There are some necessary changes you’ll have to make.
Being pregnant is something that can have a lot of effects on a person’s body. It seems like every part of your body is acting a little differently. If you live with psoriasis, you may also notice changes in your symptoms. Not only that, but you may also need to change your psoriasis treatment regimen before, during, and after pregnancy. That goes for men with psoriasis, too.
Psoriasis Treatment Options for a Safe Pregnancy
Some of the medications that doctors prescribe for psoriasis can increase the risk of birth defects. For this reason, your doctor may change your psoriasis treatment during pregnancy to help you manage symptoms while keeping your future child safe. Thankfully, there are many safe and effective treatments for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
For example, instead of topical steroids and topical retinoids, your doctor may recommend using petroleum jelly or mineral oil. For systemic treatment, some biologics are safer for pregnant women than others. Light therapy with UVB light may also be an option.
If you’re worried about having flares when changing your treatment, there’s some good news. About half of people experience improvements in their psoriasis symptoms during pregnancy. This may stem from hormonal changes in the body. That said, don’t stop treatment during pregnancy no matter how well you’re doing, as it may only be temporary.
Your Partner’s Treatment
If you are the partner of someone trying to conceive, and you have psoriasis, your treatment may also need to change. Some psoriasis treatments may temporarily reduce sperm count, making it more difficult to conceive. If you are taking this treatment and trying to conceive, your doctor may recommend stopping it a few weeks beforehand. This can help return your sperm count back to normal levels by the time you’re planning to conceive.
Getting Help with Treatment
It doesn’t matter what stage of life you’re going through. There are psoriasis treatment options that can adjust to it all. Talk to your doctor if you have questions or concerns about managing your psoriasis treatment during or after pregnancy.
Heather Summe, MD, is a dermatologist in New York City. Dr. Summe is the Chief of the Division of Dermatology at Lenox Hill Hospital. She is also an Assistant Professor of Dermatology at the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell.