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Crazy itching - advice please!

(54 Posts)
soontobemrslizzy Thu 25-Feb-16 13:22:16

Hi ladies

I was hoping to get some advice on remedies for itching - I have been itching uncontrollably since last night. I saw the doctor this morning and she's done blood tests to check for obstetric cholestasis and gave me some steroid cream but I can only take it twice a day and the itching is killing me. Last night I had some luck with a bath with bicarbonate of soda but today that's not working! Is there anyone who's experienced this who has a good remedy? I'm only 36+4, I don't know how I'll hold out until her due date at this rate! Also, if it does turn out to be obstetric cholestasis, she said blood tests take 5 working days, so I'll be 37+3 ish before they come back. I know it has an increased risk of stillbirth - is there anything I can do while waiting for the results to minimise the risk? Or do I just keep an eye on baby's movements?

whiteychappers Thu 25-Feb-16 13:26:01

My friends little boy has itchy eczema, she swears porridge oats put into a pair of tights in a warm bath, settles the itching down. I'm guessing you are at the point to try anything x

ifgrandmahadawilly Thu 25-Feb-16 13:36:25


I had OC during pregnancy. The best things I can recommend for the itching, whilst you are waiting to find out if you have it are cool showers or baths, Pine Tar Soap and Eucerin (you need to ask the Dr / a midwife if Eucerin is ok for you. My Dr's agreed it was fine but the pharmacist I got it off was a bit twatty about selling it to a pregnant woman).

With the pine tar soap, put it on, leave it on for two mins, then wash off.

Good luck. Itching is fucking torture.

I was told to keep an eye on babies movements but my consultant actually said that there was controversy over whether or not OC does actually coincide with an increased risk of still birth.

ILostItInTheEarlyNineties Thu 25-Feb-16 13:40:29

Itchy skin is common in pregnancy and can be caused by dry skin, skin stretching (is it mainly over your bump and boobs?) or some women get eczema for the first time in late pregnancy partly due to changing hormones.
Calamine lotion is safe and great for itching. Also, avoid perfumed products and use lots of moisturiser. Don't get too hot as this will make it worse and wear cotton.
Not sure if you have a rash but O.C does not. Other symptoms of O.C are dark urine and pale stools and it can cause premature labour. If your worried, or it's worse, pester doctor's for your results to be fast tracked.

soontobemrslizzy Thu 25-Feb-16 13:42:02

Thank you both, I'll ask about eucerin and oats I have. I'll have to look out for pine tar soap, i haven't heard of it before. I will try anything at this point, I'm so tired!

That's good to know about stillbirth, I was worried because they say they like to induce you at 37 weeks which I'll have missed. Hopefully she's fine in there. It is torture though! Did you get raised bumps where you itched, ifgrandmahadawilly?

Seriouslyffs Thu 25-Feb-16 13:52:48

I was going to post ask for a liver function test. Cut your finger nails very short and don't rub or scratch so you don't get into an itch scratch cycle or damage the skin.

ILostItInTheEarlyNineties Thu 25-Feb-16 13:53:33

If you have raised bumps or rash it's unlikely to be O.C. There's a common condition in the third trimester called (PEP polymorphic eruption ) which won't harm baby and can be treated with steroid cream or anti histamine but your Dr should advice. PEP starts on bump and spreads to legs and other areas with red raised bumps.

Everythinggettingbigger Thu 25-Feb-16 13:56:13

is your skin dry or just randomly itchy? the raised bumps sound like eczema to me (as a long term sufferer)

Keeping the skin hydrated is the main one for me! it really helps the itch! I use either aveeno moisturiser which you can buy from the like of boots/asda or get it on prescription. Also palmers coco bump moisteriser, I use it all over, its about £4.50 for a bottle but leaves your skin so lovely and soft! try and exfoliate with a non perfume one then cover yourself in either!!

hope it stops for you soon and isn't OC! I have bad eczema on my boobs at the min (horrendous and might not be able to breastfeed because of this) so I know how frustrating the itch is!

also about a year ago I was covered in little scabs and bumps and went to the walk in because it was very itchy. the lady in the walk in centre said she thought it was scabies!! (turned out to just be eczema)

RainbowCake Thu 25-Feb-16 14:04:59

I found magicool spray a miracle. I did have O.C.
As difficult as it is try not to scratch as it turns into a vicious circle.
Good luck .

soontobemrslizzy Thu 25-Feb-16 14:23:33

I don't think it's eczema because I've had that before and this looks and feels different (I've also had psoriasis and it's not that either!). It actually started on my neck last night and progressively spread everywhere - I didn't notice if the raised rash came before I started scratching or after. The rash only seems visible when I scratch and for a while after, it's like little flat flesh coloured raised bumps. Ilostit, I asked the gp about that and she said she didn't think it was that, something about the pattern not looking right although I thought that's what it is based on what the rash looks like. She gave me steroid cream which worked for about an hour and a half but I can't use it again till tonight sadly. She told me anti-histamines weren't recommended this close to the due date as they can negatively impact the baby but I could think about it if the steroids don't work. I just don't know what I'll do if she's late! I've only had it a day and its driving me nuts! How do people have it for weeks!

chandelierswinging Thu 25-Feb-16 14:31:59

I hope your OC tests come back negative; but tbh it sounds like, as a pp said, it's actually PEP. Either way, you have my sympathies OP flowers I had PEP in the middle of the summer... twice! It's bloody hideous. Had forgotten about this joy! Really hoping this pgcy is kinder with it!!! Cold, wet flannels or a cold spray (about £4?) soothed mine so it wasn't so "angry", plus copious amounts of diprobase applied as soon as I got the urge to itch. It's not helpful for them to just give you a steroid cream; you need to get them to prescribe you a good water based moisturiser too.

chandelierswinging Thu 25-Feb-16 14:33:20

Also, if you've got any stretch marks, be caredul scratching near them... I made mine bleed! shock

ILostItInTheEarlyNineties Thu 25-Feb-16 14:34:44

Cool showers or baths and loads of Calamine, the runny lotion. It could just be an allergy that will calm down with the topical steroid. I would go back to Dr if it's unbearable sounds really uncomfortable.

soontobemrslizzy Thu 25-Feb-16 14:47:54

I should have said - she did give me a moisturiser. It doesn't seem to do much on its own though. I think it is pep, that fits the symptoms best. I'll keep trying the steroids and cream and if it's not better in a day or so I'll have to go back just as I don't think I'll get any sleep with the steroids only working for an hour!

