Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Pregnancy PUPPPS

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


Anonymous said...

I'm 32 weeks pregnant and have had PUPPS all over my body apart from my face, neck and hands. I've had it since 27 weeks and the average is 35 weeks. Like the statistics say 70% of women with PUPPS give birth to boys, my little boy has also given me gestational diabetes during pregnancy. Not only has he given me both of those but my cervix is too long, therefore his head is laying too low in the placenta so I need to have a c section. Not bad for someone who is only 22 and is going through her first pregnancy lol

Having a hot shower is the worst thing you can do for PUPPS. Heat makes you itch more and using soap or body lotions in the shower dries your skin out.

I had a perfect text book picture of my belly (red all around the belly, leaving the area around the belly button completely free).

I had it SO bad that my legs bled from me scratching them during the night, my stomach felt raw, I had scars on my arms and my feet.

Like you, I tried many, many methods, determined to find something that worked.

I tried 3 types of oral antihistamines, baby oil, olive oil, vaseline, cocoa butter & oil, steroid cream, 1.0 strength cream for rash, itch eczema, stingoes and medicreme.

This is what ended up working...

First of all, NO hot showers. A warm shower, with NO soap OR lotion. I did however, use a $2.00 bar of "dove soap" - the soap that doesn't dry your skin and keeps the moisture in it. Before turning the hot water off, I put my legs under cold water and used an extra dry towel.

After the shower, I used my vitamin E cream (cheap $2.95) home brand tub from your local K-mart or Big-W, Woolworths or Coles store. Please note vitamin E cream did NOT help me.... however it was the only thing that helped me once I stored it in the fridge.

Rubbed it all over my body, the coldness felt sooooo good. I then spent my days roaming around the house nude in my silk dressing gown.

I took 1 Polaramine tablet (category A drug for pregnancy)before bed and slept like a baby.

So to recap...

* dove soap
* luke warm/coldish shower
* keep your vitamin E cream in the fridge, it's the cold that keeps PUPPS from itching.
* wear loose clothes or none at all!
* a category A antihistamine before bed will help you sleep.

I still itch a couple of spots but it's just like getting your partner to scratch the itch you can't reach on your back for 2 seconds.

The bumps and rashes are fading and even the colour in my stretch marks are getting lighter!

A cure that costs me under 20 bucks and lasts a month!

Me said...

Thanks for the advice! I'm post partum now and STILL feel itchy. Argh

Anonymous said...

Let me just say: PUPPP Relief Cream from Rainer Soapworks. You can order it online from them. I had this horribly with my first pregnancy and I tried everything; nothing gave any relief until I found these guys. Wish more people knew about them. Now in my 2nd pregnancy and it's threatening to come back! I hope and pray it doesn't but I've got some cream here anyway. I don't want another day of agony. Yuck!

Sonya K. said...

I'm 32 weeks, and my PUPPP just magically appeared. However, my ultrasound says I'm having a girl, and I hope I really am having a little girl!

Anonymous said...

FYI Polaramine is a Pregnancy category B drug. Not an "A" drug.