Health
Fact-checked

At TheHealthBoard, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.

Learn more...

What Is Prurigo Gestationis?

Prurigo gestationis is a skin condition unique to pregnancy, characterized by itchy, bumpy rashes. It's thought to be an immune response, often appearing in the mid-to-late stages. While uncomfortable, it poses minimal risk to the baby. Effective treatments can soothe symptoms. Wondering how to manage this condition for a more comfortable pregnancy? Continue with us to uncover supportive strategies.
Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Prurigo gestationis, or prurigo of pregnancy (PP), is a skin condition that occurs during pregnancy. It results in red, very itchy bumps forming on the abdomen, legs, arms, and buttocks. The condition’s cause is not clear and it needs to be differentiated from other skin conditions that are more severe. Though PP is uncomfortable, it does not cause harm to the mother or the fetus. Moreover, it tends to respond well to simple treatments and will usually resolve completely soon after a pregnancy’s end.

Sometimes doctors classify prurigo gestationis as having an early or late onset. Early onset begins in the second trimester at about 20 weeks, while late appearance of PP could happen at about 34-35 weeks. In truth, PP may occur any time after the 20th week, and is most likely to happen between 25-35 weeks.

Topical corticosteroids may be helpful in treating prurigo gestationis.
Topical corticosteroids may be helpful in treating prurigo gestationis.

When the condition emerges, small red bumps, usually no more than 0.2-0.4 inches (0.5-1 cm) in diameter tend to develop on the belly. They may be profuse and spread to other parts of the body. The bumps are characterized by their pruritic or itchy nature. Their greatest risk is that they may cause the affected person to scratch them, which might result in skin infection.

Prurigo gestationis is a skin condition that can occur during pregnancy.
Prurigo gestationis is a skin condition that can occur during pregnancy.

Doctors are unclear why prurigo gestationis occurs, and they often diagnose the disorder by ruling out more serious skin conditions that are associated with pregnancy. For example, pemphigoid or herpes gestationis results in itchy blisters, and is thought to be an autoimmune condition. With treatment, it may also resolve, but it is clinically important to note because it can recur in future pregnancies. PP should further be distinguished from warts or skin lesions caused by viruses or infections that may pose more danger to the fetus.

Doctors advise pregnant women to report any type of skin rash during pregnancy.
Doctors advise pregnant women to report any type of skin rash during pregnancy.

As stated, the condition is usually easy to treat. Topical corticosteroids may help with itching and inflammation, and are of little risk to the fetus. Several different oral antihistamines are also safe to use during pregnancy and may cause a reduction in itchy sensations. Additionally, the disease is almost always limited to pregnancy and tends to resolve within a few weeks or months after it. Most women recover fully within a month after pregnancy ends, and it is extremely rare for PP to continue after three months postpartum.

PP should not cause any harm to the fetus.
PP should not cause any harm to the fetus.

Even though prurigo gestationis is not a serious illness, doctors advise pregnant women to report any type of skin rash during pregnancy. It’s further recommended that women who are pregnant not attempt to treat a rash without first getting medical diagnosis and advice. Not all treatments, even over the counter ones, are safe for pregnant moms or their babies.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent TheHealthBoard contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

Learn more...
Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent TheHealthBoard contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

Learn more...

You might also Like

Discussion Comments

SimpleByte

@Ceptorbi, rashes in pregnancy seem to be common. Herpes gestationis, which ironically does not involve the herpes virus, is a blistering rash that occurs during pregnancy. Mothers-to-be with this condition can experience skin breakdown and kidney damage. Treatment involves the use of corticosteroids, and it's important to get this rash treated right away because of the possible complications the mother can have.

Ceptorbi

Another itchy rash pregnant women may develop is called pruritic uticartial pupules and plaques of pregnancy, which is also called PUPPP. It typically occurs during the last trimester and does not harm mother or baby. It begins on the abdomen and can spread to the thighs, arms, breasts and other areas. Fortunately, it resolves itself and disappears soon after delivery. Treatment is similar to the treatments for prurigo gestationis.

Post your comments
Login:
Forgot password?
Register:
    • Topical corticosteroids may be helpful in treating prurigo gestationis.
      By: stefanocapra
      Topical corticosteroids may be helpful in treating prurigo gestationis.
    • Prurigo gestationis is a skin condition that can occur during pregnancy.
      By: LanaK
      Prurigo gestationis is a skin condition that can occur during pregnancy.
    • Doctors advise pregnant women to report any type of skin rash during pregnancy.
      By: pressmaster
      Doctors advise pregnant women to report any type of skin rash during pregnancy.
    • PP should not cause any harm to the fetus.
      By: Noel Powell
      PP should not cause any harm to the fetus.
    • Early onset prurigo gestationis begins in the second trimester.
      By: Radek Sturgolewski
      Early onset prurigo gestationis begins in the second trimester.