Thursday, April 9, 2015

Products and Potions I Tried in My Fight Against Pupps (including WINNERS!)

I read one blog that outlined what she tried and what worked in her fight against the terrible Pupps itching disease.  http://www.naomikritzer.com/motherhood/PUPPP.shtml

I appreciated her insight and wanted to add some of my own, so here you go.  Of course, this is just my personal experience.  I am a teacher, not a doctor, so of course talk to your doctor!!

Some Pupps blogs include pictures of their terrible rashes and then improvement.  I only took a few pics, mostly to show my family and for laughs!

Okay, on to the remedy ideas.  One blogger said she "threw the kitchen sink" at Pupps, trying a ton of different things all at once, since neither she nor I could be complacent slowly trying all of these ideas "scientifically."  Since the itching is so miserable, if one thing didn't work, I quickly moved on to the next.

Rating scale: 0 is low (bad), 10 is high (successful or pleasant)

The list of what I tried, all based on what I read on other people's blogs/comment boards:

1.  Drink tons of water with fresh lemon or lemon juice squeezed in.  
Pupps relief: 1 out of 10
General pleasantness or unpleasantness of treatment: 9 out of 10- Pleasant.

When at home, I drank a ton of water with fresh lemon squeezed in.  At school, I brought a mini lemon juice bottle with me and drank, drank, drank all day.  The idea here is to flush your liver.  This didn't work at all to help my Pupps, but of course drinking water is great for you.  I have also read about the benefits of drinking lemon water, so I figured I was helping myself in some way.  I had to go to the bathroom all of the time, of course, so that was the lone drawback.  Also good to note (thanks to my husband for this FYI) rinse with plain water after finishing your cup of lemon water since it's not great for your teeth.

Benefits of Lemon Water

2.  Acupuncture
Pupps relief: 2 out of 10
General pleasantness or unpleasantness of treatment: 6 out of 10- a bit painful, but also calming.

One of the Pupps blogs suggested acupuncture so I bought a Groupon and tried it twice in a week.  I really liked the place I went.  It was very calming and the acupuncturist was a good listener.  It was my first time trying this, and I was a bit nervous going for the first time.  I was also excited because I was completely miserable and if there was any hope of getting better, maybe this was it.  She put pins in certain spots, and the only ones that hurt were the ones in my ears.  I had very hot and red ears when I got there, and she explained that the hot ears meant that there was too much heat inside.  She poked my ears a bit to "bleed them" and after, the heat was a bit less.  On the second visit, I asked her to try using the technique of cupping which I read about on a Pupps blog.  That didn't really work either.  Both times I went to acupuncture were pretty calming.  You just lie there for 30 minutes after the poking to let the needles work their magic.  I do like acupuncture, and will go back if I need it for something else in the future.

3.  Sarna lotion
Pupps relief: 6 out of 10
General pleasantness or unpleasantness of treatment: 6 out of 10 (smells good, but I was really cold using it!)

Sarna is a brand of lotion I hadn't heard of, but I purchased it at Rite Aid.  I bought it and used half of the bottle in 2 days when Pupps was at its worst.  It gives immediate cooling, calming, soothing goodness on your worst Pupps itch.  There is menthol as a main ingredient so it makes you COLD which is nice when Pupps makes you feel so hot.  It is another option if you don't like calamine lotion.  I wish I had used this instead of calamine at first because it is way less messy.  I didn't love it because it didn't stop the itch for very long at all.

4.  Calamine lotion
Pupps relief: 5 out of 10
General pleasantness or unpleasantness of treatment: 3 out of 10

Calamine lotion is familiar to those of us who had chicken pox back in grade school.  It is a very runny pink liquid and made me happy when it stopped my itch for a short time.  It irritated me that it's messy.  I was pleasantly happy that it sunk into my skin so it didn't look super pink.  Go with Sarna instead.

5.  Dandelion Root Tea
Pupps relief: 1 out of 10
General pleasantness or unpleasantness of treatment: 8 out of 10

I got this from our local "crunchy" store.  It tastes pretty good.  It's supposed to help clear out your liver too, I think.  I didn't get any relief from it, but it was pleasant tasting at least.

