Clinician's Photo Guide To Recognizing and Treating Skin Diseases in Women: Part 1. Dermatoses Not Linked to Pregnancy

, University of Singapore, National Skin Centre

Disclosures

Medscape General Medicine. 1997;1(2) 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction

Abstract

The clinical presentation of certain dermatologic conditions differs between women and men; this may be especially true when women are perimenstrual or pregnant. Skin diseases that erupt or become aggravated during the perimenstrual period include autoimmune progesterone dermatitis and melasma. Dermatologic conditions that may be exacerbated perimenstrually include acne vulgaris, rosacea, lupus erythematosus, psoriasis, atopic eczema, lichen planus, dermatitis herpetiformis, erythema multiforme, and urticaria. The hormonal effects of increased cutaneous vascularity, seborrhea, and dermal edema during the perimenstrual period may account for the eruption of or increase in severity of these diseases. Clinical presentation, differential diagnoses, and treatment options for select cutaneous conditions are discussed.

Introduction

It is well known that certain skin diseases are more prevalent in women than in men. Some skin diseases are seen in association with or are aggravated by pregnancy. [See also Clinician's Photo Guide to Recognizing and Treating Skin Diseases in Women: Part 2. Pregnancy-Related Dermatoses] Others are more frequently seen during the perimenstrual period. In addition, the clinical presentation of some skin diseases differs between women and men. Such differences in presentation may be due to gender differences in genetic makeup and hormonal states. Medical practitioners should be aware of these differences so that skin diseases occurring in women are readily recognized and properly treated.

This article reviews the clinical presentation and management of select skin diseases in women, including those that erupt or are exacerbated during the perimenstrual period. These include autoimmune progesterone dermatitis and melasma. Other dermatologic conditions that may be exacerbated perimenstrually include acne vulgaris, rosacea, lupus erythematosus, psoriasis, atopic eczema, lichen planus, dermatitis herpetiformis,[1] erythema multiforme, and urticaria. The hormonal effects of increased cutaneous vascularity, seborrhea, and dermal edema during the perimenstrual period may account for the increase in the severity of these diseases.[2]

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