Severe Rash Post Partum - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 08-17-2008, 12:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Please offer help....please...

With DS I developed a severe rash on my stomach 6 weeks postpartum. I had to take steroids, pump and dump, and ff for a week. We assumed that I contacted something like poison ivy. That diagnosis never sat right with me because poison ivy had never bothered me before. But I went with it.

Now here I am 4 weeks postpartum with DD and I have an identical rash on my back. This cannot be a coincidence now.

I will call my dr. on Monday, but I really don't want to ff. I am just sick to my stomach over this.

Any ideas? What can this be?
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#2 of 9 Old 08-17-2008, 12:28 AM
 
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I too developed a rash after the birth of DS1, but it was immediately after the birth, and it spread. It started on my stomach, and spread to my arms and legs.

I feel for you, because I remember how miserable the itching was. I was on steroids, but I did NOT pump and dump. The pediatrician said it was perfectly safe to continue to breastfeed.

I believe that my rash was caused by the pitocin embolus given to me for "excessive bleeding" after the birth. I think this is what happened because pitocin is synthetic oxytocin, which is present in large amounts just before, during, and after labor. My rash began about a week before I went into labor, but was manageable. Afterwards, it was HORRID!

With DS2, I had the little rash before he was born, but no pitocin, and no worsening. It faded and went away within a few days after his birth.

I don't know if this helps at all, just know that I know how you feel, and I'm praying for this to resolve quickly!
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#3 of 9 Old 08-17-2008, 09:01 AM
 
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First--you may want to cross post this to the Birth Professionals Forum.

Remember that the skin is a major organ with various important functions--one of those jobs is as part of one's 'waste elimination'. While I can't say for sure based on information present, I do like the pp's explanation--whether it was the pitocin, or other drugs used during birth and early pp time, or intensive use of herbs/supplements, or even just normal pregnancy/birth hormones, it seems very logical to me that your rash was a result of your body working to flush out wastes. In some cases, such 'flushing rashes' are not itchy, just ugly. But, depending both on what is coming out, and how sensitive your skin is at the time, there can be itching, weeping, burning of such a rash.

Most women, in the days following birth, undergo pretty significant flushing of their systems--they pee a LOT, some sweat a lot, or both. You are releasing the extra water (plasma) that your blood developed for pregnancy purposes that is no longer needed--returning to your normal blood volume fairly rapidly. Even without any drugs or high doses of herbs/supplements, your body is also releasing hormones and other biochemical factors of pregnancy that are no longer functional now that baby is out (stuff that is now 'waste').

My usual method for coping with any rash that becomes a problem (whether it's from waste flushing, poison ivy, pregnancy related or not) is to use water....hot and cold rinses, and to avoid lotions/topicals of any kind. Hot water opens the pores and helps hasten flushing. Hot water (as hot as you can take it without burning yourself) also produces this curious effect--first, it greatly increases the itch, while simultaneously scratching the itch in a way. It is one of those amazing awful/wonderful sensations that is hard to describe but I know others who've felt it...Anyway....Cold water after hot, helps rinse the skin thoroughly and then chill out the itching for a time, as a comfort measure. This method will tell you pretty fast if it's the right one or not--it will either start to help clear the rash in a day or so, or it won't. In the meantime, it won't do any harm, or put anything into your milk--and it won't clog pores that are working to stay open for this flushing process.

I will say that with poison ivy, it first tends to bring on the rash worse for a day or 2 (tho the cold water still helps quell itch), then soon to dry it out fast. It's the fastest method I've found for clearing poison ivy and other 'contact dermatitis' rashes from plants (My skin is pretty sensitive but I love the outdoors, I can't take steroids, have had MASSIVE cases of poison ivy in my day, and have tried a LOT of remedies). I do know other poison ivy sufferers who also stumbled onto this remedy as accidentally as I did...and I have applied this to other kinds of rashes, to bug bites--anything where there is a skin problem related to the presence of a toxin/waste product that needs to come out.

