PUPPP stands for pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy. It is also known as PUPPS or PEP (polymorphic eruption of pregnancy) in the UK. The rash usually appears as small, itchy red bumps on the skin, particularly in the stretch marks found on the belly of pregnant women. A PUPPP rash characteristically surrounds the navel. These itchy hive-like rashes usually develop into large patches that may spread to the extremities and chest.
When it comes to treatment, conventional medicine usually focuses on managing the symptoms instead of actually getting rid of the cause of the problem. Steroids that are orally taken or topically applied are often prescribed to relieve skin itching. In some cases, antihistamines such as diphenhydramine or cetirizine are prescribed for the itching. However, the use of steroids may be dangerous during pregnancy. There are even cases of low birth weight due to the use of topical steroids.
Natural Remedies for PUPPP
There are natural treatments that can help relieve the symptoms of PUPPP. They include:
1. Drinking Vegetable Juices
The best natural remedy that can help detoxify the body is through the consumption of vegetables. This treatment is also advisable in the case of a PUPPP rash. Although there is no definite evidence that drinking vegetable juice can completely cure PUPPP, a variety of health problems can be avoided by consuming fresh vegetable juice throughout pregnancy. However, pregnant women must not drink beetroot juice in large amounts since beetroot is a very powerful detoxer.
2. Cleansing Herbs
There are several cleansing herbs that are available in the market. Some disturbances in the skin or blood may cause rashes on the skin. The best blood cleansing herbs are dandelion root and nettle. Herbalists generally recommend these herbs to pregnant women. These herbs help improve the health of pregnant women because they have natural anti-allergy and anti-inflammatory properties.
3. Anti-Inflammatory Herbs
The herbs that can effectively help reduce skin inflammation and itching are chamomile, Chinese skullcap, and calendula. Aloe vera can also be added to these herbal extracts for a smoother application. An infusion of these herbs can be applied to the affected areas of the abdomen.
4. Oatmeal Bath
Another soothing agent is oatmeal. Itchiness and irritation caused by PUPPP can be relieved by soaking in an oatmeal bath. An oatmeal bath can also help soothe and moisturize the skin. When preparing an oatmeal bath, herbs like calendula and chamomile can be added to the bath. If an oatmeal bath is regularly done, early relief can be achieved since this remedy can help calm the skin and soothe itching and inflammation.
5. Using Adaptogens
Adaptogens are usually helpful when it comes to supporting the immune system. They also help boost the immune system. The response of the mother’s body to the fetal cells can be calmed by the adaptogens. For consumption, an adaptogen such as the maca root can be added to smoothies. Even though the results are slowly obtained by consuming adaptogens, the rashes can be effectively removed.
6. Drinking Flaxseed Oil
Flaxseed oil can help relieve discomforts caused by PUPPP. This oil can be mixed with milk. For better results, add two tablespoons of flaxseed oil to one cup of milk. The consumption of flaxseed oil has been found to be quite effective for skin rashes. The irritation and burning feeling caused by PUPPP is soothed and calmed by this oil.
7. Pine Tar Soap
PUPPP can be very itchy and irritating. The itching can increase if regular soaps and certain skin products are used. In such cases, pine tar soap can be used when bathing. The burning effect of the rashes is soothed by this soap since it has herbal qualities. This soap also moisturizes the skin. Use this soap with lukewarm water when bathing. Results can be observed after 2-5 days of treatment.
8. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil can help heal a variety of skin problems. It helps relieve itchiness and irritation due to PUPPP. Coconut oil can also help moisturize the skin to make it look radiant. Since coconut oil can penetrate into the skin, it helps nourish dry and irritated skin cells. The skin also gets essential fatty acids with it. Coconut oil also possesses antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. However, only use the extra virgin or virgin varieties since additives and preservatives may be present in processed oils, which can further irritate the skin.
9. Collagen Supplement
Gelatine is a superfood when it comes to skin issues. The collagen in gelatine, when applied topically, is too large to actually penetrate the skin. The effective ones are grass-fed collagen supplements. The damaged connective tissues that cause PUPPP rashes can be repaired and strengthened by these collagen supplements. You can add a few scoops of grass-fed collagen protein to your smoothie or juice.
10. Relaxing Your Nervous System
With the constant itching and unsightly rash caused by PUPPP, there are some pregnant women who complain of feeling restless and not getting enough sleep, especially at night. To help relax the nervous system and promote sleep, gentle nervines, such as lavender and chamomile can be used in moderation. For consumption, make a calming tea blend and drink it.
11. Aloe Vera Gel
Slice an aloe vera leaf sideways and scoop out the gel. Apply and gently massage this gel to the affected area twice a day to achieve relief from itching. Aloe vera is a quite popular natural remedy for different skin conditions due to its effectiveness.
Since aloe vera contains anti-inflammatory properties, irritated and itchy skin can be effectively soothed during pregnancy. It works as a hydrating agent. If you regularly use aloe vera gel, then your skin will feel soft, supple, and nourished.
12. Baking Soda
Pain, redness, and irritation due to PUPPP can be relieved by the use of baking soda. It will help alleviate the discomfort and will soothe dry skin. It also helps restores the pH balance of the skin. To use baking soda, apply a thin paste of baking soda all over the abdomen and on itchy regions. Let these areas dry before rinsing the affected areas with cold water. Do this natural remedy daily to achieve relief.
13. Gram Flour Paste
Gram flour paste can help reduce skin itching. To make gram flour paste, mix 2-3 tablespoons of gram flour with water to create a smooth paste. Apply this paste to the affected skin areas and leave it to dry before rinsing with water. You can do this natural remedy once or twice a day. Gram flour makes the skin soft and fresh. It is also good for dry and itchy skin since it helps moisturize the skin.
14. Lemon Juice
An itchy skin can be soothed by lemon juice. If there are any microbes present on the skin, they can be eliminated by lemon juice since it has antimicrobial properties. For this remedy, dilute lemon juice with water. Use a cotton swab to apply the mixture to the affected skin areas.
15. Juniper Berry Lotion
Juniper berries may be difficult to find, but they can be an excellent remedy for a nasty itch because they possess anti-inflammatory properties. When these berries are combined with cloves, which contain eugenol, such combination can be a powerful cure for any itch.
You can make a homemade salve using the following ingredients:
- 1 tablespoon juniper berries
- 1 tablespoon beeswax
- 2 teaspoons ground cloves
- 4 ounces of any carrier oil (e.g., sweet almond oil or olive oil)
Heat the carrier oil of your choice on low flame. In a separate pan, melt the beeswax. Add the melted beeswax to the carrier oil and mix it thoroughly. Add the juniper berries and ground cloves to the mixture and combine them well. Let the mixture cool down. Store the mixture in a glass jar. You can use this salve to the affected skin areas to get relief.
16. Cold Compress
Another great way to relieve skin itching is the application of an ice pack. This method really helps, especially when there is an accompanying inflammation of certain parts of the body. Relief from the discomfort is provided by the cold temperature. For this simple remedy, place an ice pack for a couple of minutes on the itchy skin area. Use this remedy as needed.