Life

My Battle with PUPPP Rash

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My Battle with PUPPPs (Pruritic Urticarial Papules and Plaques of Pregnancy) ||

Yeah, I can’t pronounce it either so I just call it PUPPPs (and not the soft and cuddly kind either).  First off I just want to say if you are dealing with this BLESS YOUR HEART! I really completely sympathize with you and just know that you are not alone! Feel free to reach out to me in any way you would like if you need to talk or have any questions about PUPPP rash. I am not a doctor but I can at least offer some support.

This crazy, rarely heard of rash during my pregnancy rocked my world so much that I have 3 different drafts of this post! One from a very emotional side, another from the technical side of finding relief and this one where I try to combine a happy medium of the two. As I sit and tweak the 3rd draft I am a little overcome with emotion that 4 months have already flown by since River was born.”Don’t blink!”

It’s said by mothers everywhere, “don’t worry you will forget all about the uncomfortable side effects of pregnancy and the pain of child birth after you hold your sweet baby.” Well, I don’t think I will ever “forget” what I went through with PUPPP rash but it makes it easier when you realize you somehow survived, it made you stronger and you now have this amazing little human!

Most of my pregnancy was a breeze. I did suffer from exhaustion, some nausea and swelling but I really couldn’t say that it wasn’t a pretty pleasant and rewarding experience up until about 32 weeks…then all hell broke loose! I had no idea what was about to take over my body and cause me to have a nervous fucking breakdown just about every day for over a month. It started simple enough. I thought I had a little heat rash below my belly button that caused me a little uncomfortable itching. Then a week later the dreaded stretch marks that I thought I had gotten through my pregnancy without suffering from started popping up right where the “heat rash” was.

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Beginning stages of my PUPPP

 

Another week goes by and the itching started to intensify so I followed the rules of trying not to scratch and to keep it lubed up with lotion. I was starting the rotation of meeting the other doctors in the practice and I expressed my concerns to the attending doctor I saw that week and she just said, without even looking at the site of irritation, “oh, don’t worry it’s just your stretch marks. They can become itchy.”…well ok…

Fast-forward another week and damn if my entire torso and boobs hadn’t started to itch all over. I mean ITCH! Everywhere I scratched a rash would start to spread. I couldn’t think about anything but controlling the itching and scratching.

It wasIMG_6085 roughly 35 weeks and I almost had to cancel one of my baby showers because I was so miserable and not to mention terrified to be seen in public because I looked like I was addicted to crack and couldn’t stop scratching the “crack bugs.” But it was a family shower so I figured who loves ya better than family, right?! Plus, after I went back to get the photos from this shower I realized you couldn’t tell! I honestly had barely looked at these because I was so disconnected from what was happening.

 

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My adorable hosts: Great Aunt Virginia (left), Grandma (middle)
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My cousin Brittany was way off on how big I really was!

As another next week rolled around I was no longer able to sleep for more than 2 hours at a time, spent all day in moo moos, sitting on ice packs and taking cold showers/baths 6-8 times a day just to get about 30 minutes of some sort of relief.

I spent all night from 3 a.m. until my husband would wake up for work soaking in an Aveeno oatmeal bath reading articles of people who had suffered from this debilitating rash and that’s when I started to self-diagnose that I had PUPPP rash. As I shared this with a different doctor at my next visit she almost became frantic and would not discuss the issue with me. She just kept saying, “I am so sorry. Have you tried (insert every itch relief cream known to man).”

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Not the greatest photos but the red rash was all over my body.

– and yes i had tried them all.

It’s such a horrible thing but so little is known about PUPPP and aside from just making you miserable as a mother-fucker it really isn’t “harmful” to you or the baby. From what I could conclude through my own research and no with no help from my doctors is that I was basically allergic to my baby. That’s the only answer I have to help me overcome the PTSD I have suffered from this nasty PUPPP (learn a little more about PUPPP here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pruritic_urticarial_papules_and_plaques_of_pregnancy)

Remedies for PUPPP Rash Relief

So if you have this HORRIBLE PUPPP rash and need a little support here are the little things I did to find a slight bit of relief.

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My nightstand at some point during the throes of PUPPP Rash
  1. DO NOT SCRATCH! If you think you have the beginning stages of PUPPP Rash do not start scratching! If I would have known that it was more than “just my stretch marks” I would have never continued to scratch! I think the scratching made it spread.  I swore I could never go through pregnancy again if there was even a chance this could come back (and there is) but it does go away (at some point after birth) and I think the second time around I will know what is happening and I will do what I can to prevent it from spreading from the very beginning!
  2. Grandpa’s Pine Tar Soap Start showering/bathing with Grandpa’s Pinpine tar soape Tar Soap. Something about this soap does aid in some relief and helps to start to dry it out. It did take a few days to really start to kick in so do not get discouraged if it doesn’t immediately start working. I would use this in a cool shower (heat just upsets the rash more) about 4-6 times a day. Just a warning the soap does have a very “Earthy” sent. It reminded me of a log cabin/campfire smell but I noticed it doesn’t stay on your skin. I did use the loofah to scratch the shit outta myself which I am sure made it worse in the long run but boy did it feel good! I found the soap at our local Sprouts Market and I have linked it above through Amazon but you can find it at just about any pharmacy or grocer.
  3. Aveeno Oatmeal Bath: Everyone has probably heard of this. I would soak in a lukewarm bath a couple of times a day as well as stated before every night from about 3 am- 6 am. I pretty much would just read and nap as much as I could in that time. Then my day would start all over with a shower about 2 hours later, lay on ice packs, moisturize, shower, moisturize, ice packs, shower…and on it went!
  4. Coconut Oil: I am now a true believer in using coconut oil as a moisturizer. I actually haven’t bought any other type of lotion since I started using coconut oil while having the rash. What it has done for my skin even after the rash is amazing. I believe the best type for using as a moisturizer is the unrefined kind, any brand will work I am sure. I had my mom and husband rubbing me down all day and night the last few weeks!
  5. Ice Packs (and lots of them): Keeping ice packs on your body really helped relieve the itching a lot. I think at any given time I would have one behind my back, under my ass, and on my legs and arms. In fact, any sleep I got at the beginning of the night would be while my ice packs were still frozen then as soon as they thawed around 2-3am I would start to itch uncontrollably again (itching became worse at night. Something to do with your hormones) and would retire to the bathtub.
  6. Claritin D: I did try Benadryl orally but it didn’t really do anything for me. I typically do not take Claritin because it makes me feel a little loopy but my mom had some when she came to help me after my rash got so bad I could barely make it through the day. I gave it a try and it did help relieve some of the itching and relax me a little to get some rest.

You are probably surprised that I did not list any anti-itch creams. You are more than welcome to give any of them a shot but they just DID NOT work for me. I mean at all! They were just a waste of money and left weird residue on your body. There are SO many other things to try this was just my personal experience. I pray that you have more support from your healthcare professionals. When I finally made it back to my primary doctor she saw the pain in my eyes by the tears that were streaming down my face at my 36 week appointment. I was begging for her to help me because I felt like the stress from the rash would be putting stress on River. She wound up having me do a urine analysis for protein which was positive so at 37 1/2 weeks we induced labor for preeclampsia.

Trying out my pump hoping it would induce labor! This was the first time I had tried it and I couldn't believe how crazy weird it felt! Now I am 4 whole months as a breastfeeding Mom and I don't even bat an eye anymore!
Trying out my pump hoping it would induce labor! This was the first time I had tried it and I couldn’t believe how crazy weird it felt! Now I am 4 whole months as a breastfeeding Mom and I don’t even bat an eye anymore!

