The PUPPS rash has nothing to do with your dog, but refers to a very itchy rash during pregnancy. That’s right, this PUPPS rash refers to Pruritic Urticarial Papules And Plaques Of Pregnancy. No one really knows what causes the PUPPS rash and it usually begins in and around pregnancy stretch market. Researchers feel that the sudden rapid expansion of skin layers and connective tissues in the abdominal region could be the reason for the skin irritation. Other studies have shown that baby DNA could be the reason for the irritation. The baby’s DNA has been isolated from the mother’s abdominal tissue. The DNA may act as a skin irritant and give rise to the Pupps Rash.
Pregnancy can be a tough time and women do experience a huge range of rashes. The only way to accurately diagnose the Pupps Rash is through visual appearance. The rash is typically located along pregnancy striae but it avoids the belly button and the area around it. This is the most common distinguishing mark that differentiates it from all other kinds of pregnancy rashes. The rash itself appears like red elevated patches called wheals along with small fluid filled bubbles called vesicles. The rash is not contagious to others, but it does spread on to the buttocks, back, thighs, arms and breasts.
The itching does can be temporarily soothed by cold water or warm water baths but it starts up again when the skin dries out. Usually, the rash starts later in the pregnancy and continues 1-2 weeks after delivery. But, it can also occur early in pregnancy.
Women may also develop a condition called as pregnancy cholestasis that is almost similar to the Pupps Rash. In this condition, intense itching occurs but with no rash. Researchers feel that the belly applies pressure on the biliary system causing something similar to a traffic jam. The normal flow of bile in the gallbladder is affected by the pressure and by pregnancy hormones as well. The bile build-up can cause skin irritation and extreme itchiness. If the patient scratches enough, skin may break out in papules and rashes and appear quite similar to Pupps Rash.
Another condition that appears similar to the Pupps Rash is called Prurigo Gestationis or Atopic Eruption of Pregnancy. Although this rash is almost similar to Pupps Rash, it found all over the body and can occur anytime during pregnancy. The condition may also persist indefinitely after pregnancy and the cause of the condition is unknown. The rash runs in families prone to allergies and occurs right at the beginning of pregnancy. In some patients, topical corticosteroid use and oral antihistamines does provide relief
Impetigo Herpetiformis is a rare rash that may appear just like the Pupps Rash. However, large lesions that break open to release pus characterize the rash. Secondary infections are common and the rash is usually covered with a thick crust due to pus and secondary infections. The rash can affect infant mortality and aggressive treatment with antibiotics is recommended to treat the condition.
Another similar condition is Pemphigoid gestationis in which reddish elevated patches arise on skin. These patches turn into large blisters and open lesions. The rash starts around the belly button and then spreads outwards towards the arms and legs. The condition is not life-threatening to the mother but it can increase the risk of preterm delivery and adversely influence fetal growth patterns. The condition also can develop in subsequent pregnancies and it can be very itchy and much more severe. This rash is quite rare and a blood test may be required to finalize the diagnosis from Pupps Rash.
Pruritic Folliculitis of pregnancy is also a very common condition. However, it can be easily differentiated from the Pupps Rash as it resembles steroid induced acne and mostly appears on the trunk.
Heat rashes are caused due to hot weather and increased weight gain. The rashes are simple with raised red dots and they are quite itchy. These rashes can start anywhere on the body and they are localized in areas that experience the most heat like the armpits, below the pregnancy bulge, on the inner thighs and on the inside of the thighs. This rash is usually differentiated from the Pupps Rash by its location and size. It is also treated very easily with cold water baths and prickly heat cream.
Treating Your Pupps Rash
The Pupps Rash is completely harmless, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a constant source of frustration. Some natural remedies include aloe vera, omega 3 fatty acids, dandelion root, tar soap oatmeal and baking soda baths, and regular moisturizing. There are over 150 comments on this older blog post on Pupps which you can read here . In case the itching is intense, high strength steroid creams or ointments may be prescribed. For severe cases, oral antihistamines may be recommended.
To read what other women have tried, you’ll find a wide variety of experiences in this post made when I first started this blog and it is a fascinating read so click here. I also wanted to mention that my assistant has written a book on the Pupps Rash and other pregnancy rashes which is only .99 on Amazon and can be read on a PC, Smartphone or Tablet. You do NOT need to own a kindle. It covers both traditional and also home recipes for Pupps Rash symptoms and she did a lot of research after seeing what her sister went through during her pregnancy. This way you can have all the info in one place and don’t have to search all over the net for info. You can pick it up here for less than a dollar and read about ways people have used dandelion root, Grandpa’s soap, Miracle II Soap and other recipes: Pupps Rash Book on Sale Here
By the way, Robin’s sister had a beautiful baby boy and many say that Pupps can occur more frequently when one is pregnant with a boy.