So last week a very strange thing happened to my ever growing belly. I developed a small rash that itched like crazy and eventually spread over my entire stomach region. Since I was on vacation in Virginia, I tried to come up with lots of excuses for the rash: new soap, new detergent, new shirt, etc. Mind you, since the rash was only on my stomach, none of these explanations for the rash really made much sense.
So I went to the doctor on Monday and was diagnosed with PUPPPS. For those of you, like me, who are unfamiliar with this- here is the explanation:
A common rash during pregnancy is Pruritic Urticarial Papules and Plaques of Pregnancy. This is a most unpleasant rash with an incredible itch that's only cure is delivery of the placenta. Although this is most common in first pregnancies, it has been known to occur in subsequent pregnancies. This problem affects one in about 160 to 200 pregnancies.
The onset of this rash is usually the third trimester but it has been known to appear in the early post partum period. The rash starts on the abdomen and then spreads to the extremities. It is an unbearably itchy rash. Happily the rash doesn't normally spread to the face. After delivery of the baby, the rash and the itch rapidly disappear. There are no known ill effects on the baby. Some doctors believe this to be an allergic reaction to the placenta but they also have noted a relationship to maternal weight gain, newborn birth weight and the incidence of twins.
So, needless to say, I have bought a huge tube of hydrocortisone that I can't leave the house without.