Wierd rash

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-23-2010
Wierd rash
11
Sat, 03-20-2010 - 9:20am

Last night I noticed a few little bumps on one of my arms (underneath, near my wrist) and now this morning they're spreading up both arms and some are starting on my legs around my ankles. I'm not especially prone to rashes. Anyone else have this happen during pregnancy and find out what it is?

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Edited 3/20/2010 10:38 am ET by karen2010
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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-05-2008
In reply to: karen2010
Sat, 03-20-2010 - 10:03am
I personally never had a rash during pregnancy but it's apparently very common according to my pregnancy books as well as what I've read from other ladies in various EC's (Expecting Clubs) here on IV. It couldn't hurt to have it checked by your doc, but it sounds like one of those darn pregnancy rashes. Let us know what you find out.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-23-2010
In reply to: karen2010
Sat, 03-20-2010 - 10:41am

Woops, I spelled weird wrong. I'll blame it on preggo brain. I was an English major, for God's sake!

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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-23-2010
In reply to: karen2010
Sun, 03-21-2010 - 10:06pm

Haven't identified it yet through Google. Doesn't sound or look like PUPPPS, a rash that typically occurs towards the end of pregnancy and can actually pose a risk to the baby. Whatever it is, it's annoying and spreading, so I'll be making some calls about it tomorrow.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-11-2010
In reply to: karen2010
Mon, 03-22-2010 - 10:18am

Hi Karen. Glad to hear you'll be looking into it. Better safe, than sorry. Hope you're feeling better soon!


Melinda


 

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-23-2010
In reply to: karen2010
Tue, 03-23-2010 - 7:36pm

The rash continues spreading, and I did see my primary doc about it today, but I think her assessment was off. She said she thinks it's PUPPPS, but everything I've read about that said it's usually right near the end, and never as early as 19 weeks. PUPPPS also doesn't look/sound like the same type of rash I have- it's more typically red patches, almost streaks, mainly on the chest and belly, whereas mine started as a few little bumps on my arms and is now spreading up my arms and legs but none on my belly or chest. I did read of another pregnancy rash that fits the description of what I have-- it's rare but more common if you're carrying a boy-- and what really concerns me is it can potentially lead to preterm labor if it lasts (sometimes it comes and goes, or it can stay and get worse). It's an immune disorder, whereas PUPPPS isn't, but there's nothing you can take to "cure" it- it's typically treated with Benadryl and topical cortisone and, in extreme cases, oral steroids. It sounds like it can get much worse than what I have now, or it can just go away on its own.

My next prenatal appointment is April 5, and it's starting to look like I'll have to wait till then to get more specifics about what I have. I'm hoping maybe it will just go away by then. My OB clinic never returned the call I left about this (got the voicemail, of course), but I imagine they won't tell me much about what it could be from a description over the phone anyway. I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that this doesn't develop beyond being an annoyance.

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Edited 3/23/2010 8:59 pm ET by karen2010
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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-05-2008
In reply to: karen2010
Tue, 03-23-2010 - 10:00pm

(Copied from my other post in Appointment Updates Section just so it's in the appropriate thread.)

Hi Karen. I'm sorry you're not getting the answers you deserve. I know how frustrating that can be. I looked up "skin rashes" in my 'What to Expect When You're Expecting' book and it doesn't go into a great deal of detail about each skin irritation or rash it talks about, but here's what I found for you:

"Irritated Skin Rashes: Often, rashes are triggered by pregnancy-sensitive skin reacting to a product you've used prepregnancy without a reaction. Switching to a gentler product often relieves these contact rashes, but still do let your practitioner know about any persistent rash."

