Itching in pregnancy

During their pregnancy about two-thirds of women complain of itching, very often localized on the belly.
In this article we will see how to prevent and how to treat this disorder.

Skin in pregnancy

During pregnancy the skin that is stretching to adapt to the new shape of the body could cause an itch to the woman, especially around her and her breasts. Hormonal changes that occur during this period, and dry skin, can also contribute to itching.

During pregnancy, certain skin disorders such as eczema that are usually associated with itching may worsen.

In this regard, however, it should be noted that some women experience improvements: during pregnancy many women with psoriasis feel an improvement in their symptoms, while only a few find its worsening.

However, if you detect a rash on the palms of your hands or soles of your feet, go to your doctor because these could be symptoms of some more serious ailments that need medical attention.

Prevention of itching

It is possible that during pregnancy you can not completely prevent itching, but the following tips may help to soothe them.

  • Take baths or showers with lukewarm warm water, as too hot water can dry out the skin and worsen itching.
  • To wash yourself use delicate soaps, without fragrances,
  • Rinse well.
  • Dry gently with the towel.
  • Try to stay as much as possible in cool places, avoiding going out during the hottest hours of the day because they worsen the itching.
  • Wear comfortable clothes.
  • Non-tight cotton clothing helps the skin not to become irritated.
  • Apply moisturizers to the skin.
  • If your doctor prescribes topical creams, apply them: if necessary, then put moisturizers all over your body, including areas where you have already applied topical cream.
  • Try to decrease your stress levels: focus on the things that can reduce stress and anxiety, factors that can make itching much worse.

Natural remedies to relieve it

Try your best not to scratch yourself, as this only further irritates your skin and increases itching. But also increase the risks of infections.

If you are prone to scratching yourself due to the dryness of your skin, the following remedies can give you relief.

  • Make a cold compress: put a cold compress or ice in the itchy area, for 5 or 10 minutes or until the itching disappears.
  • Moisturize the skin: after you take a shower, spread a cream or lotion (without fragrances). Keep the cream in the fridge so that the hydration is more refreshing.
  • Take oatmeal baths: from time to time take oats. You can find everything you need in the appropriate stores.

When to be alarmed

It is advisable to contact your doctor,

  • if erythema develops during pregnancy,
  • if any of your skin disorders are getting worse,
  • if you should feel itching even without an erythema.

Your doctor will examine you so that he can identify the source of the problem, prescribe treatment appropriate to your case and, if necessary, refer you to a dermatologist.

In these cases, it is very important to seek medical attention because some of the conditions that cause itching during pregnancy could also affect the baby’s well-being, and need to be monitored or treated.

It is true that an itchy erythema in pregnancy is usually a non-dangerous condition that only creates a lot of discomfort but – just to give some examples – it is also true that an itch even without an erythema,

  • it could be the symptom of a cholestasis gravidarum, a pathology that if neglected can cause serious complications to the child;
  • It could also be a symptom of a rare and more serious condition, called gestational pemphigus, a vesicular-bullous rash that occurs during pregnancy or after childbirth.

Katherine Johnson, M.D., is a board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist with clinical expertise in general obstetrics and gynecology, family planning, women’s health, and gynecology.

She is affiliated with the Obstetrics and Gynecology division at an undisclosed healthcare institution and the online platform,

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