PUPPs is a pretty cute and cuddly-sounding acronym for an awful, itchy skin condition called “Pruritic Urticarial Papules and Plaques of Pregnancy.” PUPPs (or PUPPP) is a fairly common skin condition, with about 1 in 250 pregnant women getting this rash. Make sure to check in with your doctor if you think you have PUPPS. The info in this article is not meant to replace medical advice.
You might notice your skin is breaking out, or develop an itchy rash in the stretch marks of your abdomen. Pregnant women with darker skin are less likely to develop PUPPS. It starts in your abdomen area and then spreads. PUPPs usually appears in the third trimester and can range from mildly uncomfortable to downright miserable (especially during warmer months). Because the skin on your belly is already feeling tight and itchy in the final trimester, developing PUPPS will test even the calmest mom-to-be. Fortunately, studies have not linked PUPPs to any long-term impact on you or your baby.
Says one woman who had PUPPs: “I got it when I was 38 weeks along, and it started as small red and pink raised dots around my belly button. My doctor thought it was just due to hormones and suggested leaving them alone. I pretty much forgot about the bumpy spots, because there were other 3rd trimester symptoms were bugging me.”
Causes of PUPPS
Experts don’t know what for sure causes PUPPs, but some theories suggest it’s caused by pregnancy hormones. Other theories say the gender of your baby may increase your odds of developing this annoying condition. Pregnant women having a boy seem to develop PUPPs than those expecting a girl.
What Can I Do To Get Relief?
The constant, nagging itchiness can be really stressful and annoying. If you’re experiencing PUPPs, you might need to try a few solutions until you find what works for you.
Here are some suggestions:
- Calamine lotion
- Apply a cool, wet compress
- Place a fan by your bed too to blow over you while you sleep
- Stand in front of a fan (after applying cool lotion from the fridge).
- Keep your house cool
- Wear light cotton clothing
- Oatmeal baths
- Meditation (to help your mind wander from the fact that you’re feeling so itchy!)
Your doctor may also recommend antibiotics, antihistamines, or even steroids if your skin breaks from all that scratching. Did you experience PUPPs? We’d love to hear from you. Let us know in the comments what you did for the itch!