Recap of my First Pregnancy and Dupixent Experience
I’m 8 months pregnant and have been off Dupixent for 13 months - I got pregnant 6 months after getting off Dupixent, as recommended by my allergist (Dupixent prescriber). After a terrible eczema experience during my first pregnancy 2.5 years ago, my skin improved a bit after I had my first child, especially with the use of Protopic ointment, but it was still not great. I got on Dupixent 6 months after having my first baby and it made a big difference, changing my eczema from being moderate-to-severe to being mild-to-moderate, with it being mild for big periods of time. Because of my history, I was very nervous to both get off Dupixent and become pregnant.
My Skin During My Second Pregnancy, Without Dupixent
To my surprise and delight, my skin has been pretty terrific throughout my second pregnancy. It’s not been perfect, but the eczema has stayed off my face and has been mild to moderate, with it staying mild most of the time. At first, I felt like it was the calm before the storm, expecting my eczema to explode any day. When it didn’t, I felt confused. I even disengaged from my typical eczema community channels, feeling guilty that my skin was doing so well and not understanding the reason.
Today, I feel grateful. I know it can worsen in the future and love every day I can look healthy and feel comfortable. I don’t know what will happen when my hormones change after having my second baby. If my skin remains healthy, I’ll likely stay off Dupixent and just continue using my Protopic ointment as needed, which I’ve used throughout my second pregnancy.
What I’ve Learned Since My First Pregnancy - Topical Steroid Withdrawal (TSW)
My eczema community pals have given me feedback on my first pregnancy - it’s most likely that I was going through Topical Steroid Withdrawal (TSW). It makes sense - I was using topical steroids a ton before my first pregnancy and stopped almost completely when I got pregnant the first time. My symptoms (the severity of my eczema and even the edema) all look very similar to what other eczema sufferers go through with TSW.
So why didn’t my dermatologist tell me about TSW when I felt helpless and confused about the severity of my eczema during my first pregnancy? No idea - another reason I’m not a fan of dermatologists to this day. But it helps bring clarity to my situation. I’ve not used topical steroids since before my first pregnancy. Assuming I went through TSW for about a year after stopping topical steroids, Protopic and Dupixent helped finish clearing it up and stabilized my skin. Now, I’m not even on Dupixent and my skin has been doing well. Though I’ve heard Protopic can also cause withdrawals, I’m not planning on stopping it - I know my skin isn’t healthy enough to stay stable completely on its own. I’ll definitely consider Dupixent if my skin becomes unmanageable again. For now, I’m keeping my fingers crossed and enjoying my healthy skin.