About two months ago, I started to get really itchy — and by really, I mean relentlessly, intolerably, driving-me-batshit-insane itchy. Then, a few days later, I noticed the beginnings of a scaly rash on my legs, which later spread (albeit intermittently) to the rest of my body. Although the rash elsewhere on my body seemed to come and go, my legs only worsened with each passing day.
I Googled “itchy skin during pregnancy.” Bad idea. Apparently itchy skin during pregnancy is a sign of a serious liver disease. Not very reassuring. Then I Googled “skin rash and pregnancy” and found out about some horrible pustule-y skin condition that can crop up during the third trimester. But my rash didn’t even remotely resemble this. Then I Googled “eczema and pregnancy,” and bingo! Evidently, as many as 2/3 of women are in some way afflicted by eczema/dermatitis during pregnancy, and the photos I saw looked more or less like what was on my legs. I mentioned it to my midwife and she didn’t even bat an eyelash. “Yup,” she said. “Perfectly normal.” So I wasn’t going to die, which was good, but I was still incredibly itchy and uncomfortable as hell.
I am not a fan of steroidal anti-inflammatory creams (Cortisone et. al.), because they suppress the inflammation but really don’t do anything to address the root cause. I figured the easiest place to start tackling this rash would be with an elimination diet, beginning with a return to strict Paleo eating to see if that had any effect. If there was no improvement after a couple of weeks, I was going to try eliminating eggs, then nuts, then nightshades (peppers, potatoes, etc.), one group at a time, to see if I could find the cause of the rash.
In the meantime, to soothe the itch (and my sanity), I went through entire tubs of zinc lotion, virgin coconut oil, and a frightfully expensive shea butter cream — all to little or no effect. Then, one morning last week, I snapped. While in the shower, I was so terribly itchy that I grabbed my loofah and just started scrubbing the crap out of my itchy skin for a full 15 minutes. Sweet relief! The feeling was… well, I’ll stop short of saying orgasmic, lest J. get jealous and confiscate my loofah, but it felt damn good. I knew that this scrub-down was probably a bad idea that would likely result in a whole lot of irritation to my already sensitive skin, but I just couldn’t help myself at this point.
After the shower, I slathered my skin in the last remaining super-moisturizer I could find in the bathroom: Vaseline. Ten minutes later, no itch. Half hour later, still no itch. Hours later, you guessed it, no itch. At bedtime, just a bit of itching, which I soothed with the addition of more Vaseline. The next morning, my rash was actually looking better!
I have since done two more “scrub the crap out of it and slather it with Vaseline” treatments, and I am thrilled to say that the rash is now almost completely gone, and my skin itches only intermittently (and quite tolerably).
I don’t know if it was the scrubbing, the Vaseline, a change in hormones or some combination of all three, but damn, I feel SO much better now! 🙂
Worked on my double-unders (managed to get 33 consecutively!).
5 x 5 deadlifts @ 155 lbs, 175 lbs, 185 lbs, 195 lbs and 200 lbs