"Strange Skin Bumps; PUPP or PEP: Typically occurs beginning around Week 28. Until delivery, it may help to know that although these new skin eruptions may be uncomfortable (and slightly unsightly), the bumps aren't dangerous to you or your baby. Known medically -- and upronounceably -- as pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy (try saying that fast three times), aka PUPP, or PEP (polymorphic eruption of pregnancy), the condition generally disappears after delivery and doesn't recur in subsequent pregnancies. Though PUPP most often develops in abdominal stretch marks, it sometimes also appears on the thighs, buttocks, or arms of expectant moms. Show your rash to your practitioner who may prescribe an antihistamine, or a shot to ease any discomfort. A variety of other skin conditions and rashes can develop during pregnancy (lucky you!) making you less than happy with the skin you're in. Though you should always show any rash that crops up to our practitioner, keep in mind that they're rarely cause for concern."

"Eczema: Unfortunately, pregnancy (or more accurately, its hormones) often exacerbates the symptoms of eczema, and for women who suffer from it, the itching and scaling can become practically unberable. (Some lucky eczema sufferers find that pregnancy actually causes the eczema to go into remission.)
Fortunately, low-dose hydrocortisone creams and ointments are safe to use during pregnancy in moderate amounts. Ask your practitioner or dermatologist which ones he or she recommends. Antihistamines may also be helpful in coping with the itchiness, but again, be sure to check with you practitioner first. Cyclosporine, long used on sever cases that dn't respond to other treatment is generally off limits during pregnancy. Some topical and systemic antibiotics may not be safe for use during pregnancy either, so check with your practitioner first. The newer nonsteroidals (Protopic and Elidel) aren't recommended because they haven't been studied in pregnancy and can't be ruled safe until more is known.
If you're an eczema sufferer, you know that preent can go a long way in keeping the itch away. Try the following:
- Use a cold compress -- not your fingers -- to curb the itch. Scratching makes the condition worse and can puncture the skin, allowing bacteria to enter and cause an infection.
- Limit contact with potential irritants such as laundry detergetns, household cleaners, soaps, bubble bath, perfumes, cosmetics, woo pet dander, plants, jewelry, and juices from meats and fruits.
- Moisturize early and often (while skin is still damp, if you're just out of the water) to lock in the skin's own moisture and prevent dryness and cracking.
- Try not to get too hot or sweaty (two of the most common eczema triggers).
- Try to keep your cool, too, when it comes to stress -- a common eczema trigger.
Something to keep in mind: Though eczema is hereditary (meaning your baby has a chance of having it, too), research suggests that breastfeeding may prevent eczema from developing in a child. That's just one more good reason to nurse your baby if you can."

"Fifth Disease: Fifth disease is the fifth of a group of six diseases that cause fever and rash in children. But unlike its sister diseases (such as measles and chicken pox, the ones that get all the attention), fifth disease isn't widely known because its symptoms are mild and can go unnoticed -- or may even be totally absent. Fever is present in only 15 to 30 percent of cases. For the first few days, the rash gives the cheeks the appearance of having been slapped, then spreads in a lacy pattern to trunk, buttocks, and thighs, recurring on and off (usually in response to heat from the sun or a warm bath) for one to three weeks. It is often confused with the rash of rubella and other childhood illnesses or even a sun- or windburn.
Concentrated exposure from caring for a sick child with fifth disease or from teaching at a school where it is epidemic somewhat increases that very small risk of contracting the illness. But half of all women of childbearing age had fifth disease during childhood and are already immune, so infection, happily, isn't common among pregnant women. In the unlikely event that a mom catches fifth disease nd her fetus does become infected, the virus can disrupt the developing baby's ability to produce red blood cells, leading to a form of anemia or other complications. If you do contract fifth disease, your practitioner will follow you for signs of fetal anemia with weekly ultrasounds for eight to ten weeks. if the baby is infected during the first half of pregnancy, the risk of miscarriage increases.
Again, the odds that fifth disease will affect you, your pregnancy, or your baby are very remote. Still, as always, it makes sense to take the appropriate steps to avoid any infection while you're expecting."