ILostItInTheEarlyNineties Thu 25-Feb-16 14:56:44

Should be a water based moisturiser or look for ph balanced on label. If it's any consolation, it goes once baby is born smile I would still push for your blood test results, just in case. Good luck- I had PEP for a while and so did loads of research into it. It made me very grumpy!

LittleMouseontheDairy Thu 25-Feb-16 15:01:38

I've been suffering from this too. It's so maddening. I was tested for OC last week which came back clear. I'm still itching so they took bloods again yesterday and I will be calling for results shortly (five working days sounds like a long wait to me! Both times it's been overnight for me).
I've tried: E45 itch cream - useless
Aloe Vera (pure) - useless
Wearing no underwear at night and looser clothes - think helps a bit.
Coconut oil - jury out on this. Initially did nothing but didn't itch too much in the night
Bio oil - think this has helped a bit but I only tried this morning.
Putting ice pack on the really itchy bits - this helps. Only way I can calm my feet enough to sleep!

I basically think my skin goes mad in pregnancy - the amount of skin tags I have is unreal, plus colour changes in freckles/ moles (checked by a consultant at 13 weeks and will make an appt to check again post-birth to make sure not missing anything sinister!) Its been worse when the weather is warmer so heat and stretching skin (due to swelling - hands and feet - and stretching belly) seem to make me itch!
It's not on palms of hands/ soles of feet and I don't have dark urine or pale stools so I don't think it's OC but will update you.
I'm 37 weeks so, like you, keen to have that checked out.
I also notice that when I itch I see small raised bumps. They look white/ fleshy within the reddened skin.
I don't think mine can be PUPP as it didn't start on the belly and spread and the rash (like yours) isn't obvious.
It's a bit mysterious and you have my sympathies as I know how maddening it is! I've been googling and people say that an acqueous cream with menthol in it (from Boots?) is supposed to be good.
Might try calamine lotion next..
Oh and will give my hot bath a miss the eve as while it soothes me initially (and helps other aches and pains!) I think it makes my itching worse afterwards, and my feet start begging to be itched when I'm in it.
Agree with pp it's best not to give in and scratch but it's SO hard not to!!

soontobemrslizzy Thu 25-Feb-16 16:17:27

Littlemouse, I hope you get your results soon too! The bumps you're describing sounds like what I've got - mine didn't start on my bump so not sure if it can be pupp but we'll see. Mine is on my palms as well but I don't have any of the other symptoms or risk factors so I don't think it's oc. I thought I might ring them tomorrow though, the doc said she'd get someone to chase it tomorrow. She seemed to think oc wasn't very urgent though.

Ilostit, the doc recommended aqueous cream too but no pharmacies in town have it. My husband is going to go to tesco for me after work to check though.

On another note, I just spent 15 minutes crying because my sister in law who is due a week after me just had her waters break and I was so jealous. I'm a terrible terrible personblush! I just cannot wait for the baby to be here!

hewy Thu 25-Feb-16 17:08:05

I have bad itching in the evenings mainly on my legs. I find some baby bio oil helps, putting pjs on and eating a banana. Not sure if there's any rhyme or reason to that, but eating a banana has helped me a few times. Good luck.

chandelierswinging Thu 25-Feb-16 17:22:39

Lizzy you're absolutely NOT a terrible person. You're just a totally fed up, constantly itching, heavily pregnant, hormonal woman. It sucks. But it will change. Chin up chuck! Oh and looking forward to seeing a birth announcement! flowers

(An aside: You were on the PCOS thread, weren't you?!)

soontobemrslizzy Thu 25-Feb-16 19:36:36

Chandelierswinging, yeah I was! I haven't been very good about following on the threads though! How are you getting on? I hope you're right, hopefully it won't be long! I'm sure it will all be worth it when she comes.

Hewy, bananas are the only food I just can't stand but I'm so desperate I might consider it.

Frusso Thu 25-Feb-16 20:00:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Missingcaffeine Thu 25-Feb-16 20:37:42

Try putting your creams in the fridge so they are really cold when you apply them. I think you can also get cream with menthol in if you ask over the counter at the pharmacy which might help.

soontobemrslizzy Thu 25-Feb-16 20:49:11

Missingcaffeine, I've just tried that - it is so nice! I'm due to get some aqueous cream with menthol but the pharmacy was out so have to wait till Saturday for that. So far the plain aqueous cream is the winning solution though.

Frusso, she's actually been really active today. If anything I'm a bit of a worrier so I tend to monitor her more than I need to so I definitely won't be stopping that!

Dixiechick17 Thu 25-Feb-16 20:49:29

Aqueous cream, can pick it up from anywhere, really cooling on the skin,I use it when my eczema is bad.

Squashybanana Thu 25-Feb-16 20:59:08

I had oc and bought a 'chillow pillow' which is a gel filled pillow you fill with cold water. I used to put my feet on it and wrap it around my bump etc. It saved my life.

BTW they told me 5 days for OC results but it was only 2 days until they rang with the positive bile salts result. I gather this is quite common; bad news travels faster!

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