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PUPPP and Other Pregnancy Skin Conditions

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Intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy

Intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy is a potentially harmful pregnancy skin irritation that appears in the second or third trimester, usually on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. No rash develops, but the intense itching may cause you to scratch and result in red, irritated skin.

This condition affects up to 2 percent of pregnant women and occurs when bile secretion in the liver is impaired. As the bile backs up, bile acids increase in the bloodstream and are eventually deposited in the skin which causes the itching. Other symptoms include darkened urine and fatigue. If you suspect you have this condition, your doctor will perform blood tests to check your liver function and an ultrasound to monitor your baby's health, as the condition is associated with an increased risk of stillbirth, premature labor, fetal distress, and maternal and fetal hemorrhaging. Depending on your and your baby's health, you may be induced earlier than your due date. The condition resolves on its own after delivery; however, it may recur with later pregnancies.

To keep you and your baby safe, alert your caregiver immediately if you develop any sort of rash during your pregnancy.

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