What is PUPPP?

PUPPP, Pruritic Urticarial Papules and Plaques of Pregnancy (aka pupps rash or pregnancy rash), is a common skin condition known as polymorphic eruption that occurs among pregnant women.  It causes major discomfort for pregnant women during and after pregnancy.   The symptoms of PUPPP include extreme itching, warp-like bumps/lesions (papules) that can cover the entire body, extreme irritation, and redness.  These symptoms appear to be consistent among those who have experienced PUPPP.


The pregnancy rash is said to occur during the first pregnancies of most pregnant woman.  It is also said that the rash occurs during the third trimester of most pregnancies.   In some cases the PUPPP will go away after the mother gives birth. In other cases, the mother can have PUPPP months after giving birth, even up to 4-5 months after giving birth.  If PUPPP lingers after giving birth, it is said to be the related to lingering placental products.

The pregnancy rash generally starts on the abdomen and can cover the entire body in some cases. The only parts of the body that are not plagued by the rash are the face, the palm of the hands, and the sole of the feet. Some women are lucky enough to only have the rash cover their abdomen. The majorities of the cases I have read about were extreme and completely covered everything but the face, hands, and feet.

Pregnant women who get PUPPP are not likely to have it occur more than once.  So, future pregnancies should not be plagued by PUPPP. If it does occur during a future pregnancy, it should be much milder than the initial experience with PUPPP.

Fortunately, PUPPP is harmless to the mother and the baby; however, there have been reports of babies getting PUPPP as well.  In those cases, the PUPPP is extremely mild and normally goes away quickly.  It is rare for babies to get PUPPP.

While PUPPP may be harmless, it should be treated immediately to avoid prolonged discomfort and irritation.  The intense irritation caused by PUPPP can wreak havoc on a mother who is already not getting much sleep as a result of tending to a newborn baby and as the result of the irritation caused by PUPPP. Some mothers have reported that the irritation alone is enough to make you lose your mind.  Some have reported coming very close to losing their minds.  Losing your mind or coming close to it, should make PUPPP very harmful.  Those who have survived it deserve a badge of honor.

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