To start we’d say it’s very normal to feel itchy when you’re pregnant. Almost a quarter women feel itchy during pregnancy, this is largely because a woman’s belly in constantly stretching which leads to dryness and itching. Itching in most pregnant ladies is completely harmless, but it can drive many women crazy because of the endless urge for itching all the time.
Itching in pregnant ladies can be caused by a number of common skin conditions. Eczema is one of the most common of them. Eczema can be slightly unpredictable when you’re in pregnancy, since you may develop it for the first time in such condition. But if you’re a women who has had history of eczema, the skin condition can get better or even worse in pregnancy.
Eczema basically causes itching in the folds of the skin – inside of the elbows and knees. If you are experiencing symptoms, it’s advisable to visit your practitioner and seek guidance.
In other cases, if you are experiencing extreme itching across the belly and in other parts of the body such as the palm of your hands, arms and legs, you may be staring into a serious skin problem during pregnancy.
It is important to take note of where you are feeling itchy. If it’s the palm of the hands and sole of the feet, or you are developing a rash, you many have a skin condition called Cholestasis of Pregnancy, which can be dangerous to the baby in the womb.
Other conditions that can put the baby or even you at risk can include PUPPS (Pruritic Urticarial Papues and Plaques), herpes gestations or scabies. If you have symptoms of any of these skin irritations, you must consult your midwife or doctor and follow the recommended treatment.
It is important to consult the general practitioner if you’re feeling really itchy or have symptoms that could suggest a serious ailment because if alarming signs of a growing skin disease are not identified early it could lead to liver problem during pregnancy, which is medically termed as obstetric cholestasis (OC).
Here are some helpful tips which you can inculcate in your routine to cut down on itching that’s not related to some critical skin condition:
- Always prefer wearing lose clothing. Tight fitted clothes are likely to irritate the skin
- Wear cotton clothes, or clothes made from natural fabric. These materials are more breathable than synthetic materials, which can be irritating to the skin
- Apply moisturizer at least two times a day
- Moisturizing the skin right after a shower is essential to ensure the skin doesn’t become dry
- If itching is intense, you can apply anti-itching creams. Commonly use calamine lotion or diphenhydramine (Benadryl) cream
- Do not bathe with very hot water, this only dries up the skin
- Stay hydrated throughout the day. Drink plenty of water and recommended fluids
- Do not expose your skin to the sun for long period of time
Immediately seek medical attention if you have any of the red flag symptoms with itching:
As informed, most causes leading itching during pregnancy are not harmful for you or the little life living inside of you. But if itching is persistent with any additional symptoms, it is important then to get it to the notice of your doctor. It is imperative to visit the doctor before, or if you are experiencing any of the following red flag symptoms:
Must visit the doctor if itching is accompanied by
- Yellowness on the skin or palms and eyes
- Itching followed by rashes