Well, this is just my theory--I have not yet heard of this type of rash in connection with post-birthing time nor of any ways to cope with it. But while steroids may have their place, it's definitely not the first thing I'd reach for! I'd be glad to hear of anyone else's thoughts/info on this topic.
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#4 of 9 Old 08-17-2008, 09:09 AM
 
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Wanted to add--

You keep the hot water on the rash until the itch subsides....usually a few minutes at least, up to 5 min or more but definitely not real long. Same timing with cold water--a few minutes, long enough to cool your body after the hot. *Very* cold is best and you can gradually switch from hot to cold if you want to.

And you can use this method several times a day, as often as you need to. I found that doing it at least 3-4 times a day works best with a very itchy-weepy rash. If you can't shower that often, you can at least use ice or cold compresses on the worst itching areas every so often to minimize the itch.

Also--keep yourself real clean--change clothes at least once a day, more often if your rash is weepy or you are sweating a lot. Change sheets more than usual as well. You want to remove the waste products from any contact with your skin, and they can get on clothes, sheets, etc.
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#5 of 9 Old 08-17-2008, 12:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you! I tried the hot/cold wash and that helped for about an hour....I didn't even bother with a topical. That didn't even touch it last time.

I have been applying aloe (from the plant) and that gives me some relief, but I will try a few days of hot/cold wash only.

I will also post this in the birth professionals forum....thank you!
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#6 of 9 Old 08-17-2008, 02:21 PM
 
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hm, i broke out in a rash after both deliveries, but mine was eczema on my arms and legs. ALL over my arms and legs--shoulder to wrist, ankles to all up to the top of my butt. with DD1, i got it i think as a stress reaction to her getting sick at 2 weeks old, because i got it when she was hospitalized. with DD2, i got it at 2 days postpartum. i was certainly stressed at the idea of being a mom to 2, but not nearly as stressed as i was when DD1 was hospitalized. but maybe it took less to cause the rash this time... i dunno. anyway, OB and pediatrician said no steroids because i was breastfeeding, but it didn't itch so bad, so i didn't need any anyway. benadryl was ok, but i would check w/ your provider to be sure.


sounds like yours isn't eczema anyway, but wanted to let you know that you're not totally alone in this. sounds pretty rare to me though, OB hadn't see it much i think.

(1 handed typing, sorry if this is choppy!! hope you feel better soon!)
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#7 of 9 Old 08-17-2008, 02:37 PM
 
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I had a mom who developed something very similar to PUPPPS postpartum and it was an auto-immune disorder that had flaired up. I wonder if you are dealing with something like that.

I wish I had better advice. I would look into Thomas Hale's Medications and Mother's Milk. I bet you can still breastfeed while on your medication.

wife - mother - midwife

CIRCUMCISION

The more you know, the worse it gets.

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#8 of 9 Old 08-18-2008, 09:37 AM
 
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Yes, please post if you find out more information or anything else that helps you out.

I had something similar after the birth of my son, and I have never heard of anyone with something like that. It was on my right outer "haunch"--hip and thigh, and everyone blamed it on the postpartum stretchy panties (you know the mesh ones) because I have a known topical latex allergy.

Like my skin latex allergy, I rashed up really badly and the rash spots scabbed over (it kind of looks like a burn) But after reading other poster's replies I am wondering. That explaination never made sense to me since the rash was unilateral and I wore the panties all over. Plus it idnd't make sense to me that they would put latex in those mesh panties when there are so many people at the hospital with latex allergies. . .

I have allergies in general and maybe it was my autoimmune response to being postpartum. I had a drug-free delivery by the way, but I did do a lot of "natural" stuff to get labor going (I went almost 43 weeks) so maybe the herb/supplement idea of stuff coming out through the skin?

I never treated w/steroids just was completely miserable for a couple of weeks. DS and I had thrush reallllly badly for almost 3 months postpartum so I kinda had bigger problems and the rash didn't seem like that big of a deal in comparison to my 2nd degree tear and bleeding nipples I was already taking tylenol/advil in 4 hr. increments to help deal with the other types of pain, so I guess that might have helped me deal with the itch? Good luck!
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#9 of 9 Old 08-18-2008, 10:46 AM
 
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You know, I had this with both my pregnancies, too. I didn't put it together until this thread.

Very interesting.
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