itchy during pregnancy
It’s not uncommon to feel itchy, particularly around your growing belly and breasts as your skin stretches to accommodate them. Hormonal changes may also be partly to blame.
Some pregnant women find that their palms and the soles of their feet get red and sometimes itchy. This condition may be caused by an increase in estrogen. It usually disappears right after delivery.
You may also find that things that normally make you itchy, such as dry skin, make you even itchier when you’re pregnant. Eczema often worsens during pregnancy, though some women find that their condition actually improves. With psoriasis the situation is reversed: Many women report less severe symptoms during pregnancy, while a few find that being pregnant makes their psoriasis worse.
How can I get relief from the itching?
It depends in part on the cause. If your itchiness is just from your skin stretching or being dry, these simple measures may be enough to give you some relief:
- Avoid hot showers and baths, which can dry out your skin and make the itching worse. Use mild, unscented soap (some scents can cause irritation) and be sure to rinse the soap off well and towel off lightly.
- Take an occasional warm oatmeal bath. (You can buy oatmeal bath preparations in drugstores.)
- Slather on unscented moisturizer after you’ve showered or bathed.
- Try putting cool, wet compresses on itchy areas.
- Avoid going out in the heat of the day, since heat can intensify the itching.
- Wear loose, smooth cotton clothing.
If you have a serious rash or are extremely itchy, these measures alone will likely not be enough to give you adequate relief. Talk to your caregiver. You may need topical or oral medication, or both.