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PUPPP / PEP / itchy rash

I have had itching all over my body, except feet, hands and face, for about the last three weeks. It started off without any rash, which was concerning in case it was Obstetric Chlorestasis, but two blood tests do not indicate any cause for concern in that respect, thankfully. However, the itch is getting worse and the rash is developing on my legs and elbows, horrid welts/hives that do not go away and get worse at night.

Anyway, I am 38+1 and having an elective section (due to a naughty breech baby ;)) in 8 days AND COUNTING and I am thankful for that and also that this appears to be a mild case of PUPPP, now apparently called PEP, although from my research online I read that it could get worse and worse. I really hope not! I just wanted to share a bit of information for people who think they may be experiencing the same thing, as it is horrid.

Some useful links:

Remedies that may work, that I have tried (although they haven't worked for me personally) ; bicarbonate of soda baths, oatmeal baths, Pine Tar Soap (bought on Amazon), baby oil, hydrocortisone cream (1%) as prescribed by Dr, Aveeno moisturiser, Diprobase, general moisturisers.

Remedies that have worked for me; lying on ice packs (ones that you buy to put in cool bags, as they are larger) - sleeping on these have helped me get a better sleep until they get warm! Aqueous cream containing 2% menthol (Dr was reluctant to prescribe me this as menthol has not been tested on pregnant women- like many medicines, so i purchased it on Amazon) is soothing, although makes me feel really cold :( better than the itch though, cool baths and showers, though again it is not pleasant being cold. I didn't want to take Loratidine or Cetirizine (antihistamines) as apparently there has not been a lot of research into their effect on pregnant women/ the baby, however they are seen to be relatively safe according to NICE, so I tried them last night, but they didn't help. I find wearing next to nothing is somewhat helpful especially at night. It helps to keep cool.

I was not keen to try dandelion capsules, a remedy that I have heard lots about online, since they apparently contain high levels of vitamin A, but as I am getting more and more frustrated by the itch, I have ordered some to try as it seems to help people and I am so far along. Fingers crossed they help!

Apparently this condition normally resolves once the baby is born and is unlikely to occur in subsequent pregnancies. Here's hoping!

If anyone else has any information or tips on this subject it'd be great to have your comments!

Thanks, Ash

8 Replies

I can only imagine how uncomfortable you feel. I remember having mild itching with my 1st pregnancy & the most annoying bit was the fact it was mostly on my back.

But thinking back it sounds like nothing compared to what you are describing.

You mentioned you are now 38wks have u requested / or being offered an induction or are u happy to let things take its natural course?

Neverless not long to go now. Hopefully everything should calm after the birth.

Good luck



Thanks for your kind words :) I also have it on my back, it's really annoying isn't it!

I am having an elective section in 8 days, I'm going to try and hold off until then. I am holding out hope that the dandelion tea/ capsules I'm going to start taking tonight do something before then! And I really hope that the wee monkey doesn't turn head down before then if this doesn't work- I think I will request to be induced if that happens!

I'm looking at Google images of PUPPP (while I lie on my ice packs!) and consoling myself that at present it is nowhere near as bad!



I dont how true all these methods are but apprently regular eating of pinapple can also help to get things going as it considered to have a high level of acidic tendancies.


Ooh thanks, I'll get the husband to pop to the shops for some tonight, along with the dandelion tea!


Aw no.. still suffering :( I still have a slight itch/rash.. waiting on results from blood taken on monday.. however as night is the worst time for me i smothered myself in E45 cream after showering, then slept with a damp towel over my bump as thats where my reah was.. it seems to help. then during the day i wear loose clothing and apply the cream any chance i get to stop the skin drying. I hope my rash is just a pregnancy one caused by the skin stretching.. its an awful feeling :( on the plus side, you dont have long left and most of these conditions clear once baby is born :) Take Care xx


I know, the evil itch! Good you have had your bloods taken, will be reassuring to find out if they are normal. Mind and get them repeated if you feel the itch worsening though.

I hope your rash is just from skin stretching too, I'll keep my fingers crossed for you! Sounds like yours is controllable :)

Have decided that dandelion is totally going to cure mine. The capsules are meant to arrive in the post tomorrow and then take 3 days to get rid of the itch. I shall report back! xx


Good luck with the capsules, i havent heard of them but hopefully they will be just what you need. I think everyone reacts different to rashes and certain things work for some ppl that might not work for others so fingers crossed :)

Keep us informed xx


Good luck, I hope your itch gets better and good luck with your c-section :)


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