It sounds like the possibility that you have Fifth disease is pretty remote, but it was mentioned in this book as a skin irritation/rash so I figured I'd include it rather than not. I hope your OB clinic gets back to you tomorrow and is able to get you in to look at you. There's nothing worse than being left with a wandering mind about something you can't get definitive answers to. I'll keep you in my thoughts. Please keep us posted on what happens. Best wishes to you.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-23-2010
In reply to: karen2010
Thu, 03-25-2010 - 11:50am

Joan, thanks for your help in trying to get to the bottom of this rash situation.

I finally got a call back from the OB clinic, but they obviously can't make a diagnosis over the phone, so looks like I may have to wait till my next appointment April 5 for that. Just based on the appearance and location of the rash (like little bug bites on my arms and legs), I'm tentatively thinking it sounds like Prurigo of Pregnancy, which is also sometimes referred to as PUPPPS but has some differences, including an earlier onset. That would be the best-case scenario, since the condition may be very unpleasant for the mother but is said to have no effect on the baby.

Another condition it could be is pemphigoid gestationis, also called herpes gestanosis (although it has no relation to the herpes virus). This condition is not known to be potentially fatal to the mother or baby, but this is what concerns me about it:

A greater prevalence of premature and small-for-gestational-age (SGA) babies is associated with pemphigoid gestanosis.

The descriptions and pictures I've seen of that condition don't seem to match what I have, though.

The worst-case scenario is that it's cholestasis, a condition caused by the gallbladder that has been linked to stillbirth. I'm thinking (and praying) that's not what I have either-- that condition typically causes intense itching on the palms and soles of feet (which I don't have) but no bumps (which I do have). Still, I'm going to have blood drawn tomorrow to rule that one either in or out.

Obviously, I'd prefer a condition that annoys me to one that could potentially affect the baby.

Make a pregnancy ticker

Edited 3/25/2010 11:54 am ET by karen2010




Edited 3/25/2010 11:58 am ET by karen2010
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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-05-2008
In reply to: karen2010
Thu, 03-25-2010 - 12:24pm
Karen - now that you mention it looks like you have bug bites on our arms and legs, guess what? I had/have something like this, too. Truth be told, I did nothing about it and said nothing to my doc because I feared it was either hives or flea bites from our dog (even though no one else in our house complained of them and I never saw any fleas or even my dog itching). Mine were concentrated around my ankles, then over a few weeks, started working their way up my legs. A few broke out on my wrists/fore arms, but those looked more like true hives than like bug bites. I do have a slight allergy to dogs so I chalked it up to being overly sensitive to our dog. The weird thing is, the marks from these "bites" or "hives" are still on me. They're now purple, although they're not raised and are no longer itchy; they just left purple marks on me (kind of like when something is having a hard time healing). And I haven't experienced any new ones in at least a month now. Hmmmm, now you have me worried that perhaps I should've asked one of my docs about them. My girls have a doc aptmnt tomorrow morning so I think I'll just have to show my doc the marks and see what she says. Try not to worry too much. I'm sure your doc's office would've brought you in earlier than next week if they thought it was something to be concerned about -- although I admit, I'd be reacting the same way you are.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-23-2010
In reply to: karen2010
Thu, 03-25-2010 - 1:34pm

I just Googled Prurigo of pregnancy again and found some pics that look exactly like what I have (some look even worse).

http://www.aafp.org/afp/2005/0401/p1380.html

Again, I'm hoping this IS what I have, since Prurigo is said to pose no risk to the baby, whereas some of the other possibilities could. However, Prurigo this early in pregnancy may be an indication that a more severe case of PUPPPS will emerge later. PUPPPS can become so nasty at the end that, while posing no risk to the baby, some choose to have labor induced a week or two early.

Incidentally, I saw nothing in what I've read that says any of these these conditions are linked to the mother's age.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-23-2010
In reply to: karen2010
Thu, 03-25-2010 - 1:43pm

I was wrong in something I wrote a few days ago when I was first researching various conditions. PUPPPS is NOT said to pose a risk to the baby. Some other pregnancy-related skin conditions do. PUPPPS can become so unbearable at the end, however, that some choose to have labor induced a bit early.

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