What Is Obstetric Dermatology?


Medically Reviewed by Dr. Lee Hwee Chyen

MBBS MRCP (UK) FAMS (Dermatology)

What Is Obstetric Dermatology?

The Role of Obstetric Dermatologists

Obstetric dermatologists specialize in identifying pregnancy-associated skin conditions, including physiological changes and more complex conditions that may have implications for maternal and fetal health.

They are trained to distinguish between pregnancy-related skin conditions and general dermatological disorders while considering the implications of medications and therapies on both the mother and the developing fetus for accurate diagnosis, prescription and management.

General Management Strategies for Dermatological Conditions in Pregnancy

Obstetric dermatologists’ approach to treatment is conservative, employing a holistic approach in management of the patient’s condition. This includes a careful selection of skincare products and prescription medications (topical and/or oral medication) that are safe and suitable for pregnant and lactating mothers.

When medication is necessary, the selection is made with utmost caution, considering both the efficacy and the potential risks to the fetus. Topical treatments may be preferred over systemic therapies due to their lower systemic absorption, and when systemic treatment is unavoidable, drugs with a well-established safety profile in pregnancy are chosen.

Obstetric Dermatological Treatment Methods

  • Topical Treatments: Preferred for localized skin issues, with careful selection to avoid agents harmful to the fetus.
  • Systemic Medications: Used when necessary, with a focus on drugs that have a safe profile during pregnancy.
  • Phototherapy: Considered for certain conditions like eczema and psoriasis
  • Lifestyle and Dietary Modifications: These include avoidance of triggers and other measures to alleviate symptoms and/or reduce flares.
  • Collaboration with Obstetrics: Ensuring that dermatologic treatment plans are aligned with overall prenatal care.

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