When you’re pregnant, chances are no matter how many books you read or questions you ask Dr. Google – you will be surprised by something.
Hemorrhoids, stretch marks where you least expect them, bloated hands and feet, constant nausea (why do they even call it morning sickness!?)…
You name it, pregnancy can deliver it.
Well, not to add to all of that – but here’s one other thing.
Stands for Pruritic Urticarial Papules and Plaques of Pregnancy.
And if you’re thinking that sounds like an insane name, you’re right.
But actually, PUPPPS is a kind of rash!
I’ll explain more below…
Table Of Contents
What is PUPPP?
PUPPP is a really long name for a rash during pregnancy, a specific rash, and if you get it, which I hope you don’t, it is horrendous.
I just want to tell you a little bit about it and what I’ve done (like above) to treat the symptoms.
There are several theories and it does not affect many people in pregnancy.
It’s about one every 200 to 250 people, depending on what study you’re looking at.
And typically about 70% of those moms are pregnant with males and a lot of the other ones that are not pregnant with males that get it, are multiple pregnancies.
And while it is miserable, it is not life-threatening or anything like that.
Having a PA (physicians assistant) as a father, I was able to get this diagnosed within minutes.
I simply took a picture of my 30-week baby bump belly and he knew right away what it was.
The itchy rash started rather small and proceeded to increase every other day, which left me stumped as to why it happens.
Well, in most cases it “just happens” with the hormonal change of pregnancy.
The hormone problem is in the liver, it can’t filter properly.
Treatments for PUPPP
With that knowledge, try this FIRST – Pure Black Cherry Juice is great for cleaning the liver. Drink one glass every day.
In a couple of days, the discomfort should ease up and hopefully be gone completely.
AGAIN, these things that I write here are from other moms around the web and what they are doing to help relieve this.
PUPPP Caused by Allergic Reaction to Baby Oil?
You read right.
While some PUPPP cases are naturally caused, for me and some other mommy to be’s, it can be caused by an allergic reaction to something.
In my case, the cause was putting Johnsons Baby Oil on after I took a shower.
So to test this, I just stopped for a week to see what would happen.
It did clear up!
I didn’t use any external cream or medication because I didn’t want to mess the test up…(fortunately for me, I did not have a bad case).
So, again, I added the baby oil to my baby bump and within minutes those red itchy bumps reappeared.
To be clear though, some mommies get PUPPP because of a reaction and others just don’t know.
Some women get a horrid case and some don’t. Always consult your doctor if you feel that the itch or pain is unbearable because your pregnancy should be a pleasant one!
Also having this condition does not harm momma or baby but it is extremely annoying and at times unbearable.
If you keep itching it, it will hurt like mad after!
The video below has some amazing tips are shared to help soothe the itch of PUPPP.
In fact, one commenter on the video even said it saved her life.
Now I’m sure she’s not speaking literally, but good advice does feel life-saving when you’re covered in itchy spots.
Below are some other things you can do if you have PUPPP:
- Prescription of a Medrol pack. It’s like a “Z pack” (read my story here about my Z pack).
You take 6 pills one day, then 5 the next, then 4, etc…until you finish the pack.
- Use “Grandpas pine tar soap”
- Cold ice packs for the intense itch
- Calamine lotion
- Aloe Vera – fresh from the leaf
- Turmeric and lemon water mix.
Make into a paste to soothe the itch as well.
- Hydrocortisone cream
- Wearing cotton or polyester
- Menthol Aqueous cream for the itch
- Get tested and Treated for Vitamin D Deficiency
- Mineral Ice
- Diaper rash ointment (buy the one with Zinc – I read it works wonders for the itch!)
- Milk Thistle and Dandelion Root
Studies on PUPPP
Studies were done in the past, where they’ve taken samples of the rash and broken down the DNA in the rash to see what it’s from.
And they’ve found male DNA actually in the plaques.
What they theorize is that your baby’s DNA is released in your body.
Now I know it’s always released in your body because you’re pregnant but I’m thinking maybe the third trimester because at 35 weeks and longer, your baby’s hormones are a lot stronger.
As a result, your baby’s DNA is in your system, your system sees it as foreign and tries to attack that, thus causing you basically an allergic reaction or a histamine response to the fetus’ DNA in your bloodstream.
Like I said before, this does not hurt the baby at all nor does it mean there’s anything wrong with the baby.
It just means that mom is going to be very uncomfortable and very itchy.
Natural Treatments For PUPPP
The only treatment/cure is delivery.
Not really, I also heard that you can get this after birth too.
One mom stated: That just before giving birth, 2 weeks later she did develop PUPPP all over.
