Oh the joys of pregnancy! Although it’s all worth it in the end, the journey itself can be a bit turbulent. One thing that can happen during pregnancy that can make your journey a little more difficult is PUPPP rash.
Hopefully you will never have to experience this type of rash as it can be quite annoying! However, if you do, our guide below will tell you everything you need to know about PUPPP rash, including the best possible treatments.
What is PUPPP rash and what are the symptoms?
Pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy (PUPPP) are a type of itchy rash that occurs on the stomach, especially in the last trimester. It is known by other names, including Bourne’s toxic pregnancy rash, late-onset nurse prurigo, polymorphic pregnancy rash (PEP), or toxic pregnancy erythema.
- Small red itchy bumps on the stretch marks
- Wide raised red areas in the course
- The rash can progress to the buttocks and thighs
What causes PUPPP?
The actual cause of PUPPP is uncertain, but it is not an uncommon condition. According to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology, PUPPP is the most common dermatological condition that can occur in pregnant women, affecting about 1 in 150 women (https://www.aocd.org/page/PUPPP). It starts with the stretch marks on the stomach. While doctors aren’t sure what the exact cause is, they know that stretched skin can become damaged and become inflamed. More research needs to be done to determine if an immune response to fetal cells is also a trigger for rashes and inflammation.
The rash is more likely to be diagnosed in first mothers and multiple mothers, as well as in mothers who experience rapid or excessive weight gain during pregnancy. Caucasian women are also more likely to develop PUPPP.
Some important things to know about PUPPP
Can PUPPP rash come and go?
The rash that comes with PUPPP may feel better with treatment, but it doesn’t come and go. Fortunately, it usually goes away around 15 days after the baby is born.
Mothers often complain that the itching gets worse at night. One possible cause of nighttime itching can be hormonal changes. Self-care and anti-itch treatments can make the irritation less bothersome.
Can PUPPP rash spread?
PUPPP starts in the abdomen, but can affect other areas of the body, including the buttocks, thighs, and lower back. These are areas that can be stressed by stretching the skin. Although it can affect the stomach, it rarely affects the belly button itself. PUPPP does not usually cause blisters and does not affect the hands or feet.
PUPPP is not dangerous for you or your baby. The rash will not affect any stage of pregnancy and should not cause complications in your pregnancy. In addition, of course, discomfort for the mother.
Does PUPPP rash leave scars?
After pregnancy, the PUPPP-related spots may not appear to go away. Moisturizers will help reduce the effects of stretch marks and will also help with rashes.
What Should You Do When You Have PUPPP?
Consult your doctor to make sure it is actually PUPPP. You may want to do tests to rule out other conditions or infections, such as: B. fungal infections.
What Helps With PUPPP Rash During And After Pregnancy?
Common medical treatment includes topical steroids and antihistamines. Your doctor can prescribe this for you. However, mothers may consider alternative, natural treatments if they are concerned about medications during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.
Do not scratch. As with any rash, it is important not to scratch yourself as this will stop the irritation and even cause the rash to spread.
Ice packs and cold compresses. The cooling sensation of ice packs and compresses helps reduce swelling and inflammation, and feels better so you’re not tempted to scratch yourself.
Bath. Some women in the final trimester may feel uncomfortable trying to get in and out of the bathtub, but the relief of an oatmeal bath can be cool and helpful. Pine tar soap has been recommended for other skin conditions including eczema. The anti-inflammatory properties not only reduce the redness of the rash, but the antipruritic property soothes the itchiness.
Volatile oil. Peppermint oil is widely known for reducing allergies and inflammation. Rub 2 or 3 drops of the oil directly on the skin three times a day or add between 5 and 10 drops to the bath water. Coconut oil is a moisturizer as well as rash relief.
Apple Cider Vinegar. Apple cider vinegar also has anti-itchy properties. It can also be dabbed on the itchy area or used in a bath.
Lotion. Moisturizing the skin is important to reduce stretch marks and relieve the stress caused by PUPPP. Look for an anti-itch moisturizer that is baby friendly. Cetaphil is an option that mothers have praised for itching and skin relief. Check out our favorite stretch mark creams to help you stay hydrated here!
What Causes PUPPP Rash After Pregnancy?
Once in a while PUPPP only appears after the baby is born. Some believe the rash may persist due to an immune response to fetal cells. These cells can still be found in the mother days after birth. However, PUPPP usually does not last longer than about two weeks after giving birth.
Do you have any questions about PUPPP Rash? Feel free to ask in the comments! Or ask a question on our Rookie Moms Facebook group, a great group of mothers where you can share your experience, seek advice, and even help another mom!
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frequently asked Questions
How to Treat Puppp Rash?
Common medical treatment includes topical steroids and antihistamines. Your doctor can prescribe this for you. You can also use ice cubes or cold compresses for relief, take an oatmeal bath, or apply lotion.
What Causes Puppp Rash During Pregnancy?
There’s no clear cause, but both rapid weight gain and wearing multiples are risk factors.
How long does PUPPP take?
PUPPP can occur during your third trimester and after giving birth. It usually doesn’t last more than 15 days after your baby is born.