Q&A: What is PUPPPs and how is it treated?
I’m pregnant and was just diagnosed with PUPPPs. What happens now? How will my doctor treat this condition?
PUPPPs is an acronym for pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy. (Say that three times fast!) All joking aside, PUPPPs is a very itchy rash that may appear in less than one percent of women in the third trimester of pregnancy. Doctors are not sure why some women get this rash, but it appears to be more common in first pregnancies.
PUPPPs most commonly appears around the 35th week of pregnancy and will usually stick around until a week or two after the baby is born (lasting on average six weeks).
The itchiest stage usually lasts about one week. The rash may begin on the abdomen and may be mistaken for stretch marks, but then the rash usually spreads over the trunk, arms, and back.
Although PUPPPs is highly uncomfortable, it poses no threat to you or your baby. Your doctor or midwife will probably prescribe a strong steroid ointment to help control the itching. He or she may also suggest an oral antihistamine or oral steroid or if your case is severe.
Here’s what you can do to feel more comfortable:
- Wear loose-fitting cotton clothing
- Avoid getting overheated
- Avoid hot showers or baths
- Take oatmeal baths
- Use ice packs on particularly itchy areas
Some of these measures should decrease the discomfort associated with a PUPPPs rash. In some cases, where the rash becomes severe, your doctor may consider
inducing you, as long as both your body and Baby are ready to deliver.