We've all heard about those dreaded "pregnancy rashes" and not everyone gets them but I'm apparently the weirdo that gets them early. Not just one, but TWO! Ughhhh! With my son I got the PUPPP at 6 mo but only on my thighs (but man that was horrific enough!) and now no one knows what I have this time around. Rashes tend to show up in the third trimester. Not me though, I have to be different. My body hates me and enjoys making me miserable at every opportunity. SMH
I have this giant welt (guess that's the term) on my upper stomach that started out as just an annoying itch that turned into a hideous monster of a rash that torments me day and night. It's so ugly and so tender! I can't even bear to scratch it's so painful. So hydrocortisone has been my only friend for a few days now and I have to cover it with one of those ginormous bandaids to keep my clothes from irritating it. No. Fun. At. All.
And what's even better is they have no clue what it is! Of course I'm going to list all the possibilities here in a sec cuz I know everyone wants to know about skin rashes right? Guess it's sorta important because there are a couple that are actually a danger to the baby :-(.
The other rash is very random and looks like little tiny ant bites that show up in clusters everywhere. Very unpredictable and weird. I have some between my fingers on my right hand, on both eyelids (yeah, that's fun), on both thighs, left arm, and back of neck. And they seem to multiply by the day. Totally weird. My obgyn's office sent me straight to the dermatologist yesterday and she is convinced I got into something I'm allergic to. Nope, I'm not buying that. Not that I think she doesn't know what she's doing but the confused look on her face spoke volumes. She's apparently never seen it before in a pregnancy. Especially the one on my stomach, she didn't even wanna mess with that one. And for someone that deals with allergies year round, I know when I've gotten into something I'm allergic to. I know how I react to just about everything. When my dog touches me after being outside, I break out in hives (grass is my enemy!) but they quickly go away after I've bathed or wiped down my arms. They don't stick around and spread to random places. I've not been anywhere near any poison ivy and I've had that stuff before, this is not it. I have not even touched my dogs or allowed them in the house except to go into their kennels for 2 weeks so I know they didn't bring something in. It's gotta be something else. So I asked if she could biopsy the little rashes just to see what it comes back as because I'm not going to just go with her hunch and assume it's an allergy when there are so many of these weird pregnancy rashes out there and chances that it could be a bad one. She agreed that was fine and scraped one off of my forearm and will call me with the results. She prescribed a steroid cream to stop the itching and said we would start there and if they didn't get better move on to another treatment. Not sure why antihistamines were not an option considering she thinks it's an allergy. I think I will bring that up when I talk to them again or to my OB. I see him tomorrow (YAY!) for my 11 week checkup.
So here, for your reading pleasure, are the different types of pregnancy rashes:
PUPPP stands for Pruritic Urticarial Papules and Plaques of Pregnancy. This is an extremely itchy rash that first develops on the abdomen and spreads from there. It becomes a red, raised rash that can cover the abdomen, buttocks and thighs and can spread to the arms and legs. It normally doesn't appear on the patient's face. PUPPP doesn't pose any risk to the baby. Antihistamines and corticosteroid creams are the most common treatments. PUPPP is the most common pregnancy rash.
(This is what I assumed I have but the derm said mine doesn't look like it? It didn't start in my stretch marks though I do have some from my first pregnancy and that's usually where PUPPP shows up)
Prurigo of Pregnancy
Prurigo of pregnancy doesn't pose any risk to the baby, but it can continue for several weeks or even months after delivery. It shows up as itchy pink or red bumps on the arms and legs and sometimes other body parts. Corticosteroid creams and antihistamines help control the itching.
Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy *SCARY ONE!*
This presents itself as a severe rash during the third trimester. It's caused by elevated levels of bile fluids in the mother's system, when the liver slows down due to pregnancy hormones. It carries a risk of premature birth and even death of the baby if it's not caught early enough. Medicines that reduce the amount of bile in the mother's system will be prescribed, along with anti-itch creams for the rash itself. This is a serious condition for the baby and can affect his liver. Other treatment options and medications may focus on preserving the baby's health. Intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy goes away after delivery.
Pemphigoid gestationis is much more uncommon than the previous rashes, affecting only one out of every 50,000 pregnancies in the U.S. It's an autoimmune condition that shows up as round patches on the abdomen initially. It usually spreads from there, but typically doesn't affect the mother's face, scalp or neck. Severe cases of this rash require oral corticosteroids to help manage the symptoms. It carries a risk of premature delivery and low birth weight for the baby, and sometimes the baby will have lesions from the condition when he is born.
This is a rare condition that shows up in the second half of pregnancy. The lesions from the rash can break open and release pus, and then the open sores can lead to secondary infections after impetigo. There are increased instances of infant mortality associated with this rash. Aggressive treatment with systemic corticosteroids and antibiotics is required. Impetigo herpetiformis goes away after delivery.
Pruritic Folliculitis of Pregnancy
This one presents as a rash on the abdomen, back, arms and legs. It poses no risk to the baby, and it resolves soon after the baby is born. Corticosteroid creams can help relieve the itching, and doctors have had success in treating it with ultraviolet light therapy as well.
And one more from http://www.buzzle.com/articles/rashes-during-pregnancy.html
Papular Dermatitis of Pregnancy
The imbalance in the hormonal levels causes papular dermatitis of pregnancy. It mostly occurs due to the elevated levels of gonadotropins and lowered levels of cortisol and estrogen. Prurigo of gestation is again a common dermatosis (skin condition) of pregnancy and affects almost one in every 300 pregnant women. The characteristic features are extremely itchy, raised spots, which are red in color and get covered by crust. The spots are never found in groups. There is no definite time for the occurrence of papular dermatitis of pregnancy as it can appear at any stage of the pregnancy development, and continues to do so till the child is born. It does not cause any harm to either the mother or her baby. The treatment is generally done with high doses of corticosteroids.
Fun and games right? So be on the lookout. Most of these rashes are harmless and easily treated but a couple of them need to be caught early and treated to prevent harm to the baby.
So off I go to apply more cream and wait for news from the derm! Hope you are having a great (and itch free) day!