The itchy rash first made its appearance when I was around 34 weeks pregnant. It started off small and in one area, but gradually by the end of my pregnancy it had taken over my body excluding my face, palms of my hands, and the soles of my feet. Mind you, this bumpy, red, itchy rash was more intense than anything I had ever felt or experienced. Imagine having been eaten alive by 100’s of mosquitoes, rolling around in poison ivy, and sprinkle some chicken pox on top. It was insane! In short I had what is commonly known as PUPPP (Pruritic Urticarial Papules and Plaques of Pregnancy).
I cried almost every day. I scratched and scratched until I bled. I would take nearly a half dozen cold showers daily trying to ease the discomfort. Hundreds upon hundreds of dollars was spent in trying to fight the itch. Whatever advice was given on the internet, I did—from steroid pills (3 rounds), steroid creams, every anti –itching cream made, dandelion root to omega 3 flaxseed oil (which by the way seemed to work for a little bit until I threw it up and could no longer stomach 2 tablespoons of flaxseed oil any more). The only thing that seemed to calm the itch for me, was to purchase a lotion called Sarna. I would take a cold shower and then smear this intense lotion all over my body.
My body looked horrible and I even apologized to the guy giving my epidural for being so gross. I was induced early in hopes that by having my baby, the rash would subside and disappear since nothing else worked. The rash did not go away, though it did calm down. While I was pregnant on a scale from 1 to 10, I was nearly a 10+ every day near the end. After that, it settled to around a 2 or 3.
My daughter is now 6 ½ years old. I still itch almost every day. The mornings and evenings are the worse. I can sometimes reach a 3 on my scale of itchiness. This itch is not like other itches. Normally, when you have a itch, you scratch it and the itch subsides and goes away. Mine does not. When I scratch, my itch worsens and worsens in its intensity. Then it spreads. I bleed, I get hives almost instantly every time. I still buy Sarna. I should have bought stock in that lotion years ago.
I truly believe that my itchiness is due to IVF hormonal procedures that caused my hormones to get out of sync somewhere. I have been to doctors and I have not received much help other than a tiny tube of steroid cream that in one use is gone or I have been told to take a Claritin everyday to help my histamine levels. Nothing works. I simply live with it since I am NOT nearly as bad as I was while I was pregnant. I don’t think I have ever heard of someone dealing with the itch for as long as I have dealt with it.
If anyone knows a cure, please let me know. I am open to options.