What can itchy stretch marks during pregnancy mean?
One of the most common pregnancy-related skin diseases is a condition called Pruritic Urticarial Papules and Plaques of Pregnancy (PUPPP). The skin eruption is characterized by intensely itchy, red-colored bumps that generally form within abdominal stretch marks. Over the course of several days the lesions may multiply, group together and spread symmetrically. Areas most frequently involved are the abdomen, buttocks and thighs.
This disease most often affects women who are pregnant for the first time, and recurrences with subsequent pregnancies are uncommon. It has been noted that women who develop PUPPP average more weight gain and greater abdominal circumference during pregnancy compared to women who do not develop the disease. Therefore, women carrying twins or triplets are more frequently affected. Most cases begin late in the third trimester and last an average of 6 weeks.
PUPPP is not associated with any harmful effects to either the mother or unborn child; however, it is important to note that this skin condition may mimic other diseases that can be harmful during pregnancy and it is best to have evaluated by a health care professional.
The goal of treatment is to control the eruption and relive the itching with topical steroids, anti-itch lotions and antihistamines. The condition ultimately resolves within 1 week of delivery. Consider making an appointment with a Dermatologist so that an appropriate treatment plan can be put in place, essentially keeping you comfortable and safe during pregnancy.