I didn’t get the experience of “going in to labor” like I was hoping for but as I am sure you have heard most births do not go as planned! The news I was being induced was SO welcomed. I finally fixed my hair a little and put something on besides a moo moo. Given it was only sweats but I did get a few little pictures the day before we went in to the hospital. I didn’t realize I had my camera on a weird setting but to be honest the color kind of reflects how I was feeling.

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So in conclusion PUPPP Rash SUCKS A BIG ASS! I was so miserable I became very disconnected from my pregnancy. I didn’t even want to nest. River’s room just sat there with everything from the baby showers still in boxes. My amazing Mom came to my rescue though! She and my husband were my angels through this process. After River was born I still itched for about 2-3 weeks but it was no where near as bad as it was. I hope this helps at least one person find a little relief or feel supported. If you have also suffered from PUPPP Rash please feel free to leave any of your personal remedies in the comments!

Good luck, Mama! It will all be worth it once you are holding your little squishy!

baby

 

79 Comments

  • Maria, I am so sorry I didn’t know you were going through this. I would have been praying for you and trying to encourage you. You are so brave to share this experience so that anyone else who experiences this can find support. Next time you are in Claxton please let me know. I want to meet that sweet little fella!!

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    • Will do Mrs. Sonya! Love you!

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  • Hi!, first time reader here. I really enjoyed your article. I found it to be really helpful. Keep up the great work! I’ll be sure to tell my friends

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    • Thank you, Emilee!!

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  • It’s almost 1am and here I am trying to find something on the internet that can help me to relieve the symptoms of this horrible condition. I’ve been suffering from pupp for a week now, I’m 40 weeks pregnant and getting crazy, the itch is insane. I was very happy waiting for my little boy but now everything I do is cry. The only thing that helps are the ice packs, but they don’t last for a long time. I’m happy to have found your text, made me think that it will be over soon. Thanks for sharing your journey through this. Sorry for my broken English. God bless you.

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    • Jessica darling I am so sorry to hear you are going through this. It truly is the worst and night time seems to be something of the devil. I hope your little angel decides to come very soon to hopefully provide you with some relief. Please keep me posted on how you are doing dear!

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  • This is an example of a certainly well-researched article. Thank you consequently much.

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  • This is my life right now.yes, don’t scratch it makes it worse and spread like wild fire on my body. I’m very disconnected and baby’s room is no where near being done. So far the only thing that’s starting to help is Grandpas Pine Tar Soap. I’m 35 weeks and counting down till I deliver. i wouldn’t wish PUPPPs on my worst enemy.

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    • Hi Jennifer, glad you know you’re not alone! I still have PTSD 7 months after when my body itches a little…Please reach out to me anytime!

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  • I’m so glad I’ve come across your blog! I’ve self diagnosed myself with Puppp.. My midwife just keeps telling me it’s a heat rash when I know it isn’t. I barely sleep at night and like you did, I am constantly having to get in and out the bath for some relief otherwise I’m sure I’d scratch my skin off! Grandpas tine par soap is helping a bit but it’s driving me insane !

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  • Wow! Thank you! I constantly wanted to write on my site something like that. Can I include a part of your post to my website?

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  • I started getting PUPPS at about 31 weeks and I am now 36 weeks. You nailed it on the head IT SUCKS ASS!! I’ve used the soap and also creams, maybe a little relief but not really. I also started using lavender oils and put that on while I shower, again a little bit of relief but not much. I do have a question and maybe a little TMI, did your whoha itch also? My doctor prescribed me a hydrocortisone cream for that reason and it doesn’t help much. She’s not even sure it’s from the PUPPS but I think it is. So just wondering if you had that issue also. So ready for this part to be over, it truly is miserable!!!

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    • My PUPPP began at 27 weeks and I cried a lot knowing it was going to be a long 3 months…. I was up at 2 am last night, usually 3 am in the bath. My rectum is also so itchy, but not sure id that is related. I have a sitzbath I used and that helps. Witch hazel helps dry it out.

      My doctors still haven’t seen me. I called 2-3 times asking if I need to come in, and nothing. Just waiting for my next appointment because my blood test for my liver was fine. I know I have it.

      May Lindstrom Blue Cocoon has provided the most relief, but it is so expensive. $180 for my face cream… but Blue Tansy has strong healing properties, I need to try anything. I am taking Dandelion capsules too and not sure if that helps. I need lose clothing which is difficult when I am working and wearing my over the belly pregnancy pants.

      It is horrible. But my husband also says “it will make you stronger.” Not what I want to hear but we shall see.

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    • My PUPPP began at 27 weeks and I cried a lot knowing it was going to be a long 3 months…. I was up at 2 am last night, usually 3 am in the bath. My rectum is also so itchy, but not sure id that is related. I have a sitzbath I used and that helps. Witch hazel helps dry it out.

      My doctors still haven’t seen me. I called 2-3 times asking if I need to come in, and nothing. Just waiting for my next appointment because my blood test for my liver was fine. I know I have it.

      May Lindstrom Blue Cocoon has provided the most relief, but it is so expensive. $180 for my face cream… but Blue Tansy has strong healing properties, I need to try anything. I am taking Dandelion capsules too and not sure if that helps. I need lose clothing which is difficult when I am working and wearing my over the belly pregnancy pants.

      It is horrible. But my husband also says “it will make you stronger.” Not what I want to hear but we shall see.

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  • I am 36 weeks and suffering from this rash. It is very miserable and I feel like nobody really understands just how miserable it is. I have tried all the creams.. cortisone 10 helps for a little while and coconut oil.. also, aveeno eczema therapy seems to help a bit. I finally broke down to my OB after nights of barley getting any sleep and he prescribed methyprednisolone. It seems to help a bit.. but, at night it’s worse and nothing helps. I am really ready to have my baby… not just because I’m ready to hold her.. but, this rash is debilitating. So glad I found this post. I plan on trying grandpas pine tar soap. 4 ish more weeks or so to deal with this…

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  • I am reading this after just having gotten two cold showers. It’s 3am. I’m tired, I’m itchy, and I’m totally bummed out. Thank you for writing this. I am glad to see that there is a light at the end of the itchy rash tunnel when it seems never ending.

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  • So comforting knowing other people have dealt with this I am only 29 weeks and cannot imagine how I will deal with this for 11 more weeks. Did the rash start as almost clear bumps under the skin. That’s what mine are they are super itchy and sore then I scratch and then bust and give small relief but startitching again right away. I have tried all of these remedies and so far polysporin anti itch has helped but it’s like a layer of skin once it dries and then after awhile it starts to peel leaving a huge mess on everything. Thanks ladies for the inspiration to keep going and not give up. Strep throat puppp rash yeast infection and hemroids all at once if more then I was ready to deal with but if it doesn’t kill me it’ll make me.stronger I hope

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  • As I’m sitting here scratching the living shit out of myself and of course can’t sleep because of the itch! Mine started around week 36 anddddd I’m 2 weeks out from having little man on the 8th and it got worse AFTER I had him!!! During the pregnancy it was just the stretch marks and I mean come on-WORST ITCH EVER even on “just the stretch marks.” After I had him I got it on my arms back butt thighs chest; you know the drill. Tried aveno baths, grandpa soap, Benadryl, Sarna lotion, steroid shot&spill and of course no relief. At this point luckily it’s only terrible at night but still. Who wants this crap?! It’s awful. Babies asleep and I should be too! But instead I’m sitting here like a drug addict scratching away

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  • Has anyone experienced PUPPS early on? I have had a rash since about 5 weeks… and I am currently 21 weeks. I was diagnosed today with PUPPS, and really haven’t found any relief (other than ice packs, briefly). It is so bad at night. It makes me pretty anxious thinking that I will have this for the remainder of my pregnancy… has anyone else had this experience? The itching is driving me crazy.

