National Psoriasis Foundation
About Psoriasis > Conception and Pregnancy

Treatments During Conception, Pregnancy and Nursing

Many doctors recommend women avoid psoriasis treatments altogether or use only the safest forms, which include certain topicals and UVB phototherapy, during conception, pregnancy and nursing. Each psoriasis medication has a different set of precautions, so it is important to work with your doctor to determine what treatment is appropriate for you during pregnancy.

When pregnancies are planned, women may want to time treatments so only minimal treatment is required during pregnancy. For example, a woman who experiences remissions that average one year following a course of PUVA can plan to finish their most recent course before attempting conception.

While nursing it is important to exercise caution with treatments. Topical psoriasis medications should not be used on the nipples. Also, some topical drugs when used over widespread body surfaces will absorb through the skin and into the mother's milk. Again, it is critical to work closely with your doctor to determine what is an acceptable topical treatment while nursing.

If a mother has psoriasis on her nipples, it is important to moisturize the nipples with thick over-the-counter emollients or moisturizers. Psoriasis on the nipple will not harm a nursing infant. However, it may cause enough discomfort to the mother to make breast-feeding difficult.

Systemic medications should be avoided when nursing because of the potential for passing the drugs' active ingredients to the infant through the breast milk.

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