I recently learned that pregnancy has either made my body super sensitive to a once-minor allergy, or my allergy has intensified over the years.
After my baby shower, I started showing signs of what we think is a severe allergic reaction to latex (balloons). My hands were itchy and bumpy, but at first I just figured they were really dry after using so much hand sanitizer at work to avoid getting sick. Over the course of the next few days, I broke out in hives in my underarm area, ankles, and groin.
I went out for coffee with a friend one night after work and when I was changing into pajamas upon arriving home, I happened to look down and saw how bright red my legs were. On top of that, the itching was getting unbearable — part of my leg was bleeding from unconsciously scratching so hard on the drive home.
I stayed home from work the next morning and tried to get in with my OB but then remembered she is always out of the office on Thursdays (and that’s when something always happens!). I saw another doctor and she said it looked like some sort of allergic reaction but they also did some blood work to make sure I didn’t have this condition which can pop up in your third trimester. She prescribed a hydrocortisone cream and sent me on my way — I tried the cream but over the course of the next few days, the rash was spreading like wildfire and went from just a red rash to full blown hives.
Within a few days, I was covered head to toe in the most itchy, painful little welts and it is honestly the most uncomfortable thing I have ever experienced. There have been so many nights where it has woken me up out of a dead sleep and I find myself literally howling in pain.
I missed so much work due to this and nothing seemed to be working to get rid of it — I went back to the clinic two weeks after the hives started for my 30 week baby appointment and also to have my OB take a look at the rash and make sure it isn’t this. My OB sent me a referral to a dermatologist, who confirmed that it was an allergic reaction. My options for treatment were to take an oral steroid for 2.5 weeks or ride it out for another 4 weeks or so. Being pregnant, I chose the latter since the steroid would cause our baby to develop at a faster rate than he should and I didn’t feel comfortable putting him at risk in any way.
The first signs of the rash started almost four weeks ago and although the hives have stopped spreading so quickly, the pain hasn’t ceased. Scratching helps in the moment, but as soon as the scratching stops, the burning sensation is far worse due to aggravating the already irritated skin. Throughout the day / night, my whole body itches so bad that it burns and feels like something is eating my skin, which is about as fun as it sounds. There have been so many tears and many sleepless nights over this rash, which is just ridiculous if you think about how something so trivial could cause so much discomfort.
In the areas where the hives have decreased, my skin is super dry and kind of scaly so I’ve been using this cream to help bring some life back to those areas. My hands, feet, and eyes are also really swollen which is probably partially due to pregnancy and partially due to the allergy,
I’ve found that keeping my skin hydrated helps it to be less itchy which is great, because when I scratch, more hives seem to pop up. Showers and being too warm in general seem to also increase the itching so I’ve been trying to stay cool and dry as my body tries to heal from this.
I’ve always known I’ve had a latex sensitivity, but haven’t had a reaction since middle school when I broke out in a rash at the dentist —however, that was nothing compared to this. At one point a few weeks ago, I had so many little blisters on my fingers and toes that it even hurt to move my hands and feet! I had no idea that an allergic reaction could last this long either — it’s crazy how something so trivial such as blowing up balloons can affect the body in such a large way.
So, that’s what has been going on lately in these parts! I’m trying to focus on the upcoming holidays and the anticipation of our baby as my body works this allergen out of my system. It’s safe to say that we will be a 100% latex free household after this incident! ;)
Are you allergic to anything? I have seasonal allergies and am allergic to cats
Ever had hives?