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    • Yes since 6 weeks. It’s terribly uncomfortable, rattles any sanity you have left in the middle of the night. I can’t imagine it throughout pregnancy but not hopeful it will go away. It’s s very lonely experience to go through as it’s hardly dangerous to mom or baby, making it less socially empathic in a way. It sucks. Trying acupuncture as well as the tar soap and other topical remedies for any longer term relief. It’s awful.

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    • I also started early, 11 weeks, and because of that my OB won’t even consider it to be PUPPPS. He also said since it’s not on my stomach, only my hips and upper legs it can’t be PUPPPS. I am currently 16 weeks and can’t imagine going through the whole pregnancy like this! Did you experience any relief?

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      • Hi everyone,
        This will be my second pregnancy and first time experiencing Puppps( I think it’s puppps). My rash started at 15 weeks and it started in my arms and has slowly progressed to my under arms, boobies, stomach, bikini lines and inner thighs. I’m currently 20 weeks and looked diseased! I have a dermatologist appointment next week to see what’s going on. I haven’t been officially diagnosed with Puppps but I feel like it is. I’m currently using Caladryl and it helps but not all day long. Thank you for all your remedies… I will give them all a try and hope to be less miserable.

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    • I am 15 weeks and I have Pupps! Omg what a l gong to do! I’m miserable.

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    • Hi..now i feel you..i started to have this on week 18, now i’m week 20 and really i can’t imagine how am I supposed to go through this for another 20 weeks..can you share your story? I’m currently live in Indonesia which i can’t found such things like the soap, avenoo oatmeal bath,etc..it make me feel so vulnerable.. i cannot sleep every night, just want to scratch my body but trying not to do it.

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  • I have an 18 month old son, and I had PUPPPs while pregnant with him. I got it around 37-38 weeks of pregnancy and ended up being induced because of the PUPPPs at 39 weeks and 5 days. I just couldn’t take it anymore. Literally could not function. My ankles were so swollen with a huge, poison-ivy-like rash that I couldn’t wear most of my pants, and barely fit into slippers (forget shoes, not even close). In all my pictures of me holding my newborn son, you can see my hands and arms puffy and covered in the rash. The last two weeks of my pregnancy were pure hell, but it was only two weeks. Now, I’m almost 34 weeks pregnant with my second son, and I am getting PUPPPs again. I am so upset! I could seriously cry and probably will very soon. It’s not that terrible yet but I know where this is heading. Everything I had read online was that “PUPPPs does not tend to reoccur in subsequent pregnancies”. But I started to feel itchy last week and at my appointment, my doctor said there is no medical reason it can’t happen again. I am already now taking an extra shower per day, using the pine tar soap, but nothing else I have tried (and I tried it all last time) to moisturize it helps at all. In fact, I feel the moisturizers only suffocate it and make it more itchy. My favorite thing to use so far is aloe. It’s not a miracle drug or anything but it does soothe it a bit. I was using calamine lotion, which felt good, but my skin was starting to crack under it, so I stopped. I probably applied it too often. I have read some recommendations for gold bond medicated powder and gold bond medicated lotion. I haven’t tried these yet, but they will be next on my list. I’ll let everyone know if they help. Because I have no idea how I will survive this for over 6 more weeks.

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  • Thanks so much for posting this. I am in a same boat, I started having PUPPS around 35 weeks and now I am 38 weeks 4 days, they dont induced until i am 39 weeks and I have no sign of labor at all. I am having a boy as well, I have been through a lot for this entire pregnancy but pupps is the worst part.I hope no one ever have to suffer from it. Just counting my days and hoping that It wil go away once i deliver him

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  • Just out of curiosity, because I’ve been diagnosed with the pupps all 6 of my pregnancies…and I am A- blood type so I’ve had to have rogham every time, and coincidently the rash never starts until right after my shot. So my question is if anyone else has had a rogham around the time their rash started, maybe their is some connection?!?

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    • I had puppp during my 1st pregnancy with my son back in 2002. Went through all that you wrote about as well & took 6 weeks after birth to go away 🙁 thankfully I was blessed not to have again with my next 3 pregnancies. I did read that it is more common to get when pregnant with a boys….and I see a trend with your readers that they had sons. Great blog, wish I had that back then.

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  • Hello, thanks for sharing. I am at 9th month of pregnancy, starting of 8th month was worst as I started itching my whole body & got to know I had pupp rash.

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  • I got relief by applying fresh aloe vera juice. Waiting for delivery now..

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  • Did your stretch marks (where the rash formed) go away after birth?

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  • I am 20 weeks and 3 days pregnant, and have come to the conclusion I have PUPPPs. :((( I don’t know how I am going to get through 20 more weeks of this. It has only been about 5 days with this stupid rash and all I have done is cry :((( I feel so helpless and my Dr. isn’t very encouraging. I have tried the oat meal bath and aloe vera gel with lidocaine in it.. which has helped a little bit. But I work 40 hours a week, and it has been the hardest thing to get through. I just need support right now. I feel like there is no light at the end of this dark itchy tunnel.

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  • Thank you so much for posting your experience. It literally sums every damn thing I’ve been going through and feeling to a T. I’m 38+3 today and my puppps probably showed up 2 weeks ago and got really severe Really fast. I feel alone because I don’t think people get it unless they have been through it. Your article gives me more comfort and hope, thank you so much.

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  • Oops my only question is, did pine tar soap make it worse ever? I got some bexause many people swear by it but I only used it once in a cool shower (and I applied it for a LONG time) and after I came out I was burning so bad I just laid on the couch and stared at a wall.. my hubby was very concerned lol . I’m afraid to use it again, but oatmeal baths seen to help..

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  • Im only 13 weeks and have developed a severe case of this its under my breasts on my fingers my arms my thighs, I am dying here (not literally) I cannot deal with this anylonger I feel miserable and it just burns I cant help scratch the shoot out of it but it seems to only help a sec, then it just gets worse and worse

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  • I feel for every woman out there that has/had this. I’m currently 35 weeks and 4 days with my first. It started around 2-3 weeks ago on my belly right on my stretch marks. It was itchy like crazy and very inflamed and red. There were tiny red bumps right on my stretch marks. I was using Palmer’s Cocoa Tummy Butter at the time thinking it was helping me with the stretch marks… (I have alot). How wrong was I! I couldn’t take the heat and discomfort anymore so I stopped applying the tummy butter. I just wanted my skin to ‘breathe’. So I swapped out to using oatmeal lotion. Within a couple of days my stretch marks were less red. Sure I was still itchy like crazy with small red bumps, but at least I could visibly see improvement. My tummy slowly got better and started to itch less and I thought “Oh maybe I don’t have PUPPP afterall!” Alas I was mistaken… My thighs started to itch around 1 week ago and now I look like some disease carrying lump. It’s spreading to my bottom, arms and feet too. I can resist scratching during the day and take 3 cold showers daily with Aveeno Oatmeal body wash. Which really helps relieve the itching for a bit. But as soon as it’s bed time and I lay down, the itching starts. I believe it’s because of the heat (even though I have the air con on 24/7 otherwise I just can’t function). The side I’m laying on starts itching like crazy within minutes because the body heat can’t escape. I wear very limited clothing now as I just can’t stand the feeling of cloth on skin right now as it heats me up and makes me more itchy. I’ve tried creams which seem to help during the day but at night it does jack all. Also tried antihistamine tablets which don’t seem to help at all. I scratch like crazy during the night because I just can’t take it. And I’ve found if I scratch for a good 10-15 minutes or so the itchiness will go away for a couple of hours so I can at least have some sleep. I keep my nails sort and file them so they’re blunt so at least when I scratch I don’t break skin and bleed. Unfortunately this just means when morning comes and I inspect myself the rash is visibly way worse because of all the scratching I’ve done. I truly want to enjoy my pregnancy but I just want it to be over already. I’m miserable and cry often because of this. My husband tries his best to be comforting and give me support but I feel like he doesn’t fully understand what it’s like. Thankyou for posting this as it gives me comfort that I’m not alone.

