Q: What could a skin rash during pregnancy be?

A: There are so many different kinds of skin rashes that can occur both when you are pregnant and when you are not pregnant. Most rashes are 'contact dermatitis' caused by coming into direct contact with things like jewelry, plants, fungi, perfume, poison ivy, or another substance to which the body reacts.

Here are a few additional rashes that only appear in pregnancy:

  1. Atopic Eruption of Pregnancy: Atopic eruption of pregnancy is the most common dermatosis of pregnancy. It includes eczema, prurigo, and as seen in this case, pruritic folliculitis.
  2. Polymorphous Eruption of Pregnancy: One in 300 pregnant women develop this itchy skin disease. The rash usually starts on the stretch marks on the abdomen and spreads to affect the rest of the body. The skin disease is not harmful to the baby in the womb and always disappears 6 weeks after delivery. Rarely, it starts after delivery of the baby but will still clear up after 6 weeks.
  3. Herpes Gestationis: This skin disorder appears as tiny blisters that usually start on the umbilicus. It is very rare. Except for occasional premature birth, there is no serious risk to the baby in the womb. It tends to recur during subsequent pregnancies.
  4. Erythema Multiforme of Pregnancy: This rash has a classic "target" appearance and often affects the body and arms. It is not itchy and may clear even before delivery and always after. There are many other causes of Erythema multiforme (for example, infection and drug reaction). A doctor should determine the cause.
  5. PUPPP - (Pruritic Urticarial Papules and Plaques of Pregnancy)
  6. Impetigo herpetiformis
  7. Papular dermatitis of pregnancy