A woman who was told she had scabies had actually become allergic to her own skin while pregnant, and still suffers blotchy red outbreaks over 10 years later.
Ashton Brown, 33, suffers from a rare pregnancy-related autoimmune skin disorder that leaves itchy blisters over the body, called pemphigoid gestationis.
After she began getting itchy palms and feet she visited her family doctor and another emergency room before landing with a dermatologist who identified the disease so rare it affects one in every 40,000-50,000 pregnancies, according to Healthline.
"In the beginning of my third trimester, I would be going to sleep and would itch really badly," said law firm case manager Ashton, from Morganfield, Kentucky, USA.
"I would constantly be itching on my palms and feet and couldn't fall asleep because of it. I felt like my skin was crawling."
When she began getting red bumps on her body, Ashton went to the emergency room where she was told she had scabies. When blisters began forming, medical staff told her they didn't know what she had.
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Ashton added: "That dermatologist had seen one case of it before in 12 years. I was my obstetrician's first case in 30 years.
"I couldn't wear clothes because the blisters would weep and my clothes would stick to them and dry, so when I went to take my clothes off, my skin came with it.
"I had to wear hospital gowns so it wouldn't stick to my skin."
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Though she stopped getting new outbreaks a week before giving birth, the disease still affected her labour.
"They ended up having to put me to sleep to do a C-section because they found out during labor that the disease blocked off my pain receptors," she said.
"They said as soon as they took the baby out, my skin changed color right in front of them. It went from being red and inflamed to being purple, almost scar-like.
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"I didn't have any new outbreaks after that, but it took me two to three years to heal from the scarring."
Though she gave birth to her son Dane in 2010, Ashton still gets mild flare ups.
"I still get mild outbreaks when there's hormonal changes or stress," she said.
"Pregnancy triggers the auto-immune condition, so even though it was dormant in me before, I'll always have issues with it with any hormone changes or stress once it came out."
After recently suffering an outbreak, Ashton decided to post pictures from her pregnancy in a now viral TikTok to try to bring more awareness to the disease.
"I just wanted to spread awareness of it because I thought that it's so rare and a lot of medical students and doctors don't know about it because it doesn't pop up that often," she said.
"I really just want the knowledge that being allergic to your skin is possible because it sounds crazy. Educating yourself on it could really make a difference in somebody's life."
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