We went to Mexico for a baby moon at 17 weeks pregnant and I was already starting to be itchy. I dismissed it as skin starting to stretch and tried to ignore it.
We went in for our 20 week ultrasound and saw our super cute baby!
The next week, I went in for my 20 week appointment with my doctor, and as she was doing the fundal length measurement (to see how big the uterus is), I pointed out a few spots that I had random red bumps and itchiness This was the beginning of the dreaded Pupps, though I was not immediately diagnosed.
I didn't have many of the key tell-tale signs of Pupps that clinicians are used to seeing. I didn't (and still don't!) have stretch marks with the rash in there. I was only 20 weeks pregnant and Pupps usually isn't seen until the third trimester. I didn't have any rash break outs on my belly until 21 weeks or so, and that was what my doc was looking for since it usually starts there. I did get a steroid cream (triamcinolone 0.025%) prescription that day. I filled it and started rubbing it on the spots I was itching. I used it for a few days, starting to put it on more and more as I got more miserable. It literally did nothing. I later read the fine print and learned that there could be "teratogenic effects" which I Googled and learned means "birth defects." Ahhhh! I immediately threw it away, and got another appointment with my doctor.
I had also done a liver blood test at the doctor to rule out cholestasis. I was negative for that, but I was considering advocating for a retest since I read that you can test negative for a week or so even if you do have it. But back to Pupps...
I felt like I was losing my mind due to the insane itching and my inability to sleep through the night. By this time, I was taking 2 Benadryls to try to sleep at night, but it was not doing ANYTHING. I would get maybe 3 hours of sleep and then basically be awake, itching, trying not to itch, repeat, repeat until I was actually happy when 6am rolled around and it was time to get up! Awful.
I was wearing long sleeves, pants, and light scarves each day to work because the rash was almost everywhere on my body. It was on the back of my hands, all along my arms, neck, chest, stomach, parts of my legs (upper thighs and ankles especially), and even my scalp was insanely itchy.
I was THRILLED to get an appointment and actually get a diagnosis for Pupps. She looked at me for one minute and told me, yep, you've got it. It was such a relief to actually get a diagnosis, since you already feel like you are going crazy when you get this disease, it's nice to have a real live medical professional tell you that yes, you do have that thing you basically already knew you did.
The bad news was that I got diagnosed at 22 weeks and everything I read online was that once you had it, it was basically with you until you delivered the baby.
The doctor told me to keep taking the Benadryl at night, and take one Zyrtec (which is a 24 hour pill) each day for the itching. I also was told to get calamine lotion and oatmeal baths. Next, see my review of each of the MORE than 25 products I tried in my fight against Pupps!
Now for the good news.... I am now 24 weeks pregnant and 95% healed from a TERRIBLE case of Pupps. I wanted to share my story since so many others helped me find the right products to finally beat this disease!