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Women's Health: Postpartum Community
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Avatar universal

Itchy postpartum rash, anyone?

Hi, I got this really annoying itchy rash 2 weeks after giving birth vaginally to my daughter.  medicine and sarna lotion don't seem to work.  It itches even more when I scratch and at night.  I heard other moms had postpartum rash too.  What can I do to alleviate the itch and what is the cause?  I breastfeed and it's unbearable at night with the itch.
58 Responses
Avatar universal
By the way, the rash first started on my shin and other parts of my legs and now it's also on my ankle and near the buttocks.
Avatar universal
Are you on pain meds? It sounds to me as if maybe you are having an allergic reaction to somethings.  I haev never heard of a post partum rash.  BTW congrats on the baby!!
1 Comments
Yes, I think it is from the drug allergic reaction like I had.
Avatar universal
Hello.  I am 2 months post partum and have developed the rash all over my body.  It started on the back of my knees and a small patch on the back of my neck.  Later it spread to cover my entire legs as well as stomach and arms.  I have small red circles on my cheeks but the rash does not extend over my nose.  I am concerned that this may be Lupus.  Anyone?
Avatar universal
Okay, here's my story and a cure for the itching at least!  I had a C-Section and had a solid hive from my mid-thigh to my mid-stomach.  The hives were due to the betadine (iodine) used to clean the area for my C-Section.  I also had a rash on my upper arms and stomach starting about the 8th month of pregnancy.  And, about 3 days after birth, I started itching on my legs, arms, stomach, sides, and back that would turn into a rash/hives after I would scratch it.  So, I think I had PUPPP and an allergy to betadine, but I also had this third thing too that I'm calling "postpartum rash".  The steroid shot and dose pack got rid of the betadine allergy and the postpartum rash temporarily, but the postpartum rash came back.  The PUPP went away after birth (except I still have a rash on my upper arms, but it doesn't itch.)  But this third thing has been itching like crazy and I'm 6 weeks postpartum now.  I have been to numerous doctors and lately a dermatologist that has referred me to an allergist just recently.  I'll be making the allergist appointment because I do believe this is an allergy due to changes in hormones from pregnancy.  The dermatologist told me that pregnancy/birth does such a number on your body that you can develop allergies that you never had before.  Anyway, I have taken about every prescription that everyone has discussed as well as over the counter stuff too.  At one point, one doctor even prescribed scabies medicine thinking that might be it!  The cure for the itching is a combination of Hydroxyzine (25 mg 4X per day) and Doxepin (10 mg 3X per day).  This will make the itching go away.  When I was just using Hydroxyzine without the Doxepin I was using Fluocinonide ointment too (which is a stronger ointment than Triamcinolon).  I also have a presctiption for Clobetasol ointment which is supposed to be even stronger than Fluocinonide, but I haven't had the need to take it.  The only downside to the Hydroxyzine/Doxepin mix is that it makes you tired.  I've ordered the Grandpa's Pine Tar Soap that everyone is talking about here to hopefully see if I can at least get rid of the leftover rash on my upper arms from PUPPP because it sounds like that might help.  And, I'm going to an allergist to try to get rid of the postpartum rash for good so that I can stop taking the Hydroxyzine/Doxepin.  Hope this helps!
Avatar universal
Hi, I had the same problem..the rash was so maddening that I thought I would jump off a cliff if I didn't get rid of it soon.    After weeks of misery and sleeping with ice packs, I finally went to a doctor who knew exactly what was wrong.  I was allergic to my husbands DNA in the placenta.  When the placenta starts to deteriorate at the end of the pregnancy, the lower stomach usually starts itching and gets welts.  Then, after pregnancy, as the placental materials left in the body get reabsorbed into it, the rash becomes systemic and you feel like you will lose your mind from the itchiness.   He gave me a prednisone pack and it was almost gone by the end of the day.   In a few days, it was completely gone and never came back.   I couldn't believe it was gone.  It seemed too good to be true...but it was.  
1 Comments
That doesn't sounds right.-_-;; my doctor said it is from the drug allergic reaction that sounds more reasonable to me. I had the same medicine treatment you had; prednisone 50 mg one dose, I got much better and quickly disappeared.
Avatar universal
Hi I had a baby 9 weeks ago. When she was 4 weeks old i developed a rash.  I have tried everything to get rid of it!  It started in a stretch mark and now is on the backs of my legs, buttocks, ankles and now upper arm and back.  So many creams, pills and about 3 packs of prednisone and now onto a longer course.  I have been to see a dermatologist and next week off to see a natropath because the steriods just mask the problem and don't treat the cause.  Honestly this is the worst thing i have ever experienced.   I think i would rather give birth again than itch for weeks on end. Its ruining my life.  Any suggestions?  Im getting desperate
1 Comments
I had to go to urgent care because I couldn't bear the itchness at night time, lack of sleep from the breast feeding and changing diapers, I had to do something about it. I am so glad urgent care doctor was so knowledgable about this itchness, she saw this kinds of rash and she said it is from drug allergic reaction which I took Motrin.;;; next time pregnancy after delivery, I will never take Motrin even if hospital suggest me again and convince me that this is better than Tylenol. I will avoid.
Avatar universal
Hi! I'm so relieved (and sorry) to hear that I'm not alone with this weird condition! I'm a completely healthy 33 yr old, developed some itchiness on the lower arms and lower legs two weeks before an emergency c-section. Within 24 hrs of it, my belly was beet red but not itchy. This spread to the front of my upper thighs (maybe it's the iodine thing that someone else mentioned) and started to spread all over my body. It started burning and itching like crazy. They gave me Benadryl only which did very little to control the itching. The whole thing went into slight remission two weeks later, then returned with a vengeance and I still have it. I was just prescribed prednizone by my allergist, who has no idea what this is. He also took a skin biopsy and I'm going to see a dermatologist. I have a sense that it is a combination of the hormonal changes and the extreme stress I went under for two weeks post partum (my baby was in NICU). I just don't know why it isn't going away now that things are settling.
1 Comments
Prednisone worked for me too. Thank God
Avatar universal
is anyone still bleeding with this rash? i am 7 weeks postpartum and i have this rash as well. the itching is bad enough to make me think i am getting depression. since my bleeding has really picked up again i seem to itch even more. it is on my breasts, stomach, legs, back, butt, and neck. i am breast feeding and fear that i will have to stop in order to make the rash go away.
i have been to the dematologist. he said it was hives and to take zrytec. i tried that but it made both me and my son too sleepy and my milk production was becoming effected.
is there any hope that this will go away?!
1 Comments
Motrin causes more bleeding I found out later...lucky to find out earlier though. I had rash hands and ankles, feet,belly, face. Terrible itching especially my feet at night time! Benedrol didn't work for me at all. Thought about the dematologist, but thank God I went to Urgent care and met the right person who advice me well to take prednisone. Got better in 8 hours.
163557 tn?1244116542
oh boyy did i have a rash!  it started on my butt at the hospital, and i thought it was from the underwear they made me wear.  then after i got discharged, it spread from my butt all the way up my body to my chin.  i knew something was going on bc i neverrr get rashes!  i still don't know what it was from.  my guess is either the antibiotics they put me on, or the vicodin that i was taking for the pain from the section.  i still kinda think it was the vicodin, but i had taken it for something years before and didnt get a rash.  anyway, my dr had me stop taking everythingg.  no motrin. no vicodin.  nothing.  and i was healing from my section so it wasn't that fun without meds but i did it. ohhh she did put me on one med though...it was a steroid 5 day pack or something.  that seemed to do the trick, but it took almost all 5 days to work. go to the dr if it keeps up. mine was so annoying and awful..and i was dealing w a baby in the nicu at the time too!
Avatar universal
wow. i'm glad i'm not alone in this. i started to get hives about 6 weeks postpartum, where i had stretch marks. they soon became raised hives and spread so i was covered from knees to neck and on my arms down to the wrist. i tried every home remedy without avail. the doctor gave me a 5-day course of prednisone, which helped, but didn't clear up the rash. i went back and was put on a stronger, longer dose of prednisone. that cleared it up, but it came back as soon as i was off the prednisone. it hasn't been as maddening as it was, but it's getting bad enough now that i think i need to go back in and see a doctor again. my first inclination was that it was stress, but i'm not so sure. i've read that thyroid problems or infection can cause hives. also, i'm wondering if it's a "new" allergy.

