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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?

The treatment or control of symptoms of autoimmune progesterone dermatitis (APD) varies. Mild cases might be successfully managed with use of antihistamines and/or corticosteroids.

Most methods of treatment focus on temporarily suppressing ovulation. This might be achieved through varying medications including: conjugated estrogenethinyl estradioltamoxifen, and danazolGonadotropin releasing hormone agonists have additionally had reported success in the literature; however as these medications can prompt symptoms of menopause, they might not be recommended for pre-menopausal patients. Progesterone desensitization, in which increasing doses of progesterone are administered via vaginal suppository,  has been reported as a successful treatment in one case in the literature. 

For severe cases in which the above treatment options are not successful, surgical removal of ovaries or oophorectomy is curative.[3][4]

Last updated: 3/9/2016

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: 3/9/2016

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.