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Any Clues from Remission During Pregnancy?
from Jane C.

Just a little thought that has bugged me for some time.

When I was pregnant my skin completely cleared. I’ve had P for many years and although it improved during long stays at hospital, never has it cleared up as it did for the entire nine months of my pregnancy. Within a month of my child’s birth it was back in full force. I have it bad, am never able to wear skirts or short sleeved tops.

Surely there is something worth investigating about this pregnancy thing. I know other women who shared my experience with P in remission during pregnancy. What do you think? Must I end up birthing an entire football team in order to introduce a pair of shorts to my legs?

Thanks for your wonderful and interesting site. -Jane C.


Ed’s Response: You’re certainly not alone, Jane. See Pregnancy Thwarted Flaking — for Awhile. (There are more email exchanges archived here on the subject. Type "pregnancy" in the Search For box on the home page.)

I don’t know of any specific research on why so many pregnant women experience P remission, but I have a theory. Wanna hear it? I think it has to do with hormonal influences on the immune system during pregnancy. This has occurred to me only since starting a cyclosporine regimen for my flaking. Cyclo is a drug principally used to suppress tissue rejection after organ transplants. In other words, it quiets the body’s natural biochemical response to foreign tissue. While a fetus may not be exactly "foreign tissue" in a mother’s body, it is something extraordinary, something not there solely for the benefit of the mother. So, I’m wondering if the pregnant body doesn’t "shut down" or at least modify the immune system so it doesn’t turn against the fetus? If this or something like this does occur, perhaps that aspect of the immune system that causes psoriasis is also suppressed during pregnancy.

Answers to questions like this (if they don’t already exist) are likely to emerge from bioinformatics research (research evolving from the completed mapping of the human genome). At least, I hope they will. I don’t want to see you have to birth an entire football team just to wear shorts! Best of luck! -Ed

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