I was fairly anxious to see Dr. Savage this week because I was having some serious itching going on with my face. In previous pregnancies, I was fairly itchy too, but it mostly stuck to my legs and then general itchiness of my back and belly. This time, I was doing some serious clawing at my legs and face. And my face seemed to be developing some kind of rash. She told me to try taking Claritin in the morning and Benadryl at night. She said I should use Cortisone cream sparingly on my face. I also mentioned I was getting restless legs and charlie horses. She said to make sure to get enough calcium, eat a banana every day and drink plenty of water.
So off I went with plans to do as the doctor ordered. Well, the itching in my face did NOT stop. The antihistamines didn't seem to touch it, and it was just getting worse. I was waking up frequently at night clawing at my face. I started to do some research and read about a few conditions that can happen in pregnancy that might possibly be the cause. After taking part in some online discussions with other women, I decided to request a blood test to confirm one way or the other. I called my office and said I was concerned about cholestasis and asked if they would order a blood test. She went ahead and ordered it. Sadly (and happily) it came back negative. I was grateful because it sounded unpleasant and could cause still birth late in pregnancy. But I was also devastated to not have an answer. The nurse suggested I go to a dermatologist. These are pictures of what my face looked like after a night of clawing:
I called to schedule with the dermatologist and they said she didn't have any openings for at least 3 or 4 weeks. There was no way I was waiting that long. I put myself on a waiting list and went ahead and scheduled with their APRN. A couple days later I went in. The APRN said she thought it was sun reaction or allergy. However, she was very interested in the fact that it didn't affect my eyes and was specifically around my face. As I was leaving, she stopped the doctor who I had attempted to see in the hallway and showed her my skin. She started asking me all these questions and then just brought me into a room instead. It was kind of awesome because I wasn't able to schedule with her, but ended up seeing her anyway, and for a much longer time than I spent with the APRN! She asked about all my skin care products. It was hard to narrow it down to something that would have solely affected my face. She took some pictures, gave me her email address and said she would be happy to let me know about any products and their ingredients if I emailed them to her later. She told me to stop using most (if not all) of my lotions and face makeup and I bought a (very expensive) cream that she created for my face. The APRN had said I would see a noticeable difference within a few days. I felt as though the itching decreased, but the redness was still there.
I emailed the doctor and told her I didn't see much of a difference in the color to my face. She said it could take up to three weeks for the redness to go away. Boo! After all that time, I do think it decreased a fair amount, and the itching has gone away completely. I tend to think it may have been the powder/coverup I was using on my face. I eventually felt safe enough to wear eye makeup again and that has been fine. However, I've stayed away from anything on my face and that seems to have been a good idea as I haven't had any problems since then. I still feel like there's a little residual redness that I may follow up on later.
As for the belly...it has started to pop a bit. These are pictures I took at 20 weeks (HALF WAY!). I can still just barely see my feet. :)