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  • I am so blessed and happy that I have came across your story. I am going through exactly what you went through. I am 36 weeks pregnant and everything you mentioned, I am going through. Thanks for making me feel normal!!

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  • I’m currently 31 weeks today, the rash started up about 2-3 weeks ago, this is my second child. And I’ve had PUPPPS for BOTH of my pregnancies now. I remember crying to my dr. The first time I had it 4 years ago and he said there’s nothing really you can do for it except wait to give birth, but the good news is you probably won’t get this again next time. BS! Here I am suffering again and this time I’m having a girl. I’ve tried every kind of remedy that I’ve read about online and nothing truely works. I’m miserable because I can’t even enjoy being pregnant, and getting this rash a second time has totally ruined the experience for me. I won’t have any more children after this one because I know I’ll get PUPPPS again.

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  • Ugh!!! Same boat! About 3/4 weeks ago (around 28 weeks) I had it and it was soooo bad. It finally subsided around 30 weeks. I’m now at 32 weeks and this beast is coming back! It so frustrating and nothing helps the itch. Nobody understands and it is so stressful. I’m trying so hard not to scratch but it’s sooooo hard. It itches so so bad. And this is only day 2 of it coming back. I hope it doesn’t get really bad. I already want to cry over it and my shower is in less than 2 weeks :((((( I really do t want to be miserable for that. I’m trying grandpa old pine tar soap but do t notice anything yet. Help me

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  • PUPPPS has seriously knocked me on my ass. I was dealing okay with all the normal crap of pregnancy (morning sickness, fatigue, swelling) and working full time. Then, at 39 weeks this nightmare rash happened all over my stomach, and legs. I was planning on working up until going into labor, but I had to stop at 40 weeks because of this. I am just so grateful I am being induced at 41 weeks in a couple of days because I haven’t slept in a couple of weeks and I know I will get more sleep with a newborn than I’ve been able to get with this rash. (This is my second child and I can honestly say I’ve been getting less sleep with PUPPPS than I got with a newborn). The only temporary relief I get is from oatmeal baths, and hydrocortisone and cocoa butter sometime seem to work during the daytime. I tried to bring up my pain to my ob/gyn when it first got really bad, thinking they could possibly prescribe something stronger than the usual anti-itch cream, but they just waved it away and said “well, you’ll have your baby soon.” I get that their greatest concern is the baby and mine is too, but it would have been nice to receive a little empathy and have some sort of solution offered by a medical professional. Instead, I have resorted to reading other moms’ posts and blogs to get some useful tips and I find some comfort in knowing I’m not the only one dealing with this. Thank you for posting. It has been very helpful.

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  • Hi, I too went through this miserable rash on my 33rd week of pregnancy with my son (2007) and after trying EVERYTHING… my mom’s first suggestion for relief (which I did not believe and use until all else failed) was corn starch. It was the only thing that consistently helped me through this ordeal. Hate it when my mom is right. But thankful that it worked cause I was at the point that I would catch myself using my dinner fork to lightly scratch my tummy (unconsciously that is) 😣

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  • You nailed it, you have described everything I am going thru right now. its 3am and im still scratching. i feel so awful because i am a working mom that live in a tropical country. so the daily heat makes everything worst.
    i was excited with my coming baby when this itch started and i lost connection with my ptegnancy. i have tons of things to prepare but has no energy to start anything. i feel bad when people stares at me and feels like i have a disease that is contagious. you can see them looking at you like you ate the most dirty person they have known. the heat exhausts me. my rashes is now dry, the only effective relief i tried was taking antihistamine, which takes effect after 2 hours, and gives temporary relief, just enough to make me sleep atleast 4 hours at.night. all those creams has temporary of no longer than 15minutes.
    i got emotional on this. the rash on my arms dried and the dead skin are starting to worn off and i wonder if i peel this, will it come back since i still have 4weeks till i deliver my baby. the fresh born puppps on my legs and feet are more itchy, i scratched some and left me with lil bruises and cuts that is very swollen i can barely walk. i wonder whats the healing process of this after the delivery?

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  • This is now the second time I am coming back to read your blog post because it makes me feel like I can do this. Tomorrow is one week since my PUPPPs rash developed. It was so bad last night that I woke up itching my right hip side so bad that I almost threw up and started convulsing/shaking so bad because of the pain. I ended up pulling my round ligaments and now have another pain to deal with. This is the worst thing ever and I know it will all be worth it in the end but it is just so damn tough. J found comfort last night in knowing I’m not alone in this. Thank you for your post and all those who have also shared their story in the comments.

    I’m 37.5 weeks and am hoping for an induction next week because of the severity! I never thought I would wish for an induction but I don’t know how much longer until I break.

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  • I’m 35 weeks & just figured out I have PUPPS a few miserable days ago. I had never heard of it & has been awful! A couple of things I have found that give me some relief are oatmeal baths & essential oils- lavender, eucalyptus, & especially peppermint oil (cooling effect, almost feels like an ice pack all over).

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    • Hi April,
      Yes! I used essential oils when it started developing during my 2nd pregnancy and it helped tremendously. I have been working on the follow up to this post and hopefully will get it up soon!

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  • Hi, I know no one has commented on this post for a while but I thought I could share my story (as I’m sitting here itching my left side). I got PUPPS between 37 and 38 weeks pregnant with my daughter. All of the “causes” they think didn’t apply to me (having a boy, multiples, being overweight at the start of pregnancy) so I was really frustrated that I was one of the lucky 1% who got it. Nothing helped me whatsoever. I was tried prescription and OTC hydrocortisone creams, Zyrtec, pine tar soap, calemine lotion, aloe, apple cider vinegar, coconut oil, cold showers, ice packs. The only thing that made it go away was having my baby. My husband said while I was in labor it started going away (although I didn’t notice). By the time she was born, it was totally gone (I ended up having a c section.)

    We thought my days of PUPPS hell was in my past, until about 2 weeks ago (5 weeks postpartum) my stretch marks on my upper thighs started to itch and got red and inflamed. My midwife said it isn’t PUPPS since you don’t get it postpartum even though I knew exactly what it was when it started. I went to the dermatologist at 6.5 weeks pregnant and it was confirmed what I already knew- PUPPS postpartum-UGH!!!!! I received a large cortisone shot that she said I would start feeling the effects of in 4-5 days. Today is the end of day 4 and nothing so far. In fact, since going, it has spread like wildfire, even to my palms!! I am completely miserable, again, but now even more covered than when I had it about 2 months ago. It’s spread to places I didn’t have I last time, and oddly enough so far where I had it previously aren’t affected. This rash is the worst. I feel alone with it. No one I know has had it and no one really gets it. As I have it postpartum, I have no idea when it will go away. I have actual blisters this time that I didn’t have last time. It’s truly miserable. I am embarrassed to go outside because of how horrible it looks, like I have an infectious disease. I find myself telling people I’m near, “don’t worry it’s not contagious” because of how terrible it looks. Any support anyone can offer, I would greatly appreciate. This rash SUCKS!!

