Monday, April 25, 2011

PUPPP, now with pictures!

This is what PUPPP looks like. I was debating whether or not to show it at all, and I finally decided that showing my legs was not really all that indecent, just kind of gross.

You'd get a better idea of what this stuff looks like if I felt comfortable showing my bare thighs or stomach on the internet, but that also might make everyone want to never read my blog again. Let's just say that I looked like that "day seven" photo all the way from my waist to my knees, front and back, with the added bonus of some pretty godawful stretch marks. Sexy!

Here's what my legs look like now. Right now. Yep, right now--I just snapped t
his photo with my phone. There hasn't been a whole lot of improvement after the initial reducti
on in swelling after switching to Temovate.

The rash starts as tiny little blisters and/or lumps that itch like crazy. They don't just itch a little, they itch a lot. PUPPP itches so much that you are literally unable to resist scratching at it. I've had eczema since I was six weeks old, I know what it's like to itch, an
d I have never been itchier in my life than I have been with PUPPP.

Eventually, the lumps run together to form blotches, and then the blotches run together to make you look like a boiled lobster. After a few days (and some generous steroid treatment), the red fades to a delightful bruise-like gray-purple... and stays that way.

By the way, it still itches. At no point will this stuff stop itching, no matter what it looks like. That's probably the most delightful part, that the swelling and lumpiness will go down, but the most horrible symptom will stick around forever until delivery.

My OB and the dermatologist reassured me that, mercifully, PUPPP usually does not spread to the face. It may run rampant everywhere else (like in my case, where I am covered from the neck down), but it spares the face and the area directly around the navel (wtf?). Thankfully, PUPPP is also not supposed to scar. Healing tends to be spontaneous and complete--one day, you just wake up without PUPPP. I'll probably have a few scars from gouging it open in my sleep (I am a horrible sleep-scratcher), but they will be small, relatively unnoticeable, and mostly hidden in stretch marks anyway... and we all know that I'll be lasering those off as soon I get the money.

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