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Polymorphic Eruption of Pregnancy

By

The Manual's Editorial Staff

Medically Reviewed Jun 2021 | Modified Nov 2022
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What is polymorphic eruption of pregnancy?

Polymorphic eruption of pregnancy is an intensely itchy rash that happens only when you're pregnant. The rash:

  • Usually appears during the last 2 to 3 weeks of being pregnant

  • Consists of red, irregularly shaped, and slightly raised patches, sometimes with tiny blisters in the center

  • Appears on your belly and then spreads to your thighs, bottom, and sometimes arms

  • Usually goes away shortly after delivery

  • Is common in first pregnancies—the rash usually doesn’t come back in future pregnancies

You may have hundreds of itchy patches. Often the skin around the patches is pale.

What causes these rashes?

No one knows what causes these rashes. Doctors may even have trouble making a definite diagnosis.

How do doctors treat these rashes?

Doctors will have you put a corticosteroid cream on your rash. Rarely, if your rash is severe, you may take a corticosteroid pill, such as prednisone.

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