6.  Nettle Tea
Pupps relief: 1 out of 10
General pleasantness or unpleasantness of treatment: 8 out of 10

Also available at earthy stores.  Pleasant tasting as well, but again, didn't feel any better after drinking it.

7.  Dandelion Root Capsules
Pupps relief: 1 out of 10
General pleasantness or unpleasantness of treatment: 5 out of 10

I took two of these pills 2 times a day for a week.  It didn't help.  I didn't mind taking the pills as I didn't even taste them, but I was disappointed they didn't work.

8.  Cocoa Butter
Pupps relief: 6 out of 10
General pleasantness or unpleasantness of treatment: 7 out of 10

This brought me some relief when I used it along with another lotion (like A&D First Aid Ointment).  Alone, it didn't do too much for me, but combining it seemed to work somewhat.  I was happy using it too since it is supposed to help avoid stretch marks.  I used this until my husband bought me what worked BEST...

9.  Coconut Oil
Pupps relief: 10 out of 10
General pleasantness or unpleasantness of treatment: 10 out of 10

This is the WINNER and CHAMPION!!!!!!!!!!  My husband bought this at Walmart.  I was desperate and thrilled that this has helped me get 95% better.  The Pupps rash is now gone, and I am reapplying coconut oil 4 times a day to keep the itch away.  My only complaint now is VERY dry skin.  This is nothing compared to what I was dealing with before.  I have used a whole tub of this in 5 days.  It smells really good and amazingly doesn't even show when you get it on clothes or your bedsheets. Love love love this!!!  Try it!!  Hope it works for you too!

10.  Walgreens brand Scalp Itch Relief
Pupps relief:  5 out of 10
General pleasantness or unpleasantness of treatment: 2 out of 10

My head itched like crazy in the middle of my Pupps battle.  Yeesh.  Not a pleasant part of Pupps.  I bought two kinds of anti itch for the scalp, and this one smelled like medicine.  Ew.  It felt decently good, but like it belonged in a hospital.  I also tried Head and Shoulders brand and that smelled like a hairspray or hair gel.  Get the Head and Shoulders version instead!

11.  Head and Shoulders Instant Relief Scalp Soother
Pupps relief: 10 out of 10
General pleasantness or unpleasantness of treatment: 10 out of 10

For head itch, this is where it's at!  Head and Shoulders Scalp Soothing Spray
It smells like a nice haircare product, it's not greasy or gel-like, and works like a charm to stop the itch.  Total winner!

12.  Grandpa's Pine Tar Soap
Pupps relief: 3 out of 10
General pleasantness or unpleasantness of treatment: 2 out of 10

OWWWW.  Showering in general when I had Pupps was miserable for me.  It felt like the water was cutting me.  The Grandpa's Pine Tar soap smells like a campfire.  I don't think I smelled like one after showering since I had lotions on too!  The soap was painful to rub over the rash.   That being said, many other Pupps sufferers recommend this, and my bestest sissy ever was so sweet and sent it to me (she found it on Amazon).  I was so grateful to try what worked for so many... sadly not me though!
Grandpa's Pine Tar Soap

13.  Banana Peels on the Skin
Pupps relief: 3 out of 10
General pleasantness or unpleasantness of treatment: 3 out of 10

I only tried this twice, and my rash didn't get any better.  I placed the peels (fruit remnant side on the rash) on my skin and pressed it down.  I could feel something tingling, which I think meant it was working, but I never had enough time to just lie there for awhile to see if it actually took away the rash.  I did it for 20 minutes twice, and if I hadn't discovered coconut oil, I would've tried this remedy again.

Husband lining up all of the things I was using in my fight against Pupps!

Banana peel attempts... didn't work for me, but definitely gave my co-workers a laugh! 

14.  Witch hazel
Pupps relief: 2 out of 10
General pleasantness or unpleasantness of treatment: 2 out of 10

This does not smell good.  It gave me minimal relief.  It dried me out, and I used Sarna on top of it.

