Grandpa’s Pine Tar Soap

This is something of a public service announcement. I have not been endorsed by Grandpa’s Pine Tar Soap, but I’m about to sing praises for it.

For all three of my pregnancies, I have been blessed with the joy of a horrific skin condition known as pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy or PUPPPs. Every single time I type “PUPPPs,” I want to put in one less “P”, but it really does have 3 “P’s” at the end. Those pictures of an awful rash over on wikipedia? First of all, I accept your thanks for not posting them directly. Second of all, those pictures have NOTHING on how bad my PUPPPs rash was during my first pregnancy.

PUPPPs with Lily was absolutely the most agonizing thing I’ve ever been through– and I had 5 hours of excruciating back labor with her. I also put my back out so badly 2 years ago that I wasn’t able to get out of bed for 3 days. I literally had to crawl to the bathroom. Both of those things were a picnic compared to my first case of PUPPPs. The itching was so intense that I couldn’t sleep for more than an hour at a time. I’d wake up to find myself clawing at my rash and destroying my skin. No matter how hard I tried not to scratch myself, it still happened. Even when I tied socks and mittens over my hands, I would still find myself digging my nails through the cloth to get at my red, inflamed, bumpy skin.

The rash with Lily spread from my stretchmarks on my belly to EVERYWHERE. Only my face, chest, back and feet were spared. It was all over my legs, butt, stomach, arms and hands. It was absolutely awful. The PUPPPs started showing up mildly at probably around 33 weeks, but I didn’t ask my doctor about it until I was probably 36 weeks when it really started to flare up. During the last 2-3 weeks of my pregnancy, my days were spent alternating between soaking in cold oatmeal baths, smearing my body in caladryl and hydrocortisone cream, putting ice on my rash and trying to sleep all while crying intermittently. This is not the way anyone should ever have to spend the end of their pregnancy.

I am very lucky in that this condition has no threat to the baby, but, man, was I a mess for this. When I was giving birth to Lily, the nurses told me I had the worst case of PUPPPs they’d ever seen.

Statistically, that should have been the end of my PUPPPs experience. Most people only get it in their first pregnancy… and when they are pregnant with boys or multiples, but I’m “lucky” and got it all three times with none of the other statistical components (at least the commonalities they were listing 5 years ago. I didn’t look this time around).

In my second pregnancy, the PUPPPs showed up at about 24 weeks, but it was a lot more mild. This might have been because I absolutely insisted my doctor write me a prescription for a stronger steroid cream so I wouldn’t be miserable for 16 weeks while caring for a toddler. For some reason, she refused the steroids the first time around when I was so miserable, but this time she wrote the prescription like it was no big deal. WTF? I’m still angry about that. That round of PUPPPs was much more tolerable than what I went through with Lily. I don’t know if the steroids kept things mild or if it just would have been more mild because it was my second pregnancy and you aren’t supposed to be able to get PUPPPs a second time, let alone a third time (at least that’s what they were saying 5 years ago when I was researching PUPPPs 24/7 while scratching and crying).

This time the PUPPPs showed up at about 29 weeks and was again mild. I got a steroid cream prescription from my OB/GYN and started researching remedies for a third time. This time, one name came up on all the message boards: Grandpa’s Pine Tar Soap. Everyone suffering from PUPPPs claimed that Grandpa’s Pine Tar Soap cured it 100%.

I’ve never heard of anything “curing” PUPPPs before, so I absolutely had to try it. I mean, sure, the PUPPPs had been mild so far, but the prescription cream didn’t seem to do much and I was terrified that when I hit 36 weeks that things would turn nightmarish again.

I ordered some Grandpa’s Pine Tar Soap off of Amazon. Three days later when it arrived the odor almost knocked me out. It’s like a bonfire in a gross-looking brown bar, but I’ll try anything and smell like anything as long as it means I don’t have to have PUPPPs anymore. I started washing the affected areas twice a day and then applying my steroid cream.

I’d been using the steroid cream for about a week and if anything my rash was getting worse. Within two days of using the soap, my rash looked much better. Within a week, it was completely gone.

I don’t have PUPPPs anymore. This is truly a miracle soap. If you know anyone who has PUPPPs, get them this soap immediately (I also recommend getting induced early if you have it badly. I didn’t and I still regret not doing it). It’s also supposed to work on eczema and dandruff. I suffer from neither condition, but if you have either of those things TRY IT. If this thing can knock out PUPPPs, I truly believe it can knock out anything.

EDIT: I’ve been informed that pine tar oil can sometimes contain creosotes, which are carcinogenic. I did a little googling and Grandpa’s brand creates its pine tar oil in a closed kiln, which means the soap is creosote-free. Wash those rashes away!

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