Pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy (PUPPP) rash is an itchy rash that appears in stretch marks of the stomach during late pregnancy.
While the exact cause of PUPPP rash is not known, the stretching of the skin seems to be a trigger for the rash to occur. PUPPP rash occurs in about 1 in every 150 pregnancies.
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.
Some babies are born to mothers with PUPPP rash will display the rash at birth. There is no known concerns for baby if they do.
How is PUPPP diagnosed?
PUPPP is diagnosed by your doctor examining your rash, however they may want to run extra testing to rule out infections.
- Complete blood count
- Liver function test
- Serum cortisol
- Serum human choriogonadotropin
What are some of the increased risk factors?
- Being Caucasian
- Being pregnant with a boy
- First pregnancy
- Maternal hypertension
- Multiples pregnancy
- Rapid weight gain
Some women will get PUPPP regardless of risk factors.
The only definitive treatment for PUPPP rash is delivery of the baby. It does take a few weeks for the rash and symptoms to resolve. In rare cases PUPPP rash can continue well into postpartum.
- Topical steroid creams (only use under advice from your health care provider)
- Oral corticosteroids (only in severe cases)
- Oatmeal/Baking soda bath
- Cold compress