Skin Rash (PUPPP) During Pregnancy
What is PUPPPs?
PUPPP (Pruritic Urticarial Papules and Plaques of Pregnancy) is a skin rash that occurs in about 1 out of every 200 pregnancies. While not much is known about PUPPPs, the condition is not dangerous to you or your child - it is just very uncomfortable.
Symptoms of PUPPPs
A PUPPs pregnancy rash typically shows up in the third trimester of pregnancy. It is during this time that the baby grows very quickly and your belly has to expand rapidly. This is what causes stretch marks - due to the skin cells not being able to reproduce. It is also during this time that you may notice small red bumps appearing on your stomach. According to the AOCD “It is thought the rapid stretching of the skin causes an inflammatory reaction due to damaged connective tissue, resulting in the urticarial or hive-like lesions.”
The red bumps usually look similar to hives, and are also incredibly itchy. Once the rash develops on your stomach it may spread to the rest of your body, and some areas could become increasingly inflamed leading to even more discomfort. Thankfully, the rash doesn’t spread to the face or the palms of your hands and soles of your feet.
What Causes PUPPPs?
Unfortunately not a lot of information is known about what causes PUPPPs, but some preliminary research has been done that seems to conclude there are a few common factors.
A PUPPP pregnancy rash is typically prevalent in pregnant women who are:
- Pregnant with a Male
- Pregnant with Multiple babies
- Pregnant with their first child
- Experiencing rapid, or quicker than normal weight gain
- Experiencing High Blood Pressure
The only way to truly “cure” a PUPPPs pregnancy rash is by giving birth. Yes, it sucks, but it is temporary. While it won’t go away until after you give birth, there are options for you to reduce the itchiness and irritability.
A great way to soothe the itchiness that comes from the rash is to use aloe on the affected area after showering or bathing. The cooling properties of aloe help to soothe the inflamed area and moisturize the skin.
Another way to reduce the itching it by soaking in an oatmeal bath. The oatmeal has properties that adhere to the skin and lock in moisture which helps to soothe the affected area.
Try using loose cotton clothing to ensure that nothing is rubbing or irritating the affected area even more. If you absolutely cannot avoid itching, try using a cotton glove. This will give you some of the desired relief without agitating the skin too much and adding bacteria that could be found under your nails.
A cold compress is a great way to relieve the inflammation and reduce the need to itch.
Be sure you consult your doctor before you use any medical remedies. These remedies can affect your baby’s health if not used in a proper way or if used too often. Make sure you talk to your doctor before self-medicating.
Topical steroids such as Cortisol creams/anti-itch creams can greatly reduce the need to itch and irritate the skin. DO NOT use oral steroids unless prescribed by a physician.
Over the counter antihistamines such as Benadryl can help relieve the symptoms associated with a PUPPPs pregnancy rash.
If you have questions about how to treat it or find that it is worsening in intensity, contact your primary care physician right away. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. Your doctor may have suggestions on ways to treat it that you didn’t think of yourself.
While PUPPPs can be irritating, it is only one of the many things that can suddenly occur throughout your pregnancy. It helps to be prepared for anything. That is why we at Bellefit designed our postpartum girdles.
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What tips or tricks do you suggest for dealing with PUPPPs? Leave them in the comments below!