PUPPP stands for "Pruritic Uticarial Papules and Plaques of Pregnancy." In English, this means "really itchy rash that some pregnant women get." PUPPP typically starts with an itchy belly. Lots of women get itchy bellies when they're pregnant, but women with PUPPP get really, really REALLY itchy bellies.

This turns into a rash that starts on the belly, but may spread to the legs, feet, arms, chest, etc. I had hives on my belly, all down my legs, on my feet,arms and back. PUPPP usually spares the face, and the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet.

THIS THING SUCKS. Bites. Blows. I remember seriously thinking that if I could, I'd seriously consider trading the PUPPP for something that could potentially kill me but at least wouldn't itch. I can't count the nights I stayed up with barely an hour of sleep. I was exhausted, so tired, I'd sit in the bath tub and cry and cry...and cry some more.

I was so tired but I couldn't sleep. The rash was so bad you couldn't even avoid it while in a deep sleep. I took shower after shower every day. The water somewhat relieved it. Needless to say I was squeaky clean by the end of the day. I've took over 10 showers a day because of that rash.

Everyone knows scratching will make your stretch marks worse and I proved it. they say "Try not to scratch." But if you've ever had this rash it IS IMPOSSIBLE! I did more than just scratch. I would find the the coarsest loofah I could find and literally rub my skin raw.

At one point I had decided I was going to take that loofah scrub so hard in hopes that my skin would come off. Then maybe if I did that I would quit itching. Once I got in the hospital they were already testing me for meth. No lie!

I had scabs all over me. BIG scabs from where I scratched so hard. It DID look like I was on meth.

Now, almost 7 months postpartum I am covered in dark red and purple scars. My legs are disgusting. My stretch marks are so much worse than they were before I got this rash.

I had the puppp rash for 2 months straight. I do have pictures of what my rash looked like and what my scars look like now, but I don't have my camera with me so I will show you a picture I found on here and it looks like my rash when I had it.

After that I am terrified of getting pregnant again. I have no desire to. It was the most torture I've endured in my life and yes, itching can be that bad!

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Feb. 22, 2009 at 3:01 AM

oh my goodness sweetie ! my sisters was like that as well and you know what she had several pregnancies and there was only one baby she had the pupps with her 3rd and she had 4 kids,so odds are on your side 1 out of 4 not bad odds  

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May. 10, 2009 at 12:50 PM

I also had this rash. It was my third pregnancy and it was horrible! I remember waking up all hours of the night scratching and getting up 2 or 3 times a night to take cold showers to relieve the itching. I didn't know what it was at the time but I'm in the second trimester of my fourth pregnancy and I watch the Deliver Me show and a woman on there had it so I looked it up and it was exactly what I had. I had it from about 34 weeks on but I delivered my son at 38 weeks exactly and it took a week after I had him for it to go away. I'm really hoping it wont happen this time from the other comment on here it seems my chances are good but this is definitely something I would not wish on anyone!

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May. 23, 2009 at 10:23 AM

Boy do I know this too....  I am expecting #3 and got Puppps around week 27?  maybe a little earlier.  I literally thought I was going to lose my mind.  I itched so bad that I did the same thing...cry in the tub and basically was a guinea pig for all different "remedies"  I know everyone is different, but here's what helped me keep my sanity....at least gave me some sleep.  I used "grandpa's pine tar soap", Sarna menthol lotion (that helped for about 15-30 minutes MAX), and Visteral...sp?  Antihistamine.... it's worth a shot.... I was downing dandelion root, benadryl, smearing every possible cream and ointment on my skin (Dr. recommended of course) and nothing helped.  That visteral really knocked it down a bunch for me and let me sleep through the night peacefully.  I'm now 37 weeks and am now coming out with a rash again all over my legs, thighs and hands....UGH...At least it's the home stretch.  Good luck and let us know how everything goes from here on out. 


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Aug. 5, 2009 at 8:57 PM

I have to say, I am SO HAPPY that you decided to post your story.  I can sympathize,  I delivered my son five days ago and since (If I remember correctly, it was the very next day!!!!) I have acquired this HORRIBLE rash.  It's funny too, I forgot about the crazy strech marks under my tummy that itched like crazy, as that calmed down before I gave birth. To think all of this was connected...

I've seen several physicians all who blamed my rash on the linens being cleaned in harsh detergents, at the hospital during my stay.  I questioned that because it has continued, for days, after I left!!!

In any event, EVERY single thing you said is exactly what I am living now.  Luckily, I have a husband who is handy with the internet who found out about the PUPPP rash and I also saw a doctor today who gave me an RX for Prednisone.  Hopefully this means that I will not be suffering much longer.

I just wanted to add some things that have helped me TREMENDOUSLY during this horrible time (which should be the happiest time of my life....I just delivered my first child!!!!)

I found that AVEENO products help the best.  This is just my opinion,  but it seems like all of the products I've tried prior (all the creams and sprays) just minimized the pain for moments and when the pain came back, it was even worse!  In any event, AVEENO makes two products that I have begun using that help so much.  One is the packets of oatmeal for bathing.  Granted, I cannot take a bath yet, since I just delivered and have stiches...but you can create a nice paste to rub on the areas (in my case ALL OVER MY BODY) and then leave for a few minutes before rinsing.  Finally, I also used the intense relief overnight cream right after the "bath".   These two products together are heavenly.  Hopefully, this won't jinx anything, but I can say that for me, doing this once in the AM lasts ALL DAY and once before bed, lasts all night.  NO LIE.  Wish I would've tried this sooner.

