Natural Treatments For PUPPP Rash In Pregnancy + Causes And Prevention

Using a few natural ingredients can solve this "irritating" problem in no time!

Medically reviewed by Dr. Jennifer Mercier, ND, PhD Dr. Jennifer Mercier Dr. Jennifer MercierND, PhD insta_icon
Written by , MSc Shaheen Naser MSc linkedin_icon Experience: 3 years
Edited by , BTech Anjali Sayee BTech linkedin_icon Experience: 7 years
Fact-checked by , MA (Journalism & Mass Communication) Monomita Chakraborty MA (Journalism & Mass Communication) linkedin_icon Experience: 4 years
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  • A woman’s body undergoes numerous changes during pregnancy. Along with stretch marks, pregnant women may also experience puppp rash. They have a red, pimple-like appearance and may line the stretch marks. However, there are natural and herbal remedies for pregnancy puppp rash. They include the application of topical creams, scrubbing, and moisturizing with natural oils. These may reduce the appearance of puppp rash to some extent.

Puppp rash or pruritic urticarial papules and plaques often spread across the chest and legs. They may cause itchiness, hivesi  A skin condition with red, itchy, raised welts that last more than six weeks and may return over months or years. and appear as swollen red patches. If you are an expectant mother, do not get alarmed by this. They usually resolve in a few days after delivery.

Keep reading this article to know more about this condition in detail, natural remedies to manage and combat it effectively, and other safe treatment and skin care options available.

What Is A PUPPP Rash?

PUPPP is the short form for Pruritic Urticarial Papules and Plaques of Pregnancy. This itchy rash occurs along with the stretch marks during the later stages of pregnancy. This rash is believed to occur in 1 out of every 150 pregnancies.

A PUPPP rash often starts in the abdomen but can also spread to the legs and chest. It results in the formation of red, hive-like bumps along the creases of your stretch marks. This rash can become larger and swollen. In individuals with a lighter skin tone, such rashes are often found surrounded by a thin, white halo.

In most cases, a PUPPP rash resolves within 15 days of childbirth.

According to one study published by the American Academy Of Family Physicians revealed that Pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy (PUPPP) is the most common pregnancy-related dermatosis, occurring in one out of 130 to 200 pregnancies.

Let’s now find out what factors trigger the formation of these rashes.

Causes And Risk Factors For PUPPP Rash

The exact cause of a PUPPP rash has not yet been found. However, the stretching of the skin during pregnancy is believed to trigger this rash. This rash often surfaces during the third trimester of pregnancy, when the baby begins growing faster, and appears within the stretch marks.

Factors that can increase a woman’s risk of developing a PUPPP rash are:

  • Ethnicity – Caucasians may be at a higher risk.
  • Pregnancy
  • A first pregnancy is more likely to trigger a PUPPP rash.
  • Multiple pregnancies
  • Weight gain during pregnancy
  • Maternal hypertension

The following are some of the most common symptoms associated with a PUPPP rash.

What Are The Symptoms Of A PUPPP Rash?

A PUPPP rash usually occurs in the stretch marks along your belly button before it starts spreading further. It is usually:

  • Small
  • Pink
  • Pimple-like
  • Itchy

A PUPPP rash has a strong resemblance to hives. Eventually, there is a chance of this rash forming large, red, and plaque-like areas around your belly.

Blisters may also form on PUPPP rashes at times. These rashes may then spread to the thighs, buttocks, legs, and arms. However, they are observed not to spread higher than the breasts.

If you think you may have developed a severe PUPPP rash during pregnancy, it is best to consult a doctor to rule out other infections.

How Is A PUPPP Rash Diagnosed?

A doctor will diagnose a PUPPP rash by examining your skin and symptoms. Most often, a physical examination of the skin is sufficient to diagnose a PUPPP rash. However, your doctor may order some tests to rule out other infections. They include:

  • Complete blood count
  • Serum human choriogonadotropini  A placental hormone produced during pregnancy, an excess of which can sometimes point to underlying health problems, such as skin cancer. (HCG)
  • Liver function test
  • Serum cortisoli  The primary stress hormone that affects stress levels, sleep cycle, metabolism, and almost every organ and tissue in the body.

A PUPPP rash usually eases and resolves by itself once you deliver your baby. However, the rash may persist for a few extra weeks in some women.

Here are some natural remedies that can assist in managing the symptoms of a PUPPP rash.

Natural Remedies To Treat A PUPPP Rash

  1. Oatmeal Bath
  2. Cold Compress
  3. Chamomile
  4. Peppermint
  5. Clove Oil
  6. Dandelion Root

How To Treat A PUPPP Rash Naturally

1. Oatmeal Bath

Oatmeal bath for puppp rash during pregnancy
Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

  • 1-2 cups of oatmeal
  • Water

What You Have To Do

  1. Fill your tub with water.
  2. Add one to two cups of oatmeal to it.
  3. Soak in the bath for 20-30 minutes.

How Often You Should Do This

You can do this 1-2 times daily.