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    • HI Emily,
      I am so sorry this is happening postpartum. Could you please shoot me an email at ria@cutemomblog.com? I would love to offer some extra support as I developed PUPPPS my second pregnancy as well and used a natural oil remedy to help keep it at bay and it really made a huge difference. I have been working on the blog post for the updated options but haven’t finished it! I will try to send an email you provided so also try to check your spam if you don’t see it! xoxo hold your head up dear and just hold that sweet baby a little closer and maybe it will help subside some of the miserableness

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    • I am currently 3 weeks postpartum and my PUPPPS has returned with a vengeance after being induced at 39 weeks due to its severity from 36 weeks on. It seemed to get better in the first two weeks after pregnancy, then this past Sunday I started to itch again on my thighs and hips. Now the rash is covering my thighs, hips, buttocks, and arms. I even find my lower legs and abdomen itching, Whig is where I had it previously. How long did postpartum PUPPPS last for you? I’m feeling so discouraged and exhausted from having a newborn and this rash. Hoping for relief soon.

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    • I don’t know if you’re going to see this I hope you do! I got this my last pregnancy , looks like we had our babies around the same time( June 19 2018 for me ) and I went thru exactly what u did and when I had her it was like a switch was turned and poof it was gone , no more itching .. Then as it was in your story at some point post partum (I dont recall the exact dates ) it started to return !!! I think it was prob around 5-6 weeks post partum which makes sense bc that’s when your milk supply tends to be established fully. And to make matters worse I also developed a severe case of “breastfeeding acne” this was like teenager acne , horrible unruly acne , deep cystic painful bumps, my skin was lik an oil field . I’ve never suffered from acne in my life I’ve had some mild usually pre-period breakouts from time to time but nothing that couldn’t be managed w some otc in the spot acne cream. I finally subscribed to proactive and it worked , I started clearing up as did the scarring on my arms and legs from my pregnancy pupps (I was still getting it but after I started my babe on solids at 6 1/2 mos it was there but was more mild so I just dealt with it)
      But man when it returned post partum I could’ve just cried —-
      Hours of itching daily especially at night ! It made me so depressed bc I literally had no free time to myself except the few hours at night when my girls were asleep before I had to go to sleep for the night & I generally spent 3/4 of that time just going from spot to spot itching!!! One spot would stop and another would start like fire ! Every night I’d promise I’d not waste precious time itching but I always did . I found a few moms in a breastfeeding group I’m in who experienced the same thing and apparently when you are nursing since it involves similar hormones as pregnancy it can trigger it — I wouldn’t have it all day but would be worst at night and while nursing , especially if a bare part of my body was touching hers (usually this would be on my legs or belly ) she’s now 14 mos old and I’m pregnant again (about 6 1/2 weeks along ) and literally this was my first symptom way that the PUPPS kicked back into full gear now it’s my tummy and breasts constantly and when they are “calm” it’s my arms and legs .. I keep stopping this reply to scratch over and over . The good news is that the pregnancy seems to have somewhat put the brakes on my acne . I’ve been using the proactive system since February and it’s the only thing that’s worked I’ve tried stopping after I’ve completely cleared a couple times (or I’ve ran out days to weeks before my next shipment and within 4 days or so it’s like I never used the proactive and the acne Is so bad I’d need clown paint to cover it lol ) now that I’m pregnant I have a couple pimples but I’ve been out of proactive for a little over a month now and my skin isn’t super greasy or broken out And I’m not even using otc acne products (just a gentle moisturizer and exfoliating cleanser ) and thank goodness for that bc the rest of my body looks like I’m either on crack or have a severe bedbug infestation bc is red bumpy And scabbed .. no fun the only comfort I take into this pregnancy is now I know what is wrong with me bc my last pregnacy I couldn’t get any answers and and was finally able to self diagnose when it returned post partum by some posts and chats with moms in my breastfeeding group. I’m curious to see how you’re doing & if you too were nursing (just like there’s apparently no 100% cause for the pupps during pregnancy there’s even less info about it during breastfeeding ) I’m also curious to see if yours went away and if you found any different solution that offered releif .. I hope your well and finally were able to overcome this rash , really only fellow puppps sufferers can really empathize about this I don’t think anyone else can truly understand – I try to explain it as “that one itch you get on your foot or back that just makes you want to crawl out of your skin until you scratch the crap out of it to stop so you did then it’s gone , well this is exactly like that but theres 100s of those “itches” and it just doesn’t stop and Is all over your body .. anyway if you do get this and have the time to reply I’d truly appreciated it , your reply doesn’t have to be a novel like mine is lol. Thanks so much !

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  • I had PUPPPS with my son from 37 weeks to 39 weeks (induced) – and went away right after delivery. Now with my daughter I have developed full on postpartum PUPPPS at 6 weeks, and so much worse than my first text around: hands, feet, legs, butt, breasts, stomach, ears, face…all while chasing a two year old around and caring for a newborn. It’s unbearable. I write this at 2:15am after a nursing session barely able to hold my daughter from the itching. My Dr prescribede predisone which she said is fine for BF, it gives me relief for a few hours and then when night came, I’m miserable again. Struggling so much emotionally and physically. Will try all your suggestions here.

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  • Hi, I am 22weeks and was diagnosed by a dermatologist at 20 weeks with PUPPPs. The dermatologist has me doing phototherapy 3 times a week, applying a special cream, keeping my body moisturized and short warm to cold showers. But I’m still itchy. It started on my thighs, then stomach, boobs and now it almost all over my body. The phototherapy helps the day of but when it comes to night time I get so itchy. The only thing that allows me to sleep for a while is Benadryl which I take one almost every night. I can’t believe I have to live with this until I give birth. It’s nice to read that I am not alone, I had never heard of this before and this is my 4th pregnancy. Ria thank you for the laugh “allergic to my baby”. There really is no explanation to why we break out in this horrible rash. I call it “the never ending chicken pox”. That’s how I feel, like I have a bad case of chicken pox. I will try the Grandpa’s pine tar soap and see if that can sooth the itch for a while. Wishing everyone that is dealing with this rash lots of strength and please do the same for me.

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  • I had this with my second pregnancy (2nd boy) at 36 weeks. I’m now pregnant again (3rd pregnancy) and I’m only 16 weeks and have the rash AGAIN! THIS EARLY. 🙁 I’m using grandpas pine tar soap and some anti ich lotions, aveeno lotion, and aloe. I’m praying for relief sooooon. I cant take this for another 23 weeks! 🙁

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  • I’m in so much discomfort. I want to itch my lower tummy to no end. It’s become difficult to ignore. It started about 32 weeks and feel worse each day. It’s a warm burning fiery itch that just lingers. Just bought some calamine lotion today and been moisturizing regularly and attempting to use ice packs. I’ll try a bath this weekend with some oatmeal. I can’t believe I still have 6 weeks to go. I hope this doesn’t get worse. Thanks for writing about this. I’m trying to muster up the strength to be strong.

