Pregnancy is an overwhelming journey for every woman. For some, the journey is smooth and others claim difficulties throughout the phase. However, every complication may not need our focus and attention, as most changes are an effect of the hormonal changes that occur in the body. A few complications require attention and one of them is itching during pregnancy.
Itching or irritation of the skin is a common problem and is not an indication of an underlying health condition. Itching is a major complaint during pregnancy and is seen in many women. Pregnancy is a phase where the body of a woman goes on a ride of changing hormones. This can lead to unexplainable, self-limiting, and minor itching and irritation throughout the phase.
In This Article
Itching during pregnancy is a normal condition but can occur for many reasons. Itching can be triggered by wearing synthetic and tight clothes. Using scented soaps and perfumes can aggravate itching during pregnancy. Some of us may have a habit of using extremely hot or cold water for showers. These extreme temperatures can also cause itching. This particular trouble aggravates during the second trimester of pregnancy and continues till the birth of the baby. As the skin stretches beyond the limitations while the body prepares to host a baby, an unpleasant feeling of itching begins.
There are other reasons which come under medical conditions that are experienced during pregnancy. Medical conditions that cause itching during pregnancy are:
PUPPP or Pruritic Urticarial Papules and Plaques of Pregnancy occurs around the stretch marks and usually regresses after the birth of the baby:
The atopic eruption is eczema that is suddenly seen during pregnancy. Eczema is a skin condition that causes patches on several parts of the body which leads to itching and irritation:
[Read : Atopic Eruption Of Pregnancy]
Pemphigoid gestationis is another form of PUPPP and an extending rash that forms around the umbilicus. It can occur during pregnancy and limits itself after childbirth:
Intrahepatic implies inside the liver. ICP is a liver disorder that occurs during the second or third trimester of pregnancy. This is a type of skin condition that starts with itching on palms and feet without any rash:
All the above types of itching during pregnancy are diagnosable through derma tests. These are mostly self-limiting and treatable.
[Read : Cholestasis of Pregnancy]
Itching during pregnancy is very normal because the body goes through numerous changes while hosting the baby. Itching is normal if it occurs due to dry weather. This can be calmed down by applying unscented moisturizers. It is normal in the abdominal area as the skin stretches thus becoming flaky and dry. It is normal if it doesn’t persist for a very long time.
There are many home remedies to treat itching during pregnancy. Let’s begin with what to avoid that triggers itching:
Most types of itching conditions will naturally go away after childbirth. But you must keep track of your symptoms and see a doctor if they start to worsen
Factors That Can be Concerning:
Any itching during pregnancy is mostly self-limiting, but it is always better to see a doctor to get clarity and to rule out any other complications. Doctors might refer to skin examination and blood works. There might be a chance of referring to a skin biopsy test in some very rare cases that do not respond to normal treatments.
In most pruritic conditions, the fetus is generally not harmed. Many conditions will eventually end and do not tend to return after childbirth. But, in conditions like IntraHepatic Cholestasis of pregnancy (ICP), and Pemphigoid gestationis there are possibilities of the fetus getting affected. It includes preterm births, and stillbirths for ICP, also preterm births in conditions like pemphigoid gestationis. Preterm births can affect the baby to be born underweight. However, a proper diagnosis and treatment can help the mother and baby come out of any adverse effects that are caused due to the itching during pregnancy.
Itching during pregnancy is a very natural problem that tends to regress on its own. If the itching is mild and is not much of a spreading kind, home remedies are the best to resolve it. It is always a better thing to talk to your doctor in case of any abnormal signs or symptoms or if you feel too concerned.
Yes, in some cases it normally reduces after childbirth. But it is always better to see a doctor if you think that the condition needs attention.
Home remedies like taking a warm water bath, staying dry and clean, avoiding synthetic clothing, applying coconut oil, and a mild moisturizer on the affected parts before sleeping can help ease the irritation that is caused due to itching.
Keep track of how your body is reacting to natural home remedies. If the condition persists or if it starts to worsen if your itching is more at night starting with palms and soles without a rash. Report to your doctor as early as possible to rule out any complications.
Itching usually starts during the second or third trimesters of pregnancy and usually regresses after childbirth.
Yes, it does to an extent. Fluid intake can help hydrate your body, which naturally hydrates your skin thus easing the itchiness.