Why This Works

Oatmeal possesses anti-inflammatory properties that can help in relieving itchiness and inflammation associated with a PUPPP rash (1).

protip_icon Trivia
The first ever documentation of oatmeal used to treat skin issues in Arabia and Egypt dates back close to 2000 BC. It was said to protect and relieve itchy and inflamed skin. However, it was in the 1930s that the first documented scientific studies were done to show oatmeal’s itch-relieving properties.

2. Cold Compress

Cold compress for puppp rash during pregnancy
Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

An ice pack or cold compress

What You Have To Do

  1. Apply a cold compress to the affected area.
  2. Leave it on for 5-10 minutes.
  3. Remove and repeat as necessary.

How Often You Should Do This

You may do this 1-2 times daily.

Why This Works

The numbing action of cold compresses can help relieve itchy skin (2). Hence, it may also soothe a PUPPP rash.

3. Chamomile

Chamomile for puppp rash during pregnancy
Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

  • 1 teaspoon of chamomile tea
  • 1 cup of hot water
  • Cotton balls

What You Have To Do

  1. Steep a teaspoon of chamomile tea in a cup of hot water for 5-10 minutes.
  2. Soak a cotton ball in this mixture and apply it to the affected area.
  3. Leave it on for 15-20 minutes.
  4. Rinse it off with water.

How Often You Should Do This

You may do this 1-2 times daily for best results.

Why This Works

Chamomile tea possesses significant anti-inflammatory properties that may be beneficial in managing the itchiness and swelling associated with a PUPPP rash (3).

4. Peppermint

Peppermint for puppp rash during pregnancy
Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

  • 2-3 drops of peppermint oil
  • ½ tablespoon of coconut oil

What You Have To Do

  1. Add two to three drops of peppermint oil to half a tablespoon of coconut oil.
  2. Mix well and apply it to the affected area.
  3. Leave it on for 20-30 minutes before rinsing it off.

How Often You Should Do This

You can do this once daily until you notice an improvement in your symptoms.

Why This Works

Peppermint oil is effective in relieving the symptoms of itching. It may, hence, also help in alleviating the inflammatory symptoms of a PUPPP rash (4).

protip_icon Trivia
Peppermint is a common herb used in Iranian traditional medicine for its cooling effects, among other benefits. It contains menthol, which cools the skin and relieves itching (4).

5. Clove Oil

Clove oil for puppp rash during pregnancy
Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

  • 2-3 drops of clove oil
  • ½ tablespoon of coconut oil

What You Have To Do

  1. Add two to three drops of clove oil to half a tablespoon of coconut oil.
  2. Mix well and apply it to the affected area.
  3. Leave it on for at least 20-30 minutes before rinsing it off.
  4. You can also leave the mixture on your skin overnight.

How Often You Should Do This

You may do this 1-2 times daily for best results.

Why This Works

Clove oil can help relieve itchiness (5). Hence, its topical application may help in reducing the symptoms of a PUPPP rash.

6. Dandelion Root

Dandelion root for puppp rash during pregnancy
Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

  • 1-2 teaspoons of dandelion root tea
  • 1 cup of water
  • Cotton balls

What You Have To Do

  1. Add one to two teaspoons of dandelion root tea to a cup of water.
  2. Bring it to a boil in a saucepan.
  3. Simmer for 5-10 minutes and strain.
  4. Wait for the tea to cool down a bit.
  5. Soak a cotton ball in the solution and apply it to the affected area.
  6. Leave it on for 20-30 minutes and rinse it off.

How Often You Should Do This

You can do this 1-2 times daily.

Why This Works

Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) root exhibits anti-inflammatory activities (6). These activities can help in reducing the inflammation around the affected area.

All these remedies can help in soothing a PUPPP rash and alleviating its symptoms. Some people believe eliminating certain foods from their diet also helps relieve these rashes. Find out more in the following section.

Foods To Avoid With PUPPP Rash

While there are no standard diets for PUPPP rashes, anecdotal evidence suggests that avoiding certain foods helps alleviate the itching and irritation of the skin. The following is a general list of foods to avoid:

  • Processed food items that contain artificial preservatives and flavors that may cause allergic reactions.
  • Spicy foods.
  • Foods that are commonly associated with allergies, such as dairy, nuts, seafood, etc.
  • Citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, grapefruits, etc.
  • Histamine-rich foods such as fermented foods and cheese.
  • Gluten-rich foods such as wheat, barley, rye, etc.
  • Caffeine and chocolate.

Alongside the above remedies and food suggestions, you should also follow the tips listed below to prevent the recurrence or worsening of the PUPPP rash.

Prevention Tips

  • Do not scratch the rashes.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
  • Avoid using moisturizers that contain retinol, salicylic acid, or vitamin A as these compounds can aggravate the rash.
  • Wear loose-fitting and comfortable clothing.
  • Moisturize your skin, including the affected area, daily.
  • Avoid warm baths.
  • Avoid using soap-based cleansers.
  • Avoid excessive sun exposure.

