During pregnancy there are profound metabolic, endocrine and vascular changes which are tolerated for a short period of time. As the skin represents the largest organ of the body, these changes are also reflected in the appearance of the skin both by the improvement or exacerbation of pre-existing skin disease and by the development of new dermatoses. The specific dermatoses of pregnancy are a group of disorders which only occur in the pregnant state.
This review will discuss the physiological effects of pregnancy on the appearance and function of normal skin, and other cutaneous diseases affected by pregnancy (including intrahepatic cholestasis). The latter part of the review will discuss important aspects of the specific dermatoses of pregnancy.