PUPP: An Annoying, But Common Skin Condition

I'm 39 weeks pregnant and have developed a rash over my entire belly. The midwife said that it is PUPP. Please tell me more about this annoying rash.

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Peg Plumbo CNM

Peg Plumbo has been a certified nurse-midwife (CNM) since 1976. She has assisted at over 1,000 births and currently teaches in the... Read more

Thank goodness this condition usually is confined to the last month or so of pregnancy. It is quite annoying!

PUPP stands for pruritic urticarial papules and placques of pregnancy (itchy, skin bumps). It is an annoying but benign condition. It is the most common skin condition of pregnancy and is characterized by a typical rash, usually appearing in the later part of pregnancy. The incidence runs about .25 to 1 percent. The rash usually develops on the abdomen near the umbilical area and spreads to the thighs and extremities. Sometimes itching can become very severe. It can spread to the rest of the body, but never involves the face. It is more common in first pregnancies and seldom recurs in subsequent pregnancies. This condition is usually familial and can be traced through the father's side.

Treatment involves cortisone creams, but occasionally nivea or vana cream works. You may need to be treated with oral steroids if the itching becomes intense. The lesions usually go away after giving birth. Your baby is not affected.

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