Pregnancy-Related Skin Conditions
Although less common, there are a few skin conditions related to pregnancy:
PUPPP (Pruritic Urticarial Papules and Plaques of Pregnancy)
This condition occurs in roughly one percent of pregnant women. It is characterized by itchy red bumps and hive-like rashes that usually appear on the belly or around stretch marks. The rash may spread to the arms, legs, breasts or buttocks. PUPPP usually begins in the third trimester of pregnancy. It is harmless, but the itchiness can be severe. There is no known cause for the condition. Treatment typically includes the use of topical ointments, antihistamines and, in more severe cases, oral steroids to help alleviate the itch. PUPPP usually disappears a few days after the baby’s birth.
Prurigo of Pregnancy (Papular Eruptions of Pregnancy)
A rare skin condition that can occur anywhere on the body. Prurigo looks like a collection of bug bites. Its onset is usually not before the third trimester and it typically lasts up to three months after delivery. The condition is harmless to the mother and baby. Like PUPPP, it is generally treated with topical ointments, oral medications, antihistamines or steroids.
Pemphigoid Gestationis (Herpes Gestationis)
This extremely rare condition starts as a hive-like rash, which turns into large blistering lesions. It usually begins on the abdomen and spreads to the mother’s arms and legs. It causes severe itchiness. It typically begins in either the second or third trimester. It may also come and go intermittently throughout a pregnancy. Pemphigoid gestationis is associated with an increased risk for pre-term delivery and fetal health issues. If you suspect you may have this condition, seek immediate medical attention.