As your baby bump grows bigger, do you feel the urge to scratch all over? As embarrassing it is, itchy skin is also irritating and painful. Relax, there is nothing abnormal about it and itchy skin is a very common condition during pregnancy. Itching commonly happens in the belly, back, and breasts. It mainly occurs in second and third trimesters.
Read More: Is Your Skin Changing During Pregnancy?
What it itchy skin during pregnancy?
Itchy skin is nothing but an urge to scratch over your belly, breasts, and back. Mild itching is a common condition during pregnancy. It mainly occurs due to increase of blood supply to the skin. As your baby and belly grows, the skin around the abdomen stretches and breasts grow bigger, which makes the skin feel itchy.
Mild itching is very common in pregnancy and there is nothing to worry about. However, if the itchiness becomes severe, it requires immediate attention. You may be suffering from a liver disorder called “obstetric cholestasis”. This affects very few women, but those suffering from it require immediate attention.
Causes of Itchy Skin in Pregnancy
If itchy skin is driving you crazy, rest assured! You are not the only one suffering from it. Mild itching is a usual sight in pregnancy and there are several causes for it.
1} Increased Blood Flow
During the beginning of your second trimester, you may feel itchy around your abdomen. As there are lot of changes happening on the outside, a lot of it is going on in the inside too. When the baby grows in the womb, there is an increased blood supply to the fetus. Hence, the abdominal area received more blood which can make you feel itchy and uncomfortable on the outside.
2} Stretching Skin
As you second trimester begins, your tummy is growing bigger to accommodate the growing baby. As a result, the skin also stretches along with the abdomen. A stretched skin is always more prone to dryness and itchiness.
3} Stretch Marks
When the skin stretches, another dreadful thing that happens to your skin is the appearance of stretch marks. Due to stretch marks, you skin starts feeling more itchy than normal. Unfortunately, no amount of cream or moisturizers can prevent stretch marks in some women.
4} Hormonal Changes
Pesky hormones are the major cause itchy skin pregnancy. Additionally, increased hormonal levels also cause allergic reactions to fragrances and perfumes, which was never a problem in the past.
5} Flaky Skin
In many cases, excess itching can be a symptom of a skin condition called “Pruritic Urticarial Papules and Plaques). It is not very common in pregnant women but generally occurs in women carrying triplets or quadruplets. PUPP is characterized by flaky skin and patches on the arms, breasts, belly, hands, and feet.
Remedies for Itchy Skin in Pregnancy
Itchy skin can be extremely irritating. Hence, you would do anything to get rid of it. Following are some simple natural remedies to get rid of itchy skin in pregnancy.
1} Oatmeal Bath
This is one of the best treatments for itchy skin in pregnancy. Oatmeal possesses soothing properties that reduces itchiness and irritation of the stretched skin. Soak some oatmeal in lukewarm bath water for about half an hour. Rinse your body with this mixture. Repeat 2 to 3 times a week.
2} Aloe Vera Gel
Aloe Vera has anti-inflammatory and healing properties that soothes irritated and itchy skin. With usage of Aloe Vera gel your skin feels soft, supple and moisturized. Plain aloe vera gel can be applied on the affected area twice a day daily for best results.
3} Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is known for its anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties. It penetrates deep into the skin and moisturizes it effectively. This helps further reduce itchiness and dryness of skin. Virgin coconut oil without any additives must be massaged on the skin 2 times a day for best results.
4} Calamine Solution
For those suffering from PUPP, calamine solution is the best remedy to reduce itchy skin. Calamine possesses anti-inflammatory properties that reduces irritation and inflammation of stretched skin.
5} Lemon Juice
You may be surprised to know that this citrus fruit does wonders to itchy skin too. Lemon juice soothes the skin and has anti-microbial properties. It eliminates any microbes present on the skin and prevents skin infections.
Itchy skin possess no danger to the developing baby. However, it is an irritation and discomfort for the mother. Itchy skin in pregnancy can be quite nagging making it hard to sleep and perform day to day chores. To rule out serious cases of itching, get a blood test and a liver test done. If the tests are clear and you are suffering from mild itching, then the above mentioned remedies will help you. If you still aren’t satisfied, you can contact your doctor immediately for medical intervention.