>> Friday, November 22, 2013 – Pregnancy
This post has some gross-ish skin pictures. You may want to scroll quickly.
I am not a doctor. I am clearly not YOUR doctor. I just know I had trouble finding information when I needed it and wanted to be a source in case it could help someone out. Check with your own doctor. Duh.
When I was around 18 weeks I noticed a little bump on one of my fingers. I figured it was just a bug bite or something. Soon that one bump became multiple bumps on multiple fingers.The bumps started out as little red bumps, kind of "under" the skin.
By the end of that first week, my hands had bumps all over and were itching like crazy. The bumps came above the skin and looked almost like poison ivy, but without any oozing.
|Imagine these all over between my fingers, toes and on my palms and feet bottoms.|
I had an OB appointment the next week- she took a look and knew it wasn't necessarily a "pregnancy" thing and told me to see a dermatologist. Of course that meant another appointment, another afternoon off work. Blah.
The dermatologist took one look at called it "dyshidrosis"- a pretty severe/random type of eczema that presents as these bumps between fingers and toes and on palms and feet bottoms. By this time I had a few bumps showing up on my feet also.
Of course the typical treatment is either oral or topical steroids, both of which he told me are no-nos in pregnancy. My option? Hand cream. Ugh. Apparently this is onset/encouraged by dry hands and the best I could do was to try and keep my hands as moist as possibly, use the lotion ANY time my hands come in contact with water.
I was a religious Aveeno Hand cream user for 3 or 4 days and saw no improvement.. by the beginning of my 20th week (2 weeks in to this) my hands were so itchy and I was in so much pain that I was in tears. My hands got so swollen that I couldn't bend my fingers to grip a pen, my fingers were swollen and my rings wouldn't fit anymore- the rings that are almost always too big.
It was at this 2 week point that I went to the grocery store and just got a ton of "steroid free" creams and ointments to try out and see if ANYTHING would help. Hydrocortisone was instant relief, for awhile at least. (The OB had actually recommended I use this until I saw the derm, but since I was able to get an appointment 2 days later I never got any. I don't know why the derm never mentioned it.)
|Giant so the names are clear.|
My new routine became: use hydrocortisone (Neosporin eczema essentials anti-itch) 3x/day as a hand/foot lotion (morning after my shower, lunch time and before bed). In between when the itching started up again I would use the Gold Bond Intense Healing cream. After every time I washed my hands (A LOT! I am pregnant.. I pee A LOT!), I used the Aveeno Intense Moisture Hand Cream. Dude that is a ton of lotion on my skin and it was still dry and itchy and bumpy.
Oh also- for crazy itching, run your hands under cold water and then immediately apply one of the above lotions! Hot water makes the itching 100x worse. In the shower I would take my whole shower and then step out of the water, run my hands under cold water and use the Neosporin eczema essentials body wash on my hands, rinse and get out, apply lotion.
(Note: I had a perinatologist appointment during this week and checked in with him. He said that he has definitely seen dyshidrosis before in the pregnants and it can be pregnancy induced. I also asked him about all of the creams/lotions and he was cool with using as much hydrocortisone as I wanted. I had been holding off before because I wasn't sure how much would be too much- it seemed like it was more... intense? than regular lotion. He also recommended a couple of other items I could use.. all combined- Benedryl gel and triamcinocone (?). I never got the last two since the hydrocorisone was doing as well as anything could.)
(Side note- one of the spots on my foot bottom got so huge after walking at a job site all day that it was like multiple bumps merged into one giant A bump. Because there is liquid in these- even if they don't ooze or pop- it was a huge lump/blister on the bottom of my foot. I couldn't put pressure onto my foot without a shoe on. Yeah.. that wasn't working, so that night I popped it. OMG it felt so good and such relief! I would definitely not recommend popping any of the little bumps, but I couldn't walk on the foot with the size of this thing. I immediately cleaned it, put on bacitracin and a band aid.)
By the end of the 3rd week of intense itching and these spots/blisters, my hands started slightly peeling.
Everywhere that there had been a blister/spot began to peel as it dried out. I had 4 weeks of the peeling before there wasn't really anything left to peel. (If you are keeping track, we are now 7 weeks in since the first bump appeared.)
Today I am 7.5 weeks into this (25 weeks+ pregnant). My hands still get wicked itchy, but there is no more peeling. I am guessing the itch I feel now is the new skin coming in and regenerating (or whatever skin does) in combination with being wicked dry. It is by no means that crazy itching that I had with the bumps. My hands especially are wicked dry still. I am not using hydrocortisone anymore (I pretty much stopped that and didn't need it anymore once I began peeling), and mostly stick to the Aveeno Eczema Therapy (every time I wash my hands, before bed, and when I get in the car in the morning and at night.)
I had a pretty textbook case that followed these two articles, if you are looking for more information. Or, feel free to contact me with any questions!!