Itchy Feet During Pregnancy – Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

4 min read

Written by Editorial Team

Editorial Team

What Are The Symptoms Of Itchy Feet In Pregnancy?

In this bittersweet journey of nine months, you’re encountering a variety of woes. Morning sickness, headaches and fatigue keep a mother in distress. And now, a new problem has entered the queue – itchy feet during pregnancy.

Do you know that your hormones are going up and down for a very simple reason? And why are hormonal changes and skin quality connected, as if, by a thread? We’ll talk about why your feet and your body parts are itching, some home remedies, and medical treatments to address the issue.

In This Article

What Causes Itchy Feet During Pregnancy?

Here’s a look at the roots of Itchy feet during pregnancy;

1. Hormonal Changes

View hormones as chemical messengers of the body, signaling it to work. During pregnancy, your flow of hormones is distinct from the usual days. Your body is helping the fetus to grow. And it’s hormones on which the womb is dependent. The womb is like a puppet, a worker of a sort. It is tied by strings or hormones, making the body a haven for the baby to develop.

Some hormones are responsible for maintaining your skin health. Often, a change in one hormone’s level influences the other. As per a review article published in the National Library of Medicine, the flow of the skin quality maintaining hormones is affected, causing itching in certain places.

2. Intrahepatic Cholestasis Of Pregnancy (ICP)

As per a research article in NLoM, ICP happens to 0.2 to 2 percent of pregnant mothers, around the third trimester. The liver, whose one major function is producing bile to aid in digestion, is hampered in this condition. Through the bile ducts, bile is supplied to the gallbladder, and then to the small intestine. Blockages in the bile ducts cause the flow of bile to stop and re-enter the liver, where it leaks into the bloodstream.

Imagine the tap in a washbasin as the liver creates bile, and the pipe underneath, the bile duct. Any blockage will cause the water to fill up the washbasin and overflow. Or, bile will start to leak into the bloodstream. Furthermore, bile salts flowing through your blood can enter your skin and irritate your nerves, causing it to itch. Bile flow can also be affected by hormones if not by blockages – the hormones responsible for making it flow are compromised.

What Are The Symptoms Of Itchy Feet In Pregnancy?

What Are The Symptoms Of Itchy Feet In Pregnancy?

By comparing your symptoms with these, you can find out whether your symptoms are arising from hormonal changes and cholestasis

  • Small, itchy bumps that look like bug bites (prurigo)
  • Itchy hives, like rashes (PUPP)
  • Scaly and red itchy patches (AEP or eczema)
  • Intense itching on hands and feet

One certain thing is that your skin will become normal and healthy again once your baby is born.

Home Remedies For Itchy Feet In Pregnancy

If your symptoms are not so serious, try these most effective home remedies, carefully picked from the pool of at-home solutions for itchy feet during pregnancy.

1. Oatmeal Bath

Take oats and put them in a blender to make them powdered form. And put it in a bucket filled with warm water. Soak your feet in it. Studies have proven the effectiveness of using oats to relieve itchiness during pregnancy.

2. Ice Packs

Wrap a cloth over some ice cubes and gently apply it to the itching areas. Don’t do it for more than 15 minutes per session.

3. Moisturisers

Unscented moisturizers like shea butter and cocoa butter will keep your skin hydrated. It’ll prevent any itchiness arising from dry skin due to hormonal changes.

Treatment For Itchy Feet During Pregnancy

Pregnant women apply cream in legs

It is advised to not use any over-the-counter or non-prescribed medicines if your symptoms do not go away from self-care. Doctor-prescribed treatments such as ultraviolet B phototherapy can heal itching caused by psoriasis or eczema. Other solutions for itchiness include aqueous cream with menthol and vitamin K supplement to improve blood clotting. Moreover, if you’re having sleepless nights due to itching, chlorphenamine can be taken to help you effortlessly drift into sleep.

When Should You See A Doctor?

See a doctor right away if you experience any of these mentioned symptoms

  • Yellowish tinge to your eyes or skin (jaundice)
  • Grey or pale bowel movements
  • Nausea or stomach issues
  • Pain in the right side of the upper abdomen (where the liver is located)
  • Severe itching
  • Dark coloured urine

These are the symptoms of intrahepatic cholestasis. Seek medical attention immediately if you think that you have cholestasis. There are treatments to keep it under control, it eventually goes away once you give birth.

Pregnancy is like seeing a mesmerizing rainbow as you anticipate your baby. But one has to keep up with the rain as well. The body goes through a great deal of changes, and there is some inevitable discomfort such as itchy feet during pregnancy or any other bumps on the ride. Nevertheless, very many treatments are out there to cushion all such bumps. From ice packs and oatmeal baths to doctor-prescribed remedies, itchy feet can be treated.


1. How Do I Know If I Have Cholestasis Of Pregnancy?

The itching sensation will be accompanied by a yellowish tinge to your skin and eyes. Plus, there can be other signs like pain in your upper right abdomen.

2. Does Cholestasis Affect Fetus?

Uncontrolled cholestasis can result in premature birth and fetal distress. So it is necessary to take measures.

3. What Month Does Cholestasis Start?

Cholestasis starts in the third trimester or during the seventh, eighth, or ninth month of pregnancy.

Editorial Team,

With a rich experience in pregnancy and parenting, our team of experts create insightful, well-curated, and easy-to-read content for our to-be-parents and parents at all stages of parenting.Read more.

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