Pemphigoid Gestationis

Reviewed/Revised May 2023
Get the full details

What is pemphigoid gestationis?

Pemphigoid gestationis is a rare, very itchy rash that happens only when you're pregnant, usually during your 2nd or 3rd trimester.

  • The rash often starts near your belly button and looks like flat or raised red spots

  • Later on, the rash spreads and turns into irregularly shaped, fluid-filled blisters

  • The rash is usually worst soon after delivery and disappears within a few weeks or months

  • If you have the rash, your baby may be born with the rash, but it usually disappears with no treatment

  • Once you've had pemphigoid gestationis, you’re more likely to have it in future pregnancies

What causes pemphigoid gestationis?

Doctors think pemphigoid gestationis is an autoimmune reaction. An autoimmune reaction is when your body's immune defenses attack itself.

How can doctors tell if I have pemphigoid gestationis?

  • Doctors can usually tell just by looking at your rash

  • They may also do skin tests and tests to check on your baby

How do doctors treat pemphigoid gestationis?

  • Usually with a corticosteroid cream that you put on your skin to help it feel less itchy

Drugs Mentioned In This Article
Test your KnowledgeTake a Quiz!
Download the free Merck Manual App iOS ANDROID
Download the free Merck Manual App iOS ANDROID
Download the free Merck Manual App iOS ANDROID