I'm currently in the middle of my PUPPPs journey. I've had it for just over a week, and it has been the single longest week in my life. I've learned a few things along the way that may not cure the illness, but may just help you deal with it in little ways.
-make sure you get diagnosed properly. Go to your maternity ward, make sure they run liver function (blood) tests and do a foetal health ultrasound.
Thats it for now, if anyone else has any other suggestions/advice, I'd love to hear it!
- Keep as cool as possible. I hate being cold, and I'm doing this in a Melbourne winter but I've adjusted to it as it keeps things more manageable.
- Have icepacks on hand, wet flannels in the fridge, wear as little as possible all the time (nothing tight).
- get used to having cool/cold sponge baths or frequent showers. Time them to 2 minutes (to help you deal with the cold) and make them as cold as you can handle. You'll hate it at the time, but your skin will thank you for it.
- Don't use regular soap. I'm alternating between goats milk soap and QV cleanser. As long as it's sulphate free (sulphates thin the skin), it should be fine but obviously, the milder the better
- Pinetarsol is also good, and I keep on hearing about Grandpas Pine Tar Soap on PUPPPs forums, so I've ordered a bar of that.
- Vicks is a dream when a certain spot gets insanely itchy. Use extremely sparingly, as it is pretty intense
- Buy a big tub of sorbelene, use is liberally, especially after showers. I went through a 500 gram tub in 36 hours. You'll use too much lotion to bother spending money trying to find a cure. For me, it has actually taken down my stretch marks!!!!
- buy calamine lotion- apply it with a pastry brush or soft paint brush- its faster, easier and cleaner. Calamine will dry out your skin but will definitely give you some relief.
- If you try to put calamine on top of moisturiser, it'll turn to paste, better to shower if you're struggling too much, put on a fresh coat of calamine and carry on.
- Some people swear by dandelion tablets/tea. I've made the choice to use them but I'd highly recommend you don't take natural remedies thinking that they're safe. Many natural products are toxic for baby
- If your physician prescribes it, take phenurgen/polaramine when required.
- Oral steroids won't work overnight. They'll take a few days to kick in and even then, you'll still itch, it just takes the swelling down.
- If your case is as severe as mine, sleep is a disaster area. You won't sleep much- mine has gone from 1 hour to max 5 hours per night (not continuous though), but I rest during the day. Yes- I've had to take time off work, there's no way around that.
- Fabrics can be highly irritating. Cotton sheets should be softened by soaking them in salt for a few hours, then washing them with vinegar/bi-carb soda mixes. This will soften them alot.
- Ditch the doona. Its too hot and you'll end up tearing your skin off. Again, being hot is the enemy
- Instead of tossing and turning at night and getting upset, I've found getting up, having a cold shower and doing stuff for a little while is more relaxing. Being in bed is so desperately needed, but the stress of trying to sleep is somewhat soothed by getting up, making a hot chocolate, putting on some washing, having some food....whatever. Don't go crazy, you want to feel calm, and not completely re-awaken yourself.
- Doing things seems to make the itching better, get out of the house if you can. I'm in the process of painting the cot, and the dining table and I'm not joking when I say I'm doing the bathroom and toilet after that. Anything to keep on moving.