Pregnant women have to deal with sleep difficulties, hormonal changes and abdominal pressure. Some women also experience a PUPPP rash, an extremely itchy rash on the abdomen, thighs, arms and butt area.
What is Pupps?
Pruritic Urticarial Papules and Plaques of Pregnancy or PUPPS is a common skin rash experienced by pregnant women. Also known as Polymorphic Eruption of Pregnancy (PEP) in the United Kingdom, PUPPP usually appears around 35 weeks of pregnancy, but it can occur anytime. This skin condition affects 1 woman in every 200 first-time pregnancies. The itchiest period lasts around a week, but the itch doesn’t really go away.
PUPPP is extremely itchy and uncomfortable, but it doesn’t have dangerous long-term effects on the baby or the mother. Induction of labor, however, might be suggested by your doctor at 39 weeks. PUPPP doesn’t essentially relapse with future pregnancies, so you may not experience it again after your first pregnancy.
What Causes PUPPS?
The causes of PUPPP are unknown, but it might be the reaction of the mother’s skin to the cells of the fetus. PUPPP often occurs in women expecting twins or large babies. It is also more common among women carrying boys and those who are pregnant for the first time. PUPPP is related to pregnancy and since it only happens during the first pregnancy, women will most likely not experience it again in the future.
Your doctor will examine your skin to determine if you’re suffering from PUPPP. While no further examination is needed in most cases, your doctor may exclude other infections such as scabies or fungal infection. Some blood tests may also be required to rule out other infections. Tests may include Serum Human Choriogonadotropin or HCG, serum cortisol, complete blood count and liver function test.
Symptoms of PUPPP
PUPPP usually appears during the 3rd trimester of pregnancy. The baby grows very fast during this time, particularly during the last 5 weeks of pregnancy. For many women, itching is the worst part of suffering from a PUPPP rash. Distinctive red marks appear on the abdomen, but there are other details that you should consider before confirming that you’re suffering from PUPPP. These include small blisters, extremely itchy rash, eczema-like lesions and redness that appear on the abdomen first. These signs don’t appear on the belly button.
A PUPPP rash is described as rough, itchy papules that eventually become red, blistered skin with welts. At first, the rash looks like stretch marks. After a while, the rash spreads and becomes rough and red. The belly button is not affected by the rash. The blisters appear only around the belly button on the abdomen. The rash starts from the abdomen and spreads throughout the body, including the neck, chest, face, legs, armpits and feet.
How to Recover from Pupps
If you are suffering from PUPPP rash, you may want to know how to get rid of it. However, the best cure for this condition is giving birth to your baby. After giving birth, the rash will go away on its own within 1 to 2 weeks. For some women, the rash may not go away for several weeks even after delivering their baby. However, there are other ways to control your symptoms and stay comfortable.
Apply itch-relieving moisturizers to the affected areas to alleviate your discomfort. Don’t use moisturizers with ingredients that are not baby-friendly such as tropic acid, vitamin A, retinol, retinyl-palmitate and salicylic acids.
Pine Tar Soap
Pine tar soap is used for various itchy skin conditions such as eczema rashes. Wash your body with this soap and use warm water to rinse.
There are some home remedies that can be used to get relief from the rash. One of these is olive oil. Apply olive oil to your skin after taking a shower. Some women also reported getting relief by applying coconut oil to the affected areas. You can also mix baking soda with water and apply it to your skin. Banana peels can provide relief as well. It contains enzymes, fiber and potassium. Banana peels have been used for warts and burns and for treating various skin rash problems like itchy skin bites and diaper rashes.
Antihistamines can relieve itch. Taking to your doctor first before taking this medicine is still important. Cetirizine and diphenhydramine are believed to be safe to take during pregnancy.
Topical steroids can be applied to the affected areas to reduce itching. However, checking with your doctor first before using any cream that contains steroids is a good idea. Stronger topical steroids may be prescribed by your doctor as well. An oral steroid may be prescribed to reduce itching and pain, but it’s usually given to women who are suffering from severe symptoms of PUPPP. Those who are experiencing extreme discomfort and itching may take an oral steroid.
Take a Bath
Taking a bath can help reduce the itching caused by the rash. A baking soda or oatmeal bath can provide relief from the rash. You can also put a cool, wet compress on the affected areas. One of the most important things to keep in mind is to avoid scratching the rash as it will only make the symptoms worse. You also need to watch out for products that contain aspirin as it might be absorbed by the body. Before taking anything, you should talk to your doctor first.
Your baby might have a milder form of PUPPP, but it won’t cause any complications for your child. A PUPPP rash usually happens during the first pregnancy, but there is a small chance that you may experience a milder rash if you become pregnant again. Having an itchy PUPPP rash is frustrating and uncomfortable, but the birth of your baby will give you so much happiness. Calm your mind and tell yourself that it’s not a life-threatening concern. Just imagine holding your child in your arms once you finally give birth to him or her.