You thought when you got that pregnancy acne under control that you were good to go. And the overall itchiness of your stretching skin has been managed mostly by slathering on moisturizer every chance you get. So now what’s up with these reddish raised patches – poison ivy?! It might be PUPPP.
No, that’s not a cute little puppy dog, which probably would be ever so much nicer. PUPPP stands for pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy (sounds and is rather nasty) which are series of small, very itchy bumps that can show up on your skin during the third trimester. They usually appear on the belly, especially if you have stretch marks, but some women have them on their thighs, rear end, breasts and upper arms – again wherever there are stretch marks. The good news is they go away after delivery and just because you got them in one pregnancy does not mean you’ll have them in another. Actually, PUPPP appears to be most common in first pregnancies.
Also good to know is that, while we don’t know what causes it, PUPPP is not associated with serious issues like preeclampsia, autoimmune disorders or problems with the developing baby. It’s just a nasty rash that’s likely to irritate the daylights out of you.
Any rash should be shown to your health care provider. She will treat the symptoms. High strength steroidal creams used 5 or 6 times a day usually are good to start with because they bring it under control and prevent spreading. Once under control, a lower strength cream is commonly prescribed. Oral antihistamines like Benadryl or Zyrtec may be helpful with relieving itching at night and helping you sleep, but don’t take these without first checking with your doc. For severe cases, oral steroids taken daily may be necessary. If you’re not keen on these options, try oatmeal baths or pine tar soap.
If you had PUPPP, what worked to control the itch for you?
Photo courtesy of Logical Images, Inc.