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Pruritic Urticarial Papules and Plaques of Pregnancy

In case you didn’t realize it, your body changes when you become pregnant! But along with the little person growing inside of you, skin changes are some of the most common things observed during pregnancy.  We all know about stretch marks and hair changes, but changes in moles and specific skin rashes can also occur. Pruritic Urticarial Papules and Plaques of Pregnancy, also known as Polymorphous Eruption of Pregnancy, Polymorphic eruption, or simply the acronym PUPPP, is one of the more common skin reactions seen in pregnancy.

What Does PUPPP Look Like?

“Patients most often come in complaining of an itchy rash on their belly,” says Dr. Miriam Hanson, a board-certified Dermatologist and women’s skin care specialist in Austin, Texas. “This most commonly happens in the third trimester, or last months of pregnancy, and can sometimes even persists after the baby is born.” The rash usually starts around the mid-section and belly button area, and make its way down to the thighs and back of the body. PUPPP rashes initially resemble stretch marks, and some feel that the small bumps and rash follow tend to occur in areas that have stretch marks on the abdomen. “Patients will often complain of itching, redness, and even small blisters in the affected areas,” says Dr. Hanson. The rash can also mimic the symptoms and appearance seen with eczema.

Why Do You Get It?

There is no sure explanation why some pregnant women develop Pruritic Urticarial Papules and Plaques of Pregnancy. It is known that the majority of women only experience this with their first pregnancy, and more often with male children.

“This isn’t a condition that you catch from someone, or that  can spread,” Dr. Hanson states. Unfortunately, it is still not understood why some pregnant women get PUPPP and others do not.

What Options Are There For Treatment?
As it is known that the rash dissipates a week or two after pregnancy, the treatment of PUPPP mainly focuses on controlling the symptoms that the patient experiences. Dr. Hanson works at Sanova Dermatology, a full service dermatology located next to the North Austin Medical Center and St. David’s Womens’ Center. She works closely with obstetricians and women’s health professionals in the area to provide care to patients, pregnant and non-pregnant alike.

“Various creams or lotions can be prescribed to help offset the itching and irritation felt,” shares Dr. Hanson. In more severe cases topical ointments and corticosteroids can be used. Ways to help minimize discomfort at home can include using ice packs, wearing baggy clothes that do not irritated the affected areas, or applying aloe vera to soothe the skin.

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Are you experiencing discomfort, rash, or discoloration during your pregnancy? Contact us today and set up your appointment!

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