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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

Autoimmune progesterone dermatitis

Other Names for this Disease
  • APD
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.

Your Question

Can someone please provide information or treating physicians for this disease? There is not a lot of information available and many doctors don't know what to do, so unfortunately they do nothing. I need help. I am tired of suffering.

Our Answer

We have identified the following information that we hope you find helpful. If you still have questions, please contact us.

What is autoimmune progesterone dermatitis?

Autoimmune progesterone dermatitis (APD) is primarily characterized by a recurrent skin rash that varies in severity depending on the phase of the menstrual cycle. The rash generally appears during the second half of the cycle when levels of the hormone, progesterone, begin to rise and it subsides shortly after menstruation. Although the exact underlying cause of APD is not well understood, it is thought to involve an abnormal immune reaction (autoimmune response) triggered by a woman's own progesterone. Depending on the severity of the condition, treatment may include topical (applied to the skin) medications, systemic corticosteroids, hormone therapy to suppress the production of progesterone, and/or surgical removal of the ovaries.[1][2][3]
Last updated: 4/16/2015

How might autoimmune progesterone dermatitis be treated?

Treatment for autoimmune progesterone dermatitis (APD) varies based on the severity of the condition. For example, mild skin problems such as eczema or hives may improve with topical steroids or oral antihistamines, respectively. More severe skin problems may require treatment with systemic corticosteroids.[3]

APD can also be treated with medications that suppress the body's production of progesterone. This is often accomplished with hormone-based therapies, such as estrogen, estradiol, tamoxifen, and/or danazol. Medications containing any progesterone (such as oral contraceptives) should be avoided.[3][1][2]

If other treatments are ineffective, surgical removal of the ovaries (oophorectomy) has been shown to cure the condition.[3][1][2]
Last updated: 4/16/2015

How can I find a physician who has knowledge about autoimmune progesterone dermatitis?

Physicians with knowledge about autoimmune progesterone dermatitis may specialize in a number of different fields including dermatology, allergy, immunology, reproductive endocrinology, or obstetrics and gynecology. We are unable to locate a physician directory specific to the treatment of this condition, but the following physician directories may be helpful in finding a specialist:
We also recommend that you discuss your concerns with your healthcare provider, who may be able to refer you to a specialist.
Last updated: 4/16/2015

How can I find an expert who has knowledge and experience regarding a specific condition?

Although there is no list of experts for rare diseases, a fact sheet is available on our Web site with tips for finding healthcare professionals and researchers who have experience with a particular condition. Potential resources include patient advocacy groups, researchers conducting clinical trials, and authors of articles published in medical journals. Click here to view our fact sheet. If you are unable to locate an expert using these suggestions, please let us know.
Last updated: 9/29/2014

Other Names for this Disease
  • APD
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.