A young mother is now permanently scarred after what doctors believe was an allergic reaction to the infant she was carrying in her womb.
The 20-year-old first-time mother is thought to have a rare allergy to the testosterone made by her fetus as it grew inside her.
Twenty weeks into her pregnancy, Dayle Byrom from Wakefield developed a rash on her body that itched in a way she described as “unbearable.” Completely debilitated by the pain and discomfort, she even at one point considered getting an abortion despite the advanced stage of her pregnancy. Her inability to stop herself from scratching the rash compulsively resulted in scarring that is likely permanent.
Despite consulting with ten different doctors, no one was able to diagnose the cause of her rash. She was given multiple types of topical antihistamines but nothing had any effect. It was only after she successfully delivered a healthy baby boy, Jacob, that she was referred to a dermatologist, who realized that a rare allergy was the cause of her discomfort.
The eventual diagnosis was Polymorphic Eruption of Pregnancy (PEP), a rare condition that only affects first-time mothers in most cases, manifesting in the late stages of pregnancy. This little-understood condition affects approximately one out of every 300 pregnancies. Though some believe that it is related to the gender of the baby, there is controversy in this area.
In a research paper, Dr. Samantha Vaughan-Jones, a consultant dermatologist and spokesperson for the British Association of Dermatologists, found that PEP occurred more frequently in women carrying male fetuses than in women carrying female fetuses. But thus far, there have not been any studies on PEP that have considered the function of testosterone.
Though her symptoms have been mostly relieved, Byrom still finds herself scratching compulsively, and thinks that she will be unable to return to her previous work as a pet groomer as her skin has become highly sensitive to chemicals. But despite her hardships, she still describes having Jacob as “the best thing I’ve ever done” and is considering having a second child.
Source: Daily Mail