Her regime is quite unorthodox, stating doctors are NO help at all.
So what she did was:
- 6 Dandelion capsules per day
- 3 Flaxseed oil capsules per day
- Lemon juice in boiled water (2 cups a day) – 1 early morning before food
- Drink lots of water
- Use Selsum blue shampoo – rub in circles directly on the rash in the shower or with a cloth outside shower (just add some water to dilute it though) do this twice a day.
- Get out into the sun – some say the rash needs to be kept moisturized – but some may find drying it out has been better
For me, I just thought it was because I was getting bigger, my bump was getting bigger.
That my skin was stretching and that’s why it was itching so much.
Some moms may notice itching around the legs or around the ankles.
Specifically, a rash in the inner part of your thighs. It can also spread to the inner parts of your arms to your chest… literally everywhere.
You can start with hydrocortisone cream (as stated above), which is like a steroid cream, but it’s over the counter. I am sure you can get any brand.
If that doesn’t work for you, try the Sarna lotion because this is supposed to help with anti-itch for dry sensitive skin.
People with eczema use this, so it might be pretty good to try whether your skin is dry or not.
If that doesn’t work for you, Benadryl cream as well taking two Benadryl tablets every six hours for the itching.
Just be sure you are not doing any driving or anything because those make you drowsy.
Might help with sleep, if that is possible with such a horrid itch.
So, I was looking on some websites and trying to see what other people had tried to work, and somebody recommended the “African royale hot six oil”. People had conflicting reactions.
Some the itch stopped and the PUPPP went away and others it only mildly relieved the itch for a period of time – roughly 30 minutes to an hour.
One mom stated:
It did leave my skin feeling really, really soft and really nice. It’s actually helped with my stretch marks with my stomach. So I keep using it in my baths. I’ve been taking baths probably every two or every 3-4 hours, or 4-6 hours.
Between three and six hours I’ll take a bath, sit in there and put some oatmeal bath stuff in it and it seems to help. You’re putting on so much lotion.
I reapply every two hours so, after about six hours, your skin is just like loaded with junk all over it. So you need to clean it all off and then get a new thing. So I will sit in an oatmeal bath, then put some of that hot six oil in the bath too, and it kind of keeps my skin nice and soft, and it smells good too.
The itching that I’m telling you about, I can’t say enough, is severe.
And if you’ve ever had PUPPS, you know that it’s awful.
If you literally can not take it anymore, PLEASE go see your doctor! Also, maybe treat yourself to a prenatal massage because YOU DESERVE IT.
There is another med out there that they can prescribe you to try.
Vistaril is used for itching, it’s kind of like Benadryl, only it’s way stronger. I think the census for women was taking 2 tablets for the itch.
BUT again ask your doctor!
Get a regime down.
- Take a cool shower (heat intensifies the itch) with the hot six oil and oatmeal – get out and maybe put on GoldBond medicated lotion, it’s a body lotion that helps dry itchy skin, and it’s got menthol in it, so it’s really cooling.
- If it is under your arms try using gold bond powder. I mean trying all you can to curb the itch, it is really all you can do.
- If you have any questions about PUPPS or PUPPS treatments, let me know.
What week of pregnancy does PUPPP begin?
Typically if it’s your first pregnancy, it starts about week 35.
Now, this doesn’t mean that everybody with PUPPS is the same of course.
Again, for me, it was 30 weeks.
What does PUPPP feel like, you ask? It feels like having a million mosquito bites all over your body. And you try not to scratch them; you don’t want to get the infection through scratching. But it’s impossible to not scratch.
Again, this may drive you crazy.
Especially when trying to sleep.
Where does PUPPP start? The bottom portion of your baby bump. This is where they typically say it starts.
What causes PUPPP? While there is no certain one cause for PUPPP, one of the more common risk factors is rapid/excessive weight gain during pregnancy (and/or multiple gestation pregnancies like twins or triplets, etc).
When will PUPPP end? If you’re struggling with this – that’s a very valid question. Usually, PUPPP dissipates within 15 days of giving birth.
Is PUPPP contagious? No! While you may be miserable, don’t worry about passing that on – PUPPP is not contagious.
Can my PUPPP rash affect my baby? No, mama – your baby is perfectly safe from that itchy rash.
What does PUPPP rash look like? Itchy, red bumps that are raised up a bit – usually this starts on your belly/abdomen and can work its way to your butt, legs and/or arms.
If you’re going through this, I’m really sorry, it is horrible.
I want you all to know that I’m here for you if you have this.
It is awful, but we can get through this and try to manage these symptoms, and that’s about it.