PUPPP (Pruritic Urticarial Papules and Plaques of Pregnancy): Care Instructions

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Pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy (PUPPP) is a raised, itchy rash. It is also called polymorphic eruption of pregnancy (PEP). The rash may be reddish or slightly darker than your usual skin color. It most often occurs in a first pregnancy. The rash may appear first on stretch marks on the stomach. Then it may spread to the thighs, rear end (buttocks), and arms. PUPPP is not a serious condition and does not cause problems for your baby. But it can be very itchy. Controlling the itching is the main focus of treatment.

PUPPP usually goes away on its own within a week after birth. It is treated with medicine to stop the itching.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

  • Use anti-itch creams or pills as directed by your doctor. You may want to use over-the-counter calamine lotion.
  • If the itching is very bad, you may be given corticosteroid pills to stop the itching. Take your medicines exactly as prescribed. Call your doctor if you think you are having a problem with your medicine.
  • Take oatmeal baths (such as Aveeno) in warm water.
  • Put a cool, wet towel on the itchy area.

When should you call for help?

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:

  • You do not get better as expected.

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

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The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.