All you Need to Know About PUPPP Rash and PUPPP Relief

date Fri, 10 Jun 2022

Pregnancy comes with a lot of changes- bulging belly, morning sickness, especially in the first trimester, and cravings in most women. Now, imagine adding rashes to the list, seeing as every woman’s pregnancy journey is different, you may or may not experience pregnancy rashes.

Different rashes affect us women, but PUPP rash is specific to pregnant women and is not discussed enough. PUPPP rash is a form of rashes that affects women at the final level of pregnancy. Though it is harmless, it can be very discomforting. In this post, we’ll shed more light on PUPPP rash and discuss how you can find relief from it.

What is PUPPP rash?

PUPPP is an acronym for pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy. PUPPP rash is a patch of hive-like itchy rashes that appear on stretch marks on your belly, mostly in late pregnancy. It can spread from your stomach to other parts of your body like the back, thighs, arms, and buttocks. The exact cause of this rash is unknown, but speculations suggest that the stretching of the skin seems to be the trigger for the rash.

PUPPP rash usually occurs in 1 in every 150 pregnancies. PUPPP rash has been called several names over the past few years, and they include nurses’ late-onset prurigo, Bourne’s toxemic rash of pregnancy, toxic erythema of pregnancy, and polymorphic eruption of pregnancy.

Symptoms of PUPPP rash

If you notice any of the following symptoms, it’s a sign that you’re suffering from PUPPP rash.

  • patches of hive-like rashes on your belly
  • bumps and large red rashes
  • mixture of raised bumps, small blisters, and large red inflamed areas on your belly.
  • on darker skin, these inflamed areas may be the same color as your skin or maybe a darker shade.
  • severe itching that interferes with normal activities
  • widespread markings across arms, breasts, buttocks, and thighs.
  • a crust over the skin

Who does it affect?

PUPPP rash usually occurs in the third trimester, around 35 weeks. In a few cases, it appears shortly after delivery. Women having their first pregnancy are at a higher chance of having PUPPP rash as their skin hasn’t undergone that amount of stretching before.

You are also at a higher chance of having PUPPP rash if:

  • you’re Caucasian
  • you’re carrying a boy pregnancy
  • if you’re with twins or triplets

PUPPP rash usually lasts for about 3 to 6 weeks and goes away on its own a few weeks after the baby arrives. While you wait for the rashes to disappear, you can try some home remedies for itch relief.

Is there a test for PUPPP rash?

There’s no specific test for PUPPP rash but if you’re unsure of the kind of rash, see your doctor so he can perform a physical examination on you. If the rashes look unusual, your doctor will order some tests to be done to rule out any conditions. These tests include liver function tests, full blood count, cortisol tests, and microscopic examination of skin scrapings.

Treatment for PUPPP rash

PUPPP rash isn’t harmful to you or your baby and so doesn’t need treatment. However, to manage the discomfort from itching, you can try some natural home remedies.

  1. Take an oatmeal bath. Oatmeal is known to be great for relieving inflammation and deep moisturizing.
  2. Regularly apply a fragrance-free moisturizer to the part of your body that has been affected to clear markings from rashes and bumps.
  3. Use cold compresses on bumps or rashes for temporary relief from the itch
  4. Wearlightweight cotton clothes to prevent further irritation to the skin. Avoid materials like spandex, nylon or stretchy clothes. They contribute to irritating your skin.
  5. Take cool baths or showers at least twice every day to reduce itching. Make sure to stay away from bath products with fragrance.


There are over-the-counter medicines that you can procure to soothe the itchiness of your skin. However, ensure your doctor prescribes them to you, especially if you’re breastfeeding. Some of these medications include anti-pruritic creams, antihistamine pills, and corticosteroids.

As much as pregnancy comes with its issues, the joy of holding your baby in your arms will make you forget the rash that once disturbed your sleep. Once you notice any of the symptoms of PUPP rash, see your doctor for a prescription and try the at-home relief procedures we mentioned.

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