Polymorphic eruption of pregnancy


eMediNexus    08 June 2018

Polymorphic eruption of pregnancy is a benign, self-limiting, pruritic inflammatory disorder of pregnancy. The condition is also known as pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy, toxic erythema of pregnancy, Bourne’s toxemic rash of pregnancy, linear IgM dermatosis of pregnancy and Nurse’s late-onset prurigo.1

The condition often presents in the third trimester or in the immediate postpartum period. Risk factors include nulliparity, multiple pregnancies and any other cause of overdistension of the abdominal skin in pregnancy.1

The initial presentation is that of pruritic, erythematous papules localized within the abdominal striae and with periumbilical sparing. It may progress to the trunk and extremities, sparing the palms and soles in the majority of cases, and does not affect the face. The lesions can coalesce to form plaques or wheals. The condition often resolves within 4–6 weeks from the time of onset.1

While the condition is usually self-limiting, treatment may be given to control the symptoms and to relieve pruritus and reduce inflammation. Topical steroids are often used as the first line of treatment. Antihistamines and emollients may also be used.1

Aloe vera is often used in Ayurvedic, Homoeopathic and Allopathic systems of Medicine. It contains several vitamins, minerals, enzymes, amino acids, natural sugars and other bioactive compounds and has emollient, purgative, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, aphrodisiac, anti-helmenthic, antifungal, antiseptic and cosmetic values. The amino acids of aloe vera soften hardened skin cells and zinc content of aloe vera acts as an astringent to tighten pores. Aloe vera improves skin integrity and reduces erythema. It gives a cooling effect and acts as a moisturizing agent. Aloe vera can be used topically to manage skin irritation. Aloe vera soothes the skin, and keeps the skin moist to help avoid flaky skin.2


  1. Maharajan A, Aye C, Ratnavel R, Burova E. Skin eruptions specific to pregnancy: an overview. The Obstetrician & Gynaecologist 2013;15:233–40.
  2. Sahu PK, Giri DD, Singh R, et al. Therapeutic and Medicinal Uses of Aloe vera: A Review. Pharmacology and Pharmacy 2013;4:599-610.

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