For all the pregnant ladies out there suffering from Pruritic Urticarial Papules and Plaques of Pregnancy (PUPPP) like I am, here are some things I've tried and tested:
1. Baby Oil - Doesn't work for the itch, but is nice way to moisturize after the shower.
2. Cocoa Butter - This is the hugest myth out there in my opinion. Not only did the constant applying on my abdomen NOT prevent stretch marks from appearing, the cocoa butter makes itching and sensitive skin WORSE with all the ingrediants and fragrances in the cream. It also leaves an oily residue anywhere you apply it and feels greasy.
3. Cortaid (Hydrocortisone) cream - Doesn't really make a difference to itchy skin. Waste of money
4. Doctor prescribed steroid creams - Works better than over the counter stuff, but is not 100%. I would say it works to decrease the itch about 10%. Plus you have to make sure your hands are free of the stuff after you apply it, don't want to get it in your eyes.
5. Zyrtec Antihistamine - This worked for the first couple weeks, then I think the hormones increased in my system and now the Zyrtec doesn't work as well as it used to. I still routinely take it though, because even if I get an hour or so of reliefe I feel like it's worth it.
6. Benadryl - Does nothing for the itch, but great for getting to sleep at night when you constantly find yourself waking up and scratching the skin off of your legs. It increases my sleep from 3 hours to at least 8 hours.
7. Calamine lotion (or Aveeno) - Works like the doctor prescribed steroid cream (see above).
8. Burt's Bees Mama Bees oil - Doesn't do anything for the itch, but is I apply it to my stomach in lieu of the nasty Cocoa Butter lotion. It contains lemon juice, vitamin E, and other nutrients. I figure the lemon oil may work to fade the various marks on my skin (while growing up I always saw Mom applying lemon to her dark spots to fade them). It also isn't greasy and smells good.
At this point (39 weeks) there is no good way to fix the itchy skin, but I think trying a combination of things lessens the stress a teensy bit, especially before you sleep.
1. First, take a long hot (not too hot for baby) shower or soak in the tub for 20 minutes.
2. Then come out and pat dry the skin. Smooth calamine lotion or Aveeno lotion anywhere you can reach.
3. Also apply a thin layer of the prescribed steroid cream on the most itchy areas (like the stomach).
4. Take Benadryl about 30 minutes before you go to sleep. The lotion mixture helps to numb the skin for a little while the benadryl makes you drowsy enough to sleep before you start scratching.
Note: I also take Zyrtec every other day, spaced apart from the Benadryl.
Other things to try that I've researched online but haven't had a chance to test out yet (and I'm due next week so hopefully won't have to):
- Pine Tar Soap
- Baking Soda in the bath