15.  Apis Mellifica
Pupps relief: 1 out of 10
General pleasantness or unpleasantness of treatment: 7 out of 10

I didn't mind taking these teeny tiny pills but they didn't do anything for me.  I found them in a earthy store.

16.  Oatmeal Baths
Pupps relief:---
General pleasantness or unpleasantness of treatment: ----

I bought two boxes of this when I was first diagnosed, but I discovered that even Pupps doesn't turn a person who doesn't like baths into one that does.  I never used any of my oatmeal bath packets, in part because I didn't like the idea of taking a lukewarm bath (which is recommended with Pupps).  So don't buy these if you don't like baths!

17.  Gold Bond Anti Itch Lotion
Pupps relief: 2 out of 10
General pleasantness or unpleasantness of treatment: 5 out of 10

Gold Bond Anti Itch Lotion
I got this product the same day that I discovered the glory of coconut oil, so I didn't give this much of a chance.  Maybe it'll work for you.  It smells good enough, but I applied this to one arm and coconut oil at the same time on the other arm and the oil worked way better for me.

18.  Ice Packs
Pupps relief: 9 out of 10
General pleasantness or unpleasantness of treatment: 9 out of 10

This is a great way to combat Pupps.  I used these through the night and it helped to stop the itch.  I moved it from spot to spot as different areas flared up.  The cold kind of kept me up, which is the only reason I didn't give it a 10.

19.  Bio Oil
Pupps relief: 1 out of 10
General pleasantness or unpleasantness of treatment: 7 out of 10

I like Bio Oil.  I have been using it for awhile during this pregnancy to avoid stretch marks.  I didn't use this for long when I first got Pupps on my belly because it didn't make things any better.  It smells nice though, and I think it works for avoiding stretch marks, just not Pupps.

20.  Benadryl Itch Cooling Spray
Pupps relief: 6 out of 10
General pleasantness or unpleasantness of treatment: 6 out of 10

This works for a short time.  It's nice to keep by your bedside for the night since it's easy to spray on the itchy spots.  It smells a bit more medicinal than I would like.

21.  A&D First Aid Ointment 
Pupps relief: 6 out of 10
General pleasantness or unpleasantness of treatment: 5 out of 10

This smells like diaper cream and is really thick and gooey.  I mixed it with cocoa butter and it worked pretty well.  If my Pupps comes back, I will do this mix again.

22.  Essential Oils Potion made by my husband
Pupps relief: 9 out of 10
General pleasantness or unpleasantness of treatment: 10 out of 10

My husband bought these essential oils for me in individual bottles and used an eye dropper to combine them into a separate spray bottle.  Isn't he the best?!?  He got this on the same day as the coconut oil, and that was a bit better, but this is really nice to carry in my purse since it's a small bottle.  It smells DELIGHTFUL, like a spa, and has helped me get moisture back in my skin now that super dry skin is my problem instead of an acute Pupps rash.  Here is the mix he made:

Jojoba oil- 340 drops which is 2 mL 
Peppermint oil- 45 drops
Tea Tree oil- 5 drops
Eucalyptus oil- 5 drops

He adapted the recipe from this Pupps Relief Blog




23.  Wicking clothes
Pupps relief: 4 out of 10
General pleasantness or unpleasantness of treatment: 10 out of 10

My husband had a wicking shirt and shorts from our hiking day at Machu Picchu a few years back.  He read somewhere that this might help with Pupps.  I wore the "outfit" to bed two nights in a row and it was comfy but ultimately not super helpful.  I was 100% miserable at this point in my Pupps journey, so clothes weren't going to make a huge difference anyway.

24.  V-8 Juice
Pupps relief: 1 out of 10
General pleasantness or unpleasantness of treatment: 5 out of 10

This didn't do anything for me.  It is in the same realm of lemon water-- trying to clear out the liver.  I had never tried it before.  I thought I would hate it, but it wasn't awful.