Infographic: 6 Ways To Soothe A PUPPP Rash Naturally

PUPPP rashes usually develop in the third trimester of pregnancy and may last until two weeks after delivery. They are usually found on the stretch marks on the abdomen and can spread across the chest and legs. These rashes can be itchy, but now we know there are some natural remedies you can use to soothe the skin and relieve itching. Check out the infographic below for a quick rundown of these natural remedies.

6 ways to soothe a puppp rash naturally (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Pregnant women may experience PUPPP rash. It is an itchy rash that appears in the stretch marks on the stomach during late pregnancy. Weight gain during pregnancy and maternal hypertensioni  A condition of elevated blood pressure diagnosed after 20 weeks of pregnancy or close to delivery in previously healthy women. are the common reasons for this condition. However, there are some effective natural treatments for this skin irritation. Using an oatmeal bath, cold compress, chamomile, peppermint, clove oil, and dandelion root may soothe the itchiness. In addition, staying hydrated, wearing loose-fitting clothes, moisturizing the skin, and avoiding warm baths may keep the PUPPP rash from worsening. But if the rash does not improve even after trying the home remedies, and lead to dermatitis or eczema, consult your doctor immediately.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does aloe vera help PUPPP?

The cooling properties of aloe vera may help soothe the skin and heal PUPP rash.

Is calamine lotion good for PUPPP?

Yes, using over-the-counter calamine lotion may help stop the itching caused by PUPPP. However, consult a doctor if you do not see any change.

Can PUPPP cause early labor?

No, PUPPP does not cause early labor. It is also not a sign of labor. The rashes will disappear after delivery.

Is PUPPP worse at night?

Yes, PUPPP rash can be extremely itchy at night and disturb your sleep. Consult your doctor for anti-itch creams.

Does PUPPP rash leave scars?

No, PUPPP rash usually does not leave scars. However, scratching the area may result in scars.

Is PUPPP an autoimmune disease?

No, PUPPP is not an autoimmune disease. It is a common dermatological condition present in pregnant people.

Does prednisone help PUPPP?

Yes, oral consumption of prednisonei  A group of medications used to decrease inflammation, keep the immune system in check, and treat various health conditions. may help treat PUPPP rashes. However, consult a doctor for the appropriate dosage.

Key Takeaways

  • A PUPPP rash occurs in the later stages of pregnancy and resolves after childbirth.
  • The most common symptom is the small, pink, pimple-like itchy rash on the belly button.
  • You can treat PUPPP rash with natural remedies like an oatmeal bath, cold compress, chamomile, clove oil, dandelion root, etc.

Check out this video if you are dealing with a PUPPP pregnancy rash. Learn about the specific foods that can work wonders to reduce inflammation and provide soothing relief for your skin.


Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. Anti-inflammatory activities of colloidal oatmeal (Avena sativa) contribute to the effectiveness of oats in the treatment of itch associated with dry, irritated skin.” Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, US National Library of Medicine.
  2. Pruritus” The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, US National Library of Medicine.
  3. Chamomile, an anti-inflammatory agent inhibits inducible nitric oxide synthase expression by blocking RelA/p65 activity” International Journal of Molecular Medicine, US National Library of Medicine.
  4. The Effect of Peppermint Oil on Symptomatic Treatment of Pruritus in Pregnant Women” Iranian Journal of Pharmaceutical Research, US National Library of Medicine.
  5. Effectiveness of topical clove oil on symptomatic treatment of chronic pruritus.” Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, US National Library of Medicine.
  6. Anti-inflammatory activity of Taraxacum officinale.” Journal of Ethnopharmacology, US National Library of Medicine.
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Jennifer Mercier has been in the practice of women's health since 1999 and has garnered 22 years of experience. Her practice started with Massage Therapy and Midwifery and then advanced into Naturopathic Medicine. While Dr.

Read full bio of Dr. Jennifer Mercier
Shaheen Naser
Shaheen NaserHealth & Wellness Writer
Shaheen holds a postgraduate degree in Human Genetics and Molecular Biology from Bharathiar University. She is a Geneticist with proficiency in Biotechnology, Immunology, Medical Genetics, Biochemistry, Microbiology, and Genetic Counseling.

Read full bio of Shaheen Naser
Anjali Sayee
Anjali SayeeAssociate Editor
Anjali is an associate editor at StyleCraze. She specializes in hairstyles and hair and skin care and has written over 200 articles in these domains. She has 7 years of experience, and her philosophy about hair and skin care is simple: if you love and care for it, it will be healthy.

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Monomita Chakraborty
Monomita ChakrabortyBeauty & Lifestyle Writer
Monomita has a graduate degree in mass communication and video production from St. Anthony's College, Shillong, and a master’s degree in journalism and mass communication from the Royal Global University, Guwahati. She is also a certified skincare coach with a keen interest in skin, hair, tattoos, nail art, and lifestyle trends.

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