Impetigo Herpetiformis Treatment

A very rare defective state of health, experienced especially by ladies during their pregnancy period, is this condition known as impetigo herpetiformis.  In appearance, it looks something very much similar to a psoriasis type, known as pustular psoriasis.  Some medical professionals, however, differ in opinion about the impetigo brought on by pregnancy, or it being a pregnancy-related pustular type of psoriasis; but with the condition seen only during a woman’s pregnancy period, most doctors feel it is definitely related to pregnancy.

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Moreover, this abnormality in pregnant women is only seen affecting them during their last three months of pregnancy, and generally resolves soon after giving birth.  However, the possibility of its recurrence in future pregnancies still remains high.

Symptoms of Impetigo Herpetiformis

This skin abnormality starts off as tiny eruptions that change into pus-filled cysts, seen bordering around an inflamed skin area.  This development is usually seen on the groin area and inner thigh regions, and can eventually spread to the extremities and even the trunk areas.  The condition can become very painful and itchy as its development progresses.  Usually, areas over the face, hands, and feet are not involved, but eruptions may be seen on the mucous membranes lining the oral cavity, or on the nail beds.

Other related symptoms that are seen frequently accompanying this form of impetigo are as follows –

–       Fever and/or chills

–       Nausea and/or vomiting

–       Diarrhea

–       Fatigue or tiring easily

Impetigo Herpetiformis Causes

The exact cause of impetigo herpetiformis is not known, but it is understood that the pus formation usually seen in this condition is not because of bacterial infection.  Generally, women suffering from hypoparathyroidism are more prone to developing this abnormality, because of low calcium and albumin levels in their bloodstream.

Diagnosing Impetigo Herpetiformis

A doctor will be able to identify this skin condition by simply looking at the rash and noting down other symptoms that commonly accompany it.  However, a skin biopsy may be performed to confirm the diagnosis.

Getting a proper diagnosis of this impetigo form is very crucial in a pregnant woman, since it is known to compromise the health of the growing fetus inside, and misdiagnosing the condition with inadequate treatment can prove to be fatal to both.

There have been cases where pregnant women who had this impetigo condition, had labor induced for safe child delivery, and then started on treatment after which their condition usually improved.

Treating Impetigo Herpetiformis

Treating any disease condition during one’s pregnancy period can be challenging, for there are very limited prescription drugs available that can be safely used by a woman during her pregnancy.  Hence, treating impetigo herpetiformis can be equally challenging.

Oral prednisone is usually prescribed, with the drug administered at a relatively high dose initially, anywhere between 15 to 30 mg per day, which is then gradually tapered once the symptoms seem to be diminishing effectively.  If new blisters are found to develop, then the drug methotrexate should also be commenced, starting at 5 mg gradually increasing it to 20 mg.

If the rash appears to have become infected, only then will antibiotics be prescribed.  It is safe to take antibiotics along with prednisone, for no negative interaction between these two drug forms is known to occur.

Once diagnosed with impetigo herpetiformis during pregnancy, it is recommended that prompt treatment be sought, since it is known to cause stillbirths or even miscarriage.

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