Itching During Pregnancy: Causes, Tips & Home Remedies

Pregnancy is a time when you have to be very careful in all that you do and consume. Itching is one of the problems many pregnant women experience. However, you need not worry. There are effective home remedies for treating this.

Itching During Pregnancy

What Causes Itching during Pregnancy?

Weight gain and hormonal changes are some of the main reasons for itchy skin during pregnancy. Weight gain can stretch your skin and reduce hydration, while hormonal change can cause a lot of problems internally. There are also some other causes, which are as follows:

Cholestasis:

In this case the pregnant women develop liver problems. The normal flow of bile in the body is affected. They suffer from severe itching throughout their body but no rashes are seen. This is to be treated soon as it can pose a threat to the baby.

Impetigo herpetiformis:

This is a form of psoriasis and occurs very rarely. Normally it appears during the third semester, although it can appear earlier. Here large areas of the body become red with small rashes filled with pus. These rashes may turn to large pus-filled areas that become white. They appear on the groin area, armpits, under the breasts, thighs, around the navel and so on. It can be painful. It can cause vomiting, fever, diarrhoea, chills etc. Immediate treatment is needed as it can cause complication. After delivery it disappears.

Pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy:

This is commonly known as PUPPP. This is a skin rash that looks similar to hives, and is usually seen on the belly of pregnant women. It develops during the third trimester and is more common in women who are pregnant for the first time or those pregnant with twins. This is not something serious and does not pose a threat to the mother and the baby. But it can be uncomfortable.

Prurigo of pregnancy:

This takes place during the late stages of second or early stages of the third trimester. Spots similar to bug bites appear on the skin. These may later turn into tiny cuts due to scratching. It can affect the torso or the limbs. Antihistamines and topical medicines are prescribed for this. In some cases even oral steroids are required. It does not pose a threat to mother or baby and usually disappears after birth.

Pemphigoid gestationis:

Here eruptions are developed that are highly itchy. They appear as hives and then slowly turn into blistering lesions that are large. It appears usually during the second or third trimester. The eruptions usually appear near the belly button area and then slowly spread to the other parts. It can appear on the soles and palms even.

Oral steroids are given to treat this. It has risks, like growth problems for the foetus, premature birth, stillborn babies and so on. So, it is to be treated as soon as possible.

Yeast infection:

Some women have itchiness or irritation in the vagina. This is because of yeast infection here. Fungal growth takes place because of hormonal imbalance, poor diet and consuming of excess carbohydrates and sugar. There are pregnancy-safe antibiotics viable for this, prescribed by the doctors.

Best Home Remedies for Itching During Pregnancy:

Aloe vera gel:

You need aloe vera gel for this. Slice the leaf of aloe vera and take out the gel inside. Apply this gel on the affected area and mage for some time.

Baking soda bath:

What You will need:

  • 2 to 3 teaspoons baking soda
  • Water

Mix baking soda powder with water to make a thin paste. Apply this to the stomach and other parts where it is itchy. Wait till it dries and then wash it off with cold water.

Cold compress:

What You will need:

  • An ice pack

Place the ice pack on the affected areas of the skin for one or two minutes.

Coconut oil:

What You will need:

  • Extra virgin coconut oil.

Clean and dry your skin and then apply a couple of drops of extra virgin coconut oil. Massage for a few minutes so that your skin absorbs the oil. Leave it on.

Calamine lotion:

What You will need:

  • Calamine lotion

All you have to do is to apply this lotion ion the itchy skin and massage for a few minutes.

Dandelion root:

What You will need:

  • 1 teaspoon dandelion root herb
  • one cup of hot water

Add the root into the hot water and keep it aside for a few minutes. Strain and drink the liquid.

Gram flour paste:

What You will need:

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons gram flour
  • Water

Mix gram flour with water to get a smooth paste. Apply this paste on the affected area and wait till it dries. Then you can rinse it off with water.

Lemon juice:

What You will need:

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Cotton swab

Dilute the lemon juice with water and then apply this on the affected area with a cotton swab.

Oatmeal bath:

What You will need:

  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • Warm water

Add oatmeal to your bath water and soak in it for 10 to 12 minutes. Now wash your body with water to remove oatmeal from your body.

Safety Tips to Prevent Itching During Pregnancy:

  • Keep your skin always well moisturized.
  • The body lotions and moisturizers you use should be scentless as certain scents may cause itchiness.
  • Avoid hot baths and showers because these can make your skin dry and cause itch.
  • Use non-fragrant soaps and shower gels.
  • When you bath, make sure that you remove all traces of the soap from your body.
  • Dry yourself gently with a soft towel.
  • Do not expose your body to the heat outside as it can dry your skin and intensify the itch.
  • Wear loose and comfortable cotton clothes as they are soft and can prevent itchiness.
  • Use mild detergents to wash your clothes.
  • Drink lots of water, at least 8 to 10 glasses of water.
  • Do not wear wet clothes for long as it may cause fugal growth and lead to yeast infection on the skin.
  • Avoid switching on the AC for long as this can make your skin dry and cause itching and irritation. However, too much heat also should be avoided as this can lead to rashes and increase itching of the skin. Stay indoors and wear baggy and comfortable clothes when you go in the sun.

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