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  • It is so comforting to read that other mums have gone through this and are going through this because in my misery I know that I am not alone! However, I am currently only 23 weeks and the rash has taken over most of my body, having started at 13 weeks! I am terrified that it will only get even worse and I’m just not going to be able to take much more! I was very concerned there was some issue with my liver function as I started to notice the rash, so I went to the doctors who diagnosed Puppp immediately but dismissed any problem with liver function (without doing any tests)! No one understands how much I’m suffering, although when I saw my sister last she exclaimed “What the hell is that???” As I showed her my mass of lumpy red and purple hives and blisters the size of a dinner plate that was taking over my lower abdomen, hip and spreading down my legs, which can only be described as a mound! My chest, neck, arms, upper torso, back, both legs and sides of my feet are just covered in tiny pin pricks that both sting and itch simultaneously 24/7! Has anyone ever heard of PUPPP starting in someone so early? Not one of my friends or family members have heard of it before. I don’t fit into any of the categories that I have spent endless hours researching; this is not my first child, it is not a multiple pregnancy, it started at 13 weeks (yes, I am thoroughly fed up and irritable! My husband truly deserves a medal for putting up with me), and it didn’t start on my abdomen, it actually started under my right arm! Yet any liver concern was dismissed outright by the doctor! I think I need to go back to the doctors, but what do I say? Any advice would be much appreciated please! I really am struggling to remain any kind of sane, however, I don’t want to succumb to hating my pregnancy because my husband and I struggled for 4 years to conceive and in that time I have fought and won a 3 year battle with cancer, so this pregnancy really is a miracle! I don’t generally complain as a rule because I have had many many struggles in the past, I am perceived by everyone as a very strong woman; I was paralyzed from a severe head injury in an RTA at 18 months old in 1985, I then had 17 years of intense physio and osteopathy so I could use my limbs relatively normally and live an independent life, I then developed a blood clot in my brain at the age of 20, was diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of 29, cancer at the age of 32 and had my last operation of 5 in April this year. Therefore, I know I can get through this, but I don’t want to be so miserable and irritable, and subsequently make everyone else miserable too!

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  • My OB didn’t know what this was and sent me to a dermatologist who knew it was PUPPPs right away. Started about 35 weeks with the tummy stretch marks and its spread down my arms and legs, it seems to spread overnight to a new spot. There isn’t much room left on my body that isn’t affected. It’s been 2 weeks of hell and has only got worse. Dermatologist got me a jar of steroid cream and recommended putting CeraVe itch relief lotion over that. Now I’m just clammy and itchy but it does help! I reapply 2-3 times a day and for now, it is bearable but if it gets worse I don’t know how I’ll function. I did try CBD oil, lavender, nettle, dandelion, tea tree oil, tar soap, Sarna lotion, etc. the only slight relief was from peppermint because it has the cooling effect. It is so depressing when you’re floating through a pregnancy and then this shit happens and no one can comprehend the discomfort mentally and physically it has on you. I’m really hoping baby girl comes soon to help relieve this and that it doesn’t come back PP! More research should be put into this miserable condition…

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  • I have just been diagnosed by a dermatologist with PEP. The rash has been truly hurrendous to deal with, not helped by the fact I spent 2.5 months seeing a total of 8 health professionals to get an accurate diagnosis (1 obstetric registrar, 2 obstetric doctors, 3 GPs, 1 midwife, then finally a dermatologist). Not one of the former 7 health professionals could accurately tell me what my rash was. The rash covers my abdomen, back, thighs, legs and arms (it’s a classic case according to my dermatologist). I was told alsorts from ‘not sure what it is’, to infected eczema, an allergic reaction, pityrisis rosacea (!!??) and chronic idiopathic urticaria. I was given alsorts of inappropriate medication too eg several rounds of different antibiotics which obviously did nothing for my condition or my sanity! I have been surviving on 2 hours of sleep a night (if I’m lucky) and have cried many times and felt as if I’m on the verge of a breakdown. I’ve also been housebound by it and had to cancel various plans because I’ve been too uncomfortable/ itchy to go. I am also self employed and it’s had a huge impact on my income as I’ve not been able to work. My husband has to also sleep in a different room as I would keep him awake all night with my itching. I have now seen a dermatologist who’s prescribed a strong cortisteroid which is helping with the itch (early days though) and they are now looking into a drug called Telfast (a strong antihistamine). I empathise with anyone who has this illness. For me half the battle has been finding a doctor that knows what they’re talking about. I am shocked at how little is known and understood about this condition, my experience of it has been quite debilitating. If you suspect PEP but you keep getting fobbed off, then ask to see a specialist/dermatologist to ensure you’re getting an accurate diagnosis and the appropriate treatment – this goes for any ailment though! I am now 36 weeks pregnant so not much longer to go but worry that I will be too exhausted for labour. I pray that this horrid thing disappears after I’ve given birth and never to return. For anyone who is reading this, hang in there, you’re not alone.

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  • Last week week at 21 weeks pregnant I started to itch behind my knees. Then it spread to my ankles, thighs, arms, belly, lower back and bum. At first I chalked it up to dry skin and having to turn on our heat. It’s kept me awake for the past 3 nights. At first I couldn’t see anything on the skin but now I see little red bumps and my skin feels bumpy and irritated. I took two blood tests, one to check my liver function which came out fine and the other to check my bile acids which I’m waiting for the results. My doctor wants to rule out cholestasis which can be harmful to the baby come 37 weeks. I have a feeling it’s PUPPPs. Night is the worst and i was prescribed an antihistamine but it hasn’t helped. I’ve ordered pine tar soap, dandelion root tea, mount rainier soap and anti itch cream. Hoping something works as I’m not sure how to mentally handle another 18 weeks of this.

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  • Hi i am only 13 weeks and i have it so bad how will i cope to 40 weeks with no help from gp pr hospital 😓😓😓😓

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  • I am 35 weeks and this rash started last week. From stretch marks on tummy to my legs and bums.
    Doctor said its not harmful to the baby, and asked me to use over the counter 1% hydroxycortisone. It did not help at all.
    Yesterday I applied a few drops of Tea Tree oil in a cup of coconut. I hope it will help this rash from hell to stop spreading. I felt a little relief from itching as well.

    Taking baths also help, as I feel i feel better in days, worst at night. I am planning oatmeal baths soon. And as my maternity leaves starts in a few days, I plan to take showers 4 times a day.

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  • Greetings from Singapore!
    I’m having this PUPP now,started at 23 weeks! whole body having this.
    I cry much when I have to stay home and hibernate. Super uncomfortable for me to walk around the mall as it’s always sunny here. stumble upon your block,nice reading it.
    We just got to be strong till the end 🙂

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  • Finally someone that understands.. I been googling eveything and had to also self diagnose, it’s been 3weeks and the rash is only getting worse I feel I’m going to go crazy 😭 I’m 38weeks now I really don’t want to provoke labor (inducing) but it my moment of pain which is every 30 minutes or every 2hours I seriously welcome the thought. My doctor is waiting on blood lab results to see if my bile acid levels are abnormal she thinks all I have is PUPPS but if it’s the liver I’ll have to be induced. Idk what else to do anymore I’m going to try that soap and coconut oil, I’ve tried everything and it’s not working

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  • I am 32 weeks pregnant and for around 2 months i been itching so bad I cry I can’t sleep my baby daddy says it’s my imagination. But there’s sores coming up all over my body even in my crack. All I can do is scratch n it’s so much worse at night. Someone help

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  • Im 31 weeks pregnant and also have PUPPPS. It has now spread behind my ears after I picked one and it leaked clear fluid. I wish I didn’t start scratching so badly in the beginning. Mine started out on my back around an old scar and then moved to my lower belly. My back cleared up for a week or two and is now back with a vengeance.

