TIP: Dealing with Postpartum PUPPPs (Skin Rash)

Otherwise known as Pruritic Uticarial Papules and Plaques of Pregnancy, this is a severely itchy and painful skin rash that typically affects pregnant women. Lucky for me, I experienced this AFTER I delivered Leah (not before) and boy, was it awful! I can’t even describe how terrible was and how frustrating it was to suffer from this at the same time I was trying to adjust to being a new mom. To give you an idea, it is often compared to chicken pox or poison ivy. I looked up and tried a lot of different remedies including Black Tar Soap, Seabuckthorn Ointment, 0.5% Hydrocortisone Ointment and ice packs. I had these itchy bumps on my stomach, up and down my legs and some even appeared on my upper arms. The rash appeared on my stretch marks and somehow, from all the scratching, even more stretch marks appeared where I had the rash. SIGH.

Of everything I tried, the most effective treatment I found was constant moisturizing of my skin and ice packs. Because I was breastfeeding I couldn’t take antihistamines. It was particularly bad at night so I was in agony during the night time feeds. During these times, I would cool down my burning rash with an ice pack in a pillowcase. It offered a bit of relief but I still scratched like mad. It was so bad that I had bloodstains on my sheets and clothes. I have a new appreciation for women who endured this during their pregnancy… it is really agonizing. It only started to die down 3 months after she was born. Crazy! I hope none of you have to deal with this!

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  1. tracy’s avatar

    I had PUPP’s a few years back after having a c-section and my doctor gave me hormone meds to balance my hormones after having my daughter and it cleared everything up in about a week. My specialist said that it was an em-balance of my hormones since I had my daughter. He fixed it from inside out. You should check with your doctor. A friend of mine just went back on the pill and it helped clear it up. I don’t wish this on anyone. It was a nightmare.

  2. Collett’s avatar

    I have a real bad rash under my arms, and the only thing that’s working for me is baby bum cream. A thick layer, every night and every morning. I hope this helps x

  3. pam’s avatar

    I got this hideous rash at 34 weeks pregnant with my son. It was horrible enough to keep me from ever having more children. LOL Well guess what? I have it again and my son is now 15 and I’m not pregnant!!!! I feel like bawling as I lay here covered in diaper rash creme at the ripe old age of 42 wondering how my perimenopause hormones could have screwed me over like this??? At least last time I had a baby at the end of it…now I’ll probably grow a beard by morning. It seems as though I need to accept that my eggs are shrieking even as we speak, but I had no idea I would ever get this again. ;( ;(

  4. Hilary’s avatar

    I had PUPPS almost 6 years ago while pregnant with my twin girls. I still get symptoms a few weeks before my period that last about 2 weeks. The only area it still affects is under my feet. But, it itches like crazy every month. I am still suffering from this thing with no end in sight. Hang in there!

  5. Elm’s avatar

    I have PUPPs and have a 7 wk old. It came on about two weeks ago, it is just as miserable as people say. Tried pine tar soap and it gave me minimal relief, using pure Shea butter….no relief. Domesboro soaks help a little but it is spreading like a fire. Craziness, any other suggestions? I’m about to peel my skin off.

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