25.  Cherry Juice
Pupps relief: 1 out of 10
General pleasantness or unpleasantness of treatment: 8 out of 10

Same thing as V-8... trying to clear out liver.  It is a fairly yummy juice (I even got the healthy version, no added sugar) but didn't do anything for my Pupps.

26.  Zyrtec
Pupps relief: 1 out of 10
General pleasantness or unpleasantness of treatment: 9 out of 10

Zyrtec can safely be taken during pregnancy for allergies.  Pupps is an allergy I guess, but I never really felt any relief from this.  It's just one pill every 24 hours, so it's not unpleasant to take, it just never worked for me.

27.  Benadryl (pill form)
Pupps relief: 3 out of 10
General pleasantness or unpleasantness of treatment: 5 out of 10

This is also safe to take during pregnancy.  I had high hopes for being knocked out by it but the itching was so bad that it kept me wide awake.  For the first few terrible days of Pupps, it worked for 3-4 hours but then I was wide awake and miserable.  Later, it didn't work at all.

28.  Hydroxyzine- 25 mg tablets
Pupps relief: 9 out of 10
General pleasantness or unpleasantness of treatment: 8 out of 10 (I'm just nervous taking a drug while pregnant, but was so happy to get to sleep again.)

I got this prescription from my doctor after I explained that Benadryl wasn't working at all and I wasn't sleeping.  I take two a night to sleep and not itch.  It is an anti itch pill.  I am allowed to take it every 8 hours, but it does cause drowsiness so I only take it at night.  I haven't done a ton of reading about it as it relates to pregnancy, and may try to stop taking it tonight since I am no longer miserable.  I have taken it for 6 nights and I have gotten progressively better, so maybe this has helped me beat Pupps too!

29.  Aloe vera
Pupps relief: 2 out of 10
General pleasantness or unpleasantness of treatment: 8 out of 10

This was given to me and really didn't help at all, but it sure smells nice!

IN CLOSING
Whew!  29 different things!  I hadn't found much at all online about people who had beaten Pupps, especially women who got it earlier in their pregnancy.  I hope this will help you!!!  I got Pupps FULLY at 21/22 weeks of pregnancy and now just two weeks later, I am sitting here blogging about it instead of trying to scratch my skin off.  I still do itch, but I am mostly just dealing with super dry skin in the places that were the worst with the Pupps rash.  I am slathering on coconut oil often to moisturize and stop the itch when it comes back.  It seems like people have all different experiences when it comes to beating Pupps.  I hope you can write your own success story soon!!!  Stay strong, and keep trying until you find something that works!!!



6 comments:

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  2. Ugh. My first post didn't go through. Thanks for this!! I'm suffering now, and am just approaching the 35 week mark. It seems as if your findings are the same as mine. Can you share more about what you did with the coconut oil? What kind did you buy? How did you apply it?

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  3. Hi Stephanie,

    I'm sorry you are suffering!! I've tried different versions of coconut oil and am still using it to keep moisturized. I like liquid coconut oil because it squeezes on quickly. I've also liked the coconut oil that comes in a tub and kind of melts on as you run it in. This can even be used for cooking oil actually! Just make sure it's an oil not a lotion (one I bought from Sam's Club was a lotion enriched with coconut oil and it wasn't as good.) good luck!!!

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  5. Thanks for wonderful blog I m in mid of my pregnancy and suffering from puppp .. I was slightly relieved by coconut oil n camphor mixture . Hope it can be helpful to some others like me

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  6. Hey - I am 36 weeks and have had this for a week now. It's spread and is worse on he backs of my thighs and my ankles - sitting down is impossible as is sleeping - I have tried everything you listed and a few more - I am finding coconut oil during the day and before bed a cool shower and been using Arbonne Detox products. A seasalt scrub (aaaaammmmmaziing) followed by a detox wash and then a cooling gelee moisturiser. This appears to be the only routine that is getting me through. Sleeping still a challenge as mid way thru the night I'm there with the hydracourtazone (sp) putting it on the itchy bits but I will see if I can get the tablet you mentioned from the dr.

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