Pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy

J Midwifery Womens Health. 2007 Jan-Feb;52(1):44-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jmwh.2006.09.007.


Pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy (PUPPP) are among the most common pruritic dermatoses observed in pregnant women. PUPPP appears most frequently in the third trimester, in primigravidas, and in multiple gestation pregnancies. The eruption of changes occurs initially on the abdomen and extends over the thighs, legs, back, buttocks, arms, and breasts. Skin changes typical for PUPPP are erythematous, urticarial plaques, and papules. Rash regression is usually observed within 6 weeks postpartum. Immunologic mechanisms, hormonal abnormalities, and abdominal skin distension have been suggested as etiologic mechanisms. PUPPP is thought to be harmless for the mother and fetus and usually requires intervention only for symptom relief. In some cases, laboratory investigation, histologic examination, and immunologic study should be performed to exclude more serious disorders of pregnancy, such as herpes gestationis or intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy. This article reviews the epidemiology, clinical manifestation, etiology, differential diagnosis, and treatment of PUPPP.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Midwifery / organization & administration*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / diagnosis*
  • Pregnancy Complications / drug therapy
  • Pregnancy Complications / nursing
  • Pruritus / diagnosis*
  • Pruritus / drug therapy
  • Pruritus / nursing
  • Skin Diseases, Vesiculobullous / diagnosis*
  • Skin Diseases, Vesiculobullous / drug therapy
  • Skin Diseases, Vesiculobullous / nursing
  • Urticaria / diagnosis*
  • Urticaria / drug therapy
  • Urticaria / nursing
  • Women's Health