    For those who had it post-delivery, do you still have it now? Will it ever go away?

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  • It was a relief just to read this even to be able to say ‘me too!’ and feel the emotional support!
    I am 17 weeks 6 days pregnant and have had ‘the rash’ since the beginning of week 6. I have another 5 months of this itching insane mind boggling hell! Im so afraid of when stretch marks come to plague me!
    Mine is not as deeply severe as Ive seen in some photos online but it looks identical to yours, and is now turning darker red, and started on my tummy and has spread EVERYwhere except my face (so, including right down my arms and legs!)
    The problem is Im English but live in China with my Chinese husband and they dont sell antihistamines, creams, that awesome looking pine soap or basically ANYTHING you could ever suggest. In fact the doctors dont seem to have heard of anything like PUPPP and have put it down to dry winter weather and I should drink lots of hot water and stay indoors. Help!
    Ive definitely made it worse with all my scratching, I look like Ive been attacked by a cat because I keep scratching in my sleep and leaving huge long nail marks everywhere! But then again like you said about the loafer, MAN does it feel awesome even for ten seconds!
    This is my first pregnancy, and besides this hellish rash Ive had an amazing time, morning sickness was bare minimum, nausea but never once throwing up, Ive been very tired at times but handling it, baby started properly kicking at 17 weeks and is now having dance parties at all hours which is SO exciting, and I started to show very very early so I feel so proud to show my bump off! Peeing constantly drives me nuts but I am just loving being pregnant so far, and if I could find any solution to this rash Id do anything for it.
    I really appreciate your post though and you pictures are really lovely! We mums are all in this together now no matter what!

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  • I thought i was alone in this battle… i started having this at 14 weeks and i am on my 26 weeks now 😔 3 more months to deal with this. I have done everything for relief ( been using coal tar soap as pine tar soap is not available from where i live, been putting aloe gel and cocoa butter lotion but will just work for a few minutes then ill start scratching again 😭) been taking zyrtec evrynight as it gets worst in the night but it didnt help me at all 😫 i feel so bad that i feel like i wanted to scartch my skin till it bleeds 😭…

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  • I’m 3.5 years out from my one and only delivery of a healthy boy. My PUPPPS showed up sometime during the last month of pregnancy and took a long time to clear up after the birth, maybe a month but I’m not sure. I’m terrified reading you ladies are getting this a second time. I’ve been betting on the whole “low incidence of repeat” phenomenon. Anyways, what I want to know is if anyone else who had PUPPPS, but it has resolved, still gets one single PUPPPS-like rash bump periodically. I get them in the scars of my stretch marks, where the hell all began. It will just show up out of nowhere for part of a day, very itchy, raised and red, then disappear later without treatment. It’s only ever one at a time, and it always seems to be in a different place. It’s not super regular, maybe once a month or once every 3 months even. I just think it’s bizarre. Wondering if anyone else has the same symptom.

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  • Girls, I had this and I totally feel all of your pain. It almost made me suicidal, it is completely insanity inducing! I found something that helps relieve the itching for a few hours and it was a godsend… Use a hairdryer on hot/warm setting on the rash, moving it in circular motions so you don’t burn yourself. It will itch like crazy while you do it (this means it’s working!), but it’s weirdly enjoyable, afterwards I used to get about 6 hours relief from the itching before I had to do it again. Hope this helps someone!

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  • Thank you for writing this article. It gives me a glimmer of hope knowing that I am not alone in this. I was diagnosed with PUPPP yesterday (after self-diagosing) by a dermatologist. I’m currently 36 weeks and 4 days. I cannot imagine having this start any sooner, so my heart goes out to all the other mamas suffering. I’ve tried so many recommendations to find relief. I have it pretty bad at this point – I’m literally covered in the rash everywhere except my chest and face. It started on my stomach around my stretch marks and within two days was everywhere else on my body. I was prescribed a mild steroid cream as well as to use aveeno anti-itch. The oatmeal baths feel great while I’m in them, but the itchiness comes back as soon as I dry off. It was also recommended that I take Claritin during the day as well as Benedryl around the clock. A friend of mine (who is a midwife) suggested that gut health could be the culprit and recommended I start a priobiotic. She also recommended brewing chamomile tea and keeping it in a bowl in the fridge. Then as needed, dipping a wash cloth in the tea and using it as a cold compress. I will be trying this tomorrow. Good luck to all you ladies and keep your chin up!

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  • I am 21 weeks 4 days and this rash showed up after my work out today. I reasoned that the hot shower after the workout or possibly the extremely dry winter weather lead to this rash but I have a feeling it is PUPPPS. I am seriously discouraged and disheartened as it is all over my abdomen, upper thighs, breast’s and bum…God give us strength and healing.

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  • Just past midnight here and I am so grateful for this post and all the comments on it. Overall, I felt I had an easier pregnancy. Minimal morning sickness, never needed to throw up. I had really sore aches and pains but, aside from that I felt really lucky. Then, my stretch marks started itching.

    This is my first pregnancy and I’m expecting a baby girl. I started noticing around 33 weeks that I had those clear centered red dots in my stretch marks and just like the many others, I thought it was heat rash in an unfortunate area. I applied cocoa butter a million times a night and talked with my doctor the next time I saw her. She just said that stretchmarks can get itchy and told me to use hydrocortisone cream. I went through that in like three days and it never truly helped.

    I bought Pine Tar soap and I shower or bathe two times a day. At 37 weeks, I have huge red slotches all down my shins, the tops of my feet, the backs of my thighs, my tummy, all up my arms, on my underarms, and just this evening my husband confirmed it had spread to my back. I’m not entirely sure if itching makes it spread because I tried very hard the first week once I found it on my tummy to try and keep from itching anywhere else. Then again, that was back when I could sleep a few hours at a time, so who knows if I was scratching while was sleeping.

    The second time I saw my doctor was three days ago and she confirmed that it was definitely Pupps but gave me nothing for it. She told me to use unscented eczema creams mixed with tea tree and peppermint. I haven’t tried mixing the peppermint in yet, mainly because I’ve started losing faith that anything will work.

    I take Benadryl at night and it doesn’t help. I’m still up every hour slathering whatever part itches in Eucerin Baby eczema relief lotion, trying to roll over to sleep, only to get caught in the cool sheets and blankets. Then I get up an hour later to use the restroom, and start the slathering process on the new itchy spot.

    Even after reading all the comments and posts, I still find the hardest part of all of this is the isolation it had given me. No one I know has suffered from this. 1/160 chance of getting it. Lucky us. The rash is embarrassing on top of being unbearable. I have to cover myself from the neck down just to feel like I’m not going to stick out like a pariah. Then, I rush back home to rip all my clothes off from the itch being irritated by the clothes. It’s really discouraging to only have short term solutions for the itching and to want to hide under a rock for how I look. The pregnancy glow wasn’t supposed to be like this.

    The depression has set in and I breakdown once a day now, usually when I can hear my husband snoring on the other side of the bed. I couldn’t imagine having contracted this earlier. Bless those women who got it in the first trimester or had it show up after giving birth. Knowing that my baby girl will be here soon is the only thing to keep me from giving up entirely. As wrong as it sounds, I wish she’d just come already or that they would induce me because I am really struggling to stay positive during all the sleepless nights. Thank you to OP and the rest of the comments. At least I know I’m not alone.

