Due to hormonal changes during pregnancy, the skin undergoes several physiological changes. Inflammatory and autoimmune conditions can also rarely develop during pregnancy.
Pemphigoid gestationis is an auto-immune blistering disease. This means that the mother's immune system starts reacting against her own skin, causing the skin to split and form blisters. Itching is common and a rash often starts around the umbilicus. It starts with urticarial wheals (like hives from nettles) and large raised red patches (plaques) commonly occurring on the trunk, back, buttocks and limbs. Large tense blisters then occur on the red patches within one to two weeks, and may also occur on palms and soles. The blisters contain clear fluid though occasionally this can be blood-stained. These blisters usually heal without scarring.
Occasionally the baby will develop a blistering rash following delivery due to transfer of the mother's antibodies across the placenta. The rash can last up to six weeks until the mother's antibodies are cleared from the baby's system.
See your doctor if: