A quick internet search will turn up dozens of home remedies by moms who swore by them when they were experiencing PUPPPs. Note that these are not scientifically tested, but many moms have had good results in reducing or relieving the itch with them.
Caveat! Remember to share your condition with your healthcare provider to get a proper diagnosis; there are other causes for rashes and dermatitis in pregnancy (including a viral infection), so a proper evaluation is important. Get the OK before you start experimenting with remedies.
1. Drink V8 juice (be careful not to overindulge, or choose the lower-sodium option; the original version has quite a bit of sodium per glass).
2. Wash with a product called Grandpa’s Wonder Pine Tar Soap, a soothing soap containing allantoin (anti-inflammatory), aloe vera gel, baking soda and coconut oil (emollient). Available online and at health food stores such as Whole Foods.
3. Take oatmeal baths.
4. Apply aloe vera gel or Cetaphil to your skin.
Dr. Kamali’s suggestions for treatment:
1. Non-sedating anti-histamines, such as Benadryl.
2. Topical corticosteroids (AKA over-the-counter hydrocortisone creams) such as Aveeno Active Naturals 1% Hydrocortisone Anti-Itch Cream.
3. For severe cases, systemic corticosteroids such as prednisone may be used.
4. Steroids may be prescribed by your healthcare provider.
Although some women have begged for early delivery to relieve the extreme discomfort, Dr. Kamali notes this is rarely, if ever, necessary, due to the risks associated with early birth.
Life after PUPPPs
Delivering your baby is the only “cure” for this condition, although Dr. Kamali notes that it may actually get worse right after birth before clearing up within approximately two weeks.
The good news: There are no long-term effects aside from scar tissue caused by scratching. “Most studies report small risks for recurrence in subsequent pregnancies,” he says.
Soon after you welcome your baby, you will be free from the itch to enjoy the new little life you and your partner created.
Keep Reading: Answers to your top skincare questions