Dealing with PUPPPs and Atopic Dermatitis

I survived a stomach-cramps, vomit filled first trimester.

Breezed through my second trimester – wheee!!!
And now, I’m going through a torturous, itchy third trimester. Thanks to the fact that I don’t have balat-kalabaw.
Growing up, I’ve always had allergic rhinitis with a bit of skin asthma or atopic dermatitis. I used to get these itchy, angry red rashes in my alak-alakan (part behind my tuhod), and its counterpart in my arms, mainly due to heat and sweat. What brought me relief from these is Elica lotion and cream. Yes, I’m allergic even to my own sweat.
So with that fact + this stifling heat we are experiencing right now = me with all these red bumps all over my body, mostly in my baby bump, lower back, and extremeties. Yes. I’m the preggy polk-a-dot lady as of last week. I panicked when I woke up that morning that I rushed to St. Luke’s just to have it diagnosed. And since I’m kuripot like that, I used our health care card to consult a dermatologist. Shouldn’t have bothered since the only thing I got out of that dermatologist is the assurance that its not measles or chicken pox, and a couple of lousy creams which lasted one application with my rashes. To all doctors who may be reading this. I’m sure health care providers are also paying you guys. So please take a moment to explain to patients naman what they are going through. So with trusty google, I googled “preggy rashes” or something like that and learned that what I have are PUPPPs (the whole name is way too complicated but if you are interested, google it yourself), which is basically:
  • rashes that affect first-time pregnant women, mostly in their third trimester (sakto ako diba)
  • affected parts include tummy, and can spread to legs and arms, but not the face (again, that’s me and thank god for the face part)
  • there’s no known cause and it affects 1 out of 250 women (wow lucky me)
And get this, there’s no known cure except to give birth. Oh gee, thanks. But after a bit more googling, I did find ways on how to minimize and manage:
  • I did use the cream and soap the lousy derma gave until their last moment, but both were not enough. I saw in some sites that oatmeal baths help with the itch. The main thing is to NOT scratch since once you do, you can’t stop (yeah they’re worse than pringles). Since I don’t have a bath, I settled with oatmeal soap instead. Specifically the ones bought from Sesou. They helped a lot, plus the fact that I can tolerate the smell is a big plus. Now if only they can last for more than a week then I’d be a happy camper.
  • After the cream ran out, I decided to try aloe vera gel. Some sites also recommend this as it has a cooling effect on the skin. I bought one again from Sesou and kept it in the refrigerator. It was bliss! While I can still see a few bumps here and there, the redness is totally gone.
This week, I went back to St. Luke’s for my blood test and decided to consult another derma while I was there. This time, she was referred by my allergologist and I paid for the services myself. She diagnosed that its PUPPP and my atopic dermatitis acting up (hooray for Google!) and again gave me some creams and meds for the itch. Skipped on the meds since I’m more or less used to the itch by now (but its still a test of willpower!) but is currently trying out the creams. A bit skeptical  though because one of the creams has a mix of petroleum jelly, and aside from the fact that its sticky as hell, its also not that cooling on the skin. Will give it a week though until I see her again next week.
What’s still bothering me though is the fact that my legs are peppered with dots – they used to be ugly red dots last week but are reduced to brownish dots right now. Great. Just when I’m trying to have fun dressing my bump and this humid weather makes beach-wear sooo tempting (not that I would wear beach-wear in the city). I wore cropped leggings last week and caught a few people staring at my legs. I used to think that I have a somewhat healthy self-image (or whatever you may call it), but those stares caught me off guard. At first, I wasn’t really conscious about my rashes because I have a pretty good reason for them – I’m pregnant! I did not wish or ask for them. But if they’re one of the dues I have to pay for the baby then so be it. Well I did get a bit depressed over them because how can I wear my dresses and I don’t really want to wear jeans in this weather because it doesn’t help with the itchiness. Haay the dilemma.
So today, I wore a dress again. Yes. In spite of the yucky bumps. Stare all you want. Like I said, I have a pretty good reason for them. Those are my preggy battle scars.

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