Itchy Skin During Pregnancy
Itching during pregnancy can be one of those symptoms you might not have expected. But, it turns out that itchy skin during pregnancy is quite common. Read on to find out what causes this annoying condition and how to cope with it.
What Causes Itchiness During Pregnancy?
Itching breasts, nipples, tummy, buttocks, hands, and feet may be caused by hormonal changes during pregnancy and also by your skin drying out as it stretches over your growing body. The good news is that the itchiness is likely to go away after delivery. However, if your itchiness during pregnancy is very severe, if you develop a rash, or if you're itching all over, then be sure to speak to your healthcare provider.
What Can Help Ease Pregnancy Itching?
As your skin stretches and tightens, it also gets drier, so unfortunately itching while pregnant is a common experience for many pregnant women. These tips can help ease the discomfort:
Try a soothing lotion (one that does not have irritating perfumes in it), vitamin E ointment, cocoa butter, or a balm such as purified lanolin.
Treatments such as calamine lotion or an oatmeal bath may also help. Avoid putting calamine lotion directly onto your nipples, though, as it may be drying.
Avoid hot baths or showers, as these can dry out your skin, and opt for a warm bath instead.
Wear loose, breathable cotton clothes.
Place a damp towel on the itchy area to help ease the irritation.
Put a humidifier in your bedroom to help prevent your skin from drying out.
You might be tempted to counter the painful itching sensation by scratching, but try to avoid this, as scratching will just make your skin even itchier. It could also make areas like your nipples more tender, especially in the third trimester. If you plan to breastfeed, you won't want to make your nipples even more sensitive.
As you near your due date and your belly grows to its biggest, the itching you feel may be at its worst. But take heart: soon your little baby will arrive, and the itching you've been experiencing over the past few months will probably subside.
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