1 Comments
Me too. I got 5 day prednisone, it got much better in 8 hours! Miracle!
Avatar universal
wow............. i'm so happy i found this thread. i developed some "rash" on my backside 4 weeks after having my son. i'm now 6 weeks post pardom and the rash is taking over the rest of my body. Here's the thing though, it doesn't itch. It's not bright red. It doesn't hurt. It's just a bunch of raised bumps. I at first thought this was a heat rash due to sitting on the couch constantly while on leave. *i have VERY sensitive skin and am use to having bumps develop or eczema flare ups if something irritates my skin* Well, the once harmless rash jumped to my face and neck last night while out with my husband. I attributed this to hives because i was beyond stressed out about who knows what... Up until 4 weeks post pardom I was healing quite well and having no problems. This just came out of nowhere.. I thought this also could have been brought on by the insane amount of motrin they told me to take *I put on 15 pounds of nothing but water weight in the last 2 weeks of pregnancy and was swollen to the point that I couldn't do anything other than lay on the couch until giving birth* They told me to take the 800mg motrin every 6 hours for 3 weeks. Yes it got rid of the swelling, but it also tore my stomach up and made me develop headaches for the first time every in my 30 years on this earth. This seems like rambling but all this ties in with this insane rash. If anyone finds out what this is please let me know. I have my 6 week check up this week and i'm sure my OB is going to think i'm insane because I tell her I have a rash that doesn't itch. I have been taking benadryl, but that only calms the small hives down. It doesn't get rid of the rash. Oh and FYI, baby powder and gold bond do NOT get rid of this. It only makes it worse.
Avatar universal
I am glad that I am not alone.  I had my daughter in July of 2007 and the day after I got home from
the hospital my hands starting itching so intense that I would cry.  My doc gave me a shot of (I think)
hydrocortisone.  It helped for a while but the itching came back.  All in all it lasted about 10 weeks.  
My son was just born 09/22/09.  It's funny cause I made several comments during the pregnancy
about "I better not itch again" and so on.  My doc told me I was having an allergic reaction to Keflex
when I had the itching 2 years ago.  It was almost like clockwork, the day after returning home from
the hospital 2 weeks ago the itching started, and I was not taking Keflex.  Doc put me on a 6 day
prednisone pack.  I just started it tonight.  I wish I would have went to the Doctor 2 weeks ago, but
anyways when I discussed it with him, his medical input was "I have no idea, that's wierd".  It seems
easier this time because this is the second time for me and at least I know it WILL go away and
there is nothing seriously wrong. Hormone changes can cause itching and having a baby certainly
will effect hormones.  I just tell myself thats whats causing it.  By the way my intense itching has NO
visible rash what so ever.  My hands look perfect as if nothings there.  You can slightly feel a difference
in texture.  Has anyone else exerienced that?
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