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Pruritic Urticarial Papules and Plaques of Pregnancy (PUPPP)

Pruritic Urticarial Papules and Plaques of Pregnancy (PUPPP)

            This is a rash that usually occurs in the third trimester of pregnancy.  Rarely this rash begins in the postpartum time or after delivery.  Most commonly the rash begins on the abdomen or around the stretch marks.  The rash may spread to the legs, back, chest and arms. 

The actual cause of the rash is not known.  Although the rash is very itchy and irritating, it does not harm the pregnancy and the baby will not develop a rash.  Thankfully, it usually does not reoccur in future pregnancies.  Typically the rash will resolve after delivery although it may take 1 or 2 weeks.   


What can I do?

            The main goal is to relieve the symptom of itching.  Different things work for different people. 

o   Try your best not to scratch.  If necessary, you can wear gloves to prevent scratching.

o   Some women feel that cool baths help.  Others find that adding oatmeal or baking soda to a bath can help.

o   Cool packs on the rash may help.

o   Various different lotions and creams can help soothe the skin.  Try lotions with oatmeal or aloe.     

o   You can take Benadryl 25 to 50mg every 6 hours.  This can be very helpful at night since Benadryl has a side effect of sleepiness.

o   Other over-the-counter creams include Benadryl cream or cortisone creams.

o   If the rash is severe, you may need a prescription steroid cream.