Skin rash during pregnancy: PUPPP Rash

Skin rash (PUPPP) during pregnancy

Skin rash (PUPPP) during pregnancy: What you should know

It is very common for women to have skin rash during pregnancy. It is another unwelcome side effect of pregnancy! Mostly this happens because the skin gets stretched and dries up. To avoid itchy skin, keep yourself hydrated and regularly massage your tummy with ghee or coconut oil to keep the skin supple.

What is PUPPP pregnancy rash?

Some pregnant women get an itchy rash that starts at the abdomen, within the stretch marks and then spreads to the thighs. It full form of PUPPP rash is Pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy and it occurs 1 in 150 pregnancies. It is not really dangerous for you or your baby, and it goes away after delivery. There is no known cause for this, but it is likely to happen to women pregnant with twins.

How do I know if I have PUPPP Rash?

The PUPPP rash is more likely to appear during the 3rd trimester of pregnancy. Your baby’s rate of growth is very fast at this time, especially during the last month of pregnancy when the skin stretches fast - leaving behind itchy, dry, stretched skin. At this time your skin stretches faster than your skin cells can keep up with. It’s no wonder then that the likelihood of contracting PUPP rash increases if you are carrying twins.This stretching of skin is also the cause for stretch marks to appear around the navel area. Adding to this already unwelcome development is the PUPPP rash due to similar reasons. The PUPPP rash is usually seen on the belly but it soon spreads to other parts of the body in a few days too.

What does the PUPP rash look like?

The rash appears as small, pink pimple-like spots that appear in the stretch marks. They closely resemble hives. Eventually, the rash may start to come together and form large, red, plaque-like areas. Blisters can sometimes form around the rash. These plaques can then spread from the stomach to the:

  • buttocks
  • thighs
  • arms
  • legs

Usually, the rash won’t spread higher than your breasts.

A PUPPP rash tends to be very itchy, especially at night. Along with your growing belly, it may affect your ability to get a good night’s rest

How can I treat the PUPPP rash?

This rash can be treated with ointments meant to reduce itching sensation because scratching the itch will make it worse. Usually the creams used to treat PEP consist of mild to moderate steroids and need to be applied in very less quantities, and only for a few days. It is necessary for the steroidal creams to be mild to moderate because stronger creams may adversely affect the baby and risk the mother getting diabetes.

Your doctor will monitor the baby’s size and growth till the time you are using the cream to check for any adverse effects.