Pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy, or PUPPP, is a rash that pregnant women get. It is the most common rash in pregnant women and usually affects women with their first pregnancy. Most women that have PUPPP in their first pregnancy do not experience it again with other pregnancies.
PUPPP will usually show up around week 35 and most women notice it in stretch marks on their stomach. One major difference in PUPPP and other rashes that pregnant women may develop is that the belly button is not affected. The rash will appear as small, red, spongy areas in the stretch marks. They will grow together to form larger areas on the stomach. The rash will spread to the thighs, arms, breasts and butt. The face is never affected by this rash.
Although the rash can be quite itchy and bothersome, there is no reason to worry about the rash harming mother or baby. The average rash will last around six weeks and it will all go away after delivery. The cause of PUPPP is not fully understood, although researchers believe it may have something to do with the fetal DNA of a male baby.
Doctors will diagnose PUPPP during a prenatal visit based on a physical examination and symptoms you are experiencing. To decrease the severe itchiness of the rash, a steroid cream or ointment can be used. Women that have a severe case may need to take oral steroids. Some women find that an oral antihistamine can help as well.
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