I've never experienced anything like this before in my life.  It sucks so bad.  And it is even worse with all the hormonal changes you are going through, and God forbid your child has to stay at the hospital when you are discharged (like ours is :(  ) And, perhaps, you are seeing doctors who throw around the possibility of a serious infection!


So, again, thank you for posting.  You've officially made my night much better and easier to sleep. 

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Sep. 24, 2009 at 12:40 PM

I had the same rash.  It first started out like little red dots all over my stomach and it was a little itchy.  Then it spread to my legs, arms, feet, and my under arms.  I would be sleeping and itching all night.  I would wake up from a deep sleep and not even realize that i had been itching all night.  The next morning i would have scabs all over and blood under my fingernails.  It was the worst part of my entire pregnancy and I had morning sickness so bad I was hospitalized.  And I would take the puking 5 times a day over the rash any day.  Needless to say I tried everything to alleviate the itching. Benadryl, calamine lotion, baking soda paste, oatmeal baths, cortizone cream, aveeno anti itch lotion.  Nothing worked!!  I went to the doctors and they put me on oral steroids and it didn't help until about day 5.  Then i noticed a difference in the itching and the bumps.  They almost disappeared by day 8.  It was a miracle.  And I wouldn't wish this rash on my worst enemy.

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Oct. 6, 2009 at 4:32 PM

I went through the same thing.  But the difference was I developed PUPPS practically at the end of my pregnancy.  I delivered my daughter via C-section one week before my due date.   Just a few days prior the area below my belly button was itchy.  I showed my doctor; she just said it might be the beginning of a stretch mark.  So I just lathered on the cocoa butter lotion.  It wasn't until after the delivery, on the 3rd and 4th day, did the red spots start appearing on my belly.  And then it started spreading to my buttocks and lower back.  I first thought it was before I was lying in bed at the hospital and haven't taken a bath yet (it was August).  When I got home, I was prescribed Percocet (pain medication) and that's when the crazy itching started.   When I went to show my doctor, both she and I thought that it was an allergic reaction to the percocet.  So I stopped taking it and took Motrin instead.  Doc gave me Zyrtec (antihistamine) to clear up the rashes.  It should have worked by the 2nd or 3rd day.  I took it for a week and the condition just got worse.  The itchy rashes spread to my entire arms, upper back, thighs and legs. I was miserable.  The hot August weather didn't help.  And it seemed to get worse at night.  So I didn't get any sleep.  And I scratched myself raw, until I bled.  One night, two weeks into this horrible experience, my husband saw how miserable I looked, went to the internet and searched because he felt it can't be an allergic reaction to the medication.  And that's where he came up with PUPPS.  After reading the first article, it was like BINGO!  That's what I have.  And I felt the pain and understood that misery from the other ladies.  I started taking dandelion root and canola oil supplements after reading about it.  I don't know if it was the supplements or if it was the timing.  My rashes started to stop flaring up so much and no new rashes formed.  And old rashes started to calm down and slowly it got better.  I now still have these faded pink and purple marks all over my arms and legs.  I don't know if they will ever fade away.  I had to wear panty hose at my daughter's one month old celebration dinner.  =(   And people always make comments when they see the faded marks on my arms. 

I absolutely do not wish this on anyone!!! It really was the worse part of my entire pregnancy.  I was lucky not to have food adversions, decent morning sickness, practically no stretch marks (except for the one little one where the PUPPS started below my belly button), no vericose veins.  So I guess getting this skin condition is making it even? 

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Oct. 16, 2009 at 1:53 PM

i have 2 month old and i still have that rash on the bothom of my legs ,still itchi and if ther is anyone to tell me is that normal to have that rash even 2-3 months after delivery?

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Nov. 3, 2009 at 10:06 PM

My daughter is almost four and I still get an outbreak every month around my period. 

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Nov. 12, 2009 at 8:35 PM

Thank you for your story.  I'm 28 weeks pregnant and have Pupps from my breast to the bottom of my feet.  I'm so miserable.  I just had a breakdown and found this article.  I made my husband read it so he could see I'm not crazy it really is the most horrible thing.  I don't know that I can make it the rest of the way like this.  I called my doctor and begged for something other than benadryl and hydrocortisone cream.  He said no. The Aveeno bath works for a short period of time.  I think I'm losing my mind. 

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Jun. 13, 2010 at 9:21 PM

I was just informed last week that I had this horrible rash. I told the doctor something was wrong when my few dots on my belly spread all over my body (except my face). Benedryl is a joke (so was Zyrtec). After being up all night itching my skin raw I went back to the doctor and they just said go to the ER because they were too annoyed to bother with me. I'm glad I went to the ER because they found a creme that is a MIRACLE CREME!  Its a specially made creme that I had to have made at "custom rx" in my home town. It was $40 and worked overnight. The sticker they put on it is "Pupps creme" and my ER doctor told me it is used for renal patients. The pharmacist that mixed it up said it was a topical steriod and had menthol, aloe and some other things in it. Ask your doctor for it because it is amazing! I still itch if I dont use it every day but it is bearable now!

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