Pemphigoid gestationis (PG)



PG occurs when an autoantibody attack separates the epidermis (outermost layer of the skin) from the dermis (layer of skin below the epidermis). This affects pregnant females in their second or third trimester of pregnancy or during the postpartum period.

Common Symptoms

Itchy red bumps and fluid-filled blisters resembling a hive-like rash present in the trunk and abdomen, and large raised patches on the skin. Symptoms may improve or go away during pregnancy, but most females have a flare around the time of delivery. PG may occur again once menstruation starts, and in certain cases, the condition can last for months or years after pregnancy.

Coexisting Diseases and Conditions

Risk Factors and Prevalence

The median age of onset for PG is around 26-32 years. Recurrences of PG in pregnancies subsequent to the pregnancy of onset are common, and when this occurs the disease is usually more severe and occurs earlier during the pregnancy. The subsequent use of oral contraceptives may also cause the disease to flare up again.


  1. Article Sources
    1. Fania, L., Guerriero, C., Ricci, F., Gagliano, M. F., & De Simone, C. (2017). Herpes gestationis and oral contraceptive: Case report and review of the literature. Dermatologic therapy, 30(5), 10.1111/dth.12518.

    2. Jenkins, R. E., Hern, S., & Black, M. M. (1999). Clinical features and management of 87 patients with pemphigoid gestationis. Clinical and experimental dermatology, 24(4), 255–259.  

    3. National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). (2019, April 22). Autoimmune Blistering Diseases. Rare Disease Database .,and%20may%20be%20extremely%20itchy

    4. Sävervall, C., Sand, F. L., & Thomsen, S. F. (2017). Pemphigoid gestationis: current perspectives. Clinical, cosmetic and investigational dermatology, 10, 441–449.