course of action.
Myth 4: I cannot receive light therapy as a treatment.
Many dermatologists actually recommend light therapy, specifically UVB phototherapy, as an alternative psoriasis treatment because of its efficacy and safety factory. The key to light therapy as a psoriasis treatment is consistency. So determine a schedule that works for you and stick to it for the best results. It is important to note that there is research that indicates phototherapy may reduce a woman’s folic acid levels. Make sure to talk with your doctor to determine how much folic acid you should be consuming.
Myth 5: My child will get psoriasis after they’re born.
We know there is a genetic component to having psoriasis. But researchers still are not sure how genes play a role in developing psoriasis. According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, if you or your partner has psoriasis, your child has about a 10-percent chance of having psoriasis as well. If you and your partner both have psoriasis, your child’s chance of having it increases to 50 percent.
Myth 6: Psoriasis will affect the outcome of my birth.
According to the National Institute of Health, “Psoriasis does not affect fertility or rates of miscarriage, birth defects, or premature birth. Many treatments for psoriasis are associated with potential problems during pregnancy.” That’s why it is important to have any open and honest conversation with your obstetrician/gynecologist and dermatologist to determine the best course of action throughout your pregnancy.