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  • So glad I found this blog! I’m 36 weeks first pregnancy with a boy and literally on the first day of my 36th week I was swollen and itchy down there then subsided in two days used diaper cream and kept the area dry but now I have the rash on my belly my arms, my MD thought it was PUPP but I went in today and was diagnosed with PEP which is polymorphic eruption of pregnancy was prescribed vistaril and triamcinolone. I sympathize with others who experience this earlier bc it is so unbearable and uncomfortable. On top of that none of my friends had this issue so I felt alone and I’m so glad I found this post! It is comforting to know we are not alone. I haven’t tried the medications yet and what seemed to help me was cool showers and even using ice on the rashes seemed to have helped. However like everyone else I’d take a Benadryl before bed and like clockwork around 0300 am I’m wide awake and scratching. It is easier to tell someone to try and not scratch but the reality is it is NOT easy even if it only buys you a few minutes of relief. I was already told if it doesn’t get any better I would have to wait till 38 weeks the least before they’ll consider induction. I ordered the tar soap and the oatmeal soaks from aveeno to see if it helps at all. Good luck everyone and remember God doesn’t give us something we can’t handle I hope some of you find comfort in that.

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  • I’m 5 weeks postpartum and my rash is coming back!
    I got it at 37-38 weeks pregnant (I guess I can call myself lucky it started so late into my pregnancy?).
    It has by far been the worst thing that’s ever happened to me!!! The itching and burning is unbearable.
    Anyway, what really helped me initially before I gave birth was plain old oatmeal. I took oatmeal baths at first but then came up with something that literally saved my life until delivery (in fact, I used this treatment in the hospital too since the antihistamines and anti-itch creams they gave me in the hospital didn’t do much).
    I took a thick nylon sock (or cut a piece of a nylon stocking) and put a cup of organic oats in it. I would then rinse it until the white would stop flowing (I sometimes took a bath with it and then used it the way I did until delivery). I would then let it sit for a few minutes and add some hot water and squeeze it until I would get the gray glue like substance which I would smear all over my body for an instant relief every few hours.
    Right after I had my baby, I was prescribed prednisone (40mgx7, 20mgx7, 10mgx7) which helped to get rid of PUPPP. I also used oatmeal and really hot almost scorching shower followed by a rinse of cold water. Worked like MAGIC. Stopped the itch for hours!
    Now that it’s coming back, I’m taking a really hot shower 3x daily with pine tar soap (I leave it on for 5minutes) followed by a rinse of herbs that are good for your skin followed by vanicream (thick layer). I’m also drinking a ton of vegetable juice and freshly pressed carrot juice. I also take 5000 vit D and probiotics religiously. It started coming back almost a week ago and hadn’t progressed much. I’m praying it stays at this stage and goes away soon otherwise steroids it is again, which sucks since I’m breastfeeding 🙁

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  • Thank you for writing this! I really feel relieved to know that I’m not alone. None of the women I know have suffered from PUPPP. It started from my belly in 32nd week of my pregnancy and has spread to my arms and legs.

    Thank you again for the post. Lovely pictures! 🙂

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  • I’m just reading this blog now- but I have to put what I found on the web and what I found brings some relief (currently 3am and I’m 37 weeks with di/di twin girls!). This is pure itch hell!! I’ve broken down a number of times because the itch is so bad! Can’t wait to get these babies out- 1 more week omg!
    I don’t have a visible rash other than my stretch marks becoming bright red the last few weeks. But my arms, but, thighs and back, shins, belly all itch like hell!
    Definitely worse at night. After reading this probably going to jump in the bath. Like I said- its 3am.
    What brings relief for me:
    Aveeno oatmeal body wash. Lather that up all over and just sit and soak.
    Benedryl. Just took some before bed- slept great from 9:30-3 which is just about when it wore off.
    Pine tar soap with oatmeal bar soap. Some relief but you need to pair it with anti itch lotion after your bath.
    Sarna lotion/Aveno poison ivy lotion/Earth’s Care Anti itch cream. Keep this on you at all times and just lather!
    Nettle tea/ dandelion root tea. Made a big pot n not-sure for me- but some people swear by it. Supposed to detox your liver.
    Black cherry juice. Going to buy this tomorrow. Just read some blogs and some people SWEAR this takes away the itch! Very anti inflammatory!
    Hope some of this helps!

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  • It is 3:16 am and I am reading all the stories about PUPPPS. I started having it last week. I am now 39 weeks and 4 days and I should be due in 3 days. I cannot wait for my little girl’s grand entrance. I am here scratching myself though I know I should not. My hands and legs are full of this red rashes and I am so miserable. My pregnancy went by so smoothly. I only puked 3 times and most of the time I was just plain tired. I even had pregnancy rhinitis that to me isn’t as bad now that I have this thing called puppps. I just want my daughter to be born. I’m afraid of the future now since my husband and I want 3 children. I am just praying the itchiness will go away. I cannot take this anymore. I will try the grandpa soap. Oh, I have been using mango butter and so far that has worked a little after applying and “scratching for a good 3 minutes”. Other than that, ice and cold showers work as well. The hydrocortisone 1% did not work at all. 😢 My doctor knew it was PUPPPS the first time I showed her but at this point there is nothing else I can do except for wait.

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  • Hi there, as a fellow “PUPPPS” sufferer, I wish I had seen and read this blog before giving birth to know I wasn’t alone. My daughter is 3 weeks old and I still have a slight case of “PUPPPS”. It’s definitely not as bad as it was at week 37 of my pregnancy. I wouldn’t wish the condition on anyone! Not even my worst enemy! I tried Benadryl cream, spray, cortisone cream and some kind of prescription creams my doctor told me to try. No of those worked. The only thing that “somewhat” gave me any kind of comfort was calamine lotion with aloe in it. I was so miserable and embarrassed with this condition. I, too, felt like some kind of drug attic scratching like crazy and having marks all over my body. Now I will have some scares do to the scratching and reopening of some scabs. Anyways, May God bless you if you end up with “PUPPPS”. Cold air works best, also cold showers/baths. You are in my thoughts and prayers while going through this!

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  • Aloe after sun gel with menthol my God send also pine tar soap

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  • Currently dealing with this now. It. Is. The. Pits. Of. Hell.
    My sweet husband and son have been troopers as I sit here rotating between crying, showering, trying to nap an hour and repeat.
    I agree that creams do absolutely nothing. My midwife put me on a steroid, and I’m not even convinced it’s doing anything. I am going to ask her about Claritin D.
    Thanks for sharing this. I didn’t even know it was a thing till I got it, and everyone is just like “you got this”…#thanksbutnothanks

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  • I am currently 38 weeks and the rash appeared 1.5 weeks ago around my stretch marks. Now, I’ve little bumps all over my belly and it’s spreading to my upper thighs, top of panty line and under my boobs. I look like I’m diseased and contagious. Looking at my rash is upsetting with all the marks and bumps…it looks and feels painful.

    Like everyone here, the itch is unbearable! When it’s flared, I can’t even have any fabric touching my skin …that’s tricky as it’s winter now in New Zealand. I get up in the middle of the night and must have scratched my belly coz when I’m awake, it’s RED and BURNING! I use a cold, wet, soft face cloth to cover my belly (and rub gently for that 5 secs of relief before regretting aggravating it more if I rub too much!) then use the Aloe-based gel (Arbonne Gelee). After using the gel, I blow on my skin or use a fan. The gel really cools the skin down and it feels much better as well as takes the itch and burning sensation away for a few hours so that I can function. I repeat this process when my skin flares up again.

    The rest of my pregnancy was not enjoyable… I’m miserable and am actually looking forward to labour so that this rash goes AWAY!!! Kudos to anyone who suffered from this and choose to go through it again for another child – You are one brave mama!

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