It is very common for women to experience itchy skin during pregnancy. Although in most cases it is harmless and simply a temporary discomfort, there are times when it could indicate something else.
This itchy sensation can be caused by a number of factors. Changes in hormones and the stretching of skin, especially over your growing stomach can result in irritated skin. Some pregnant women also get red, itchy hands and feet, believed to be caused by an increase in oestrogen levels in the body.
Although this itchy sensation can be very uncomfortable, the good news is that it should only last for the duration of your pregnancy. Once you have your baby, the itching should stop and the skin should return to its normal condition.
Understandably, scratching may seem like the only solution at the time however, there are a number of things that you can do to gain relief from the itching:
- Try to avoid using products with strong perfumes and detergents as they may cause irritation to your skin. Instead use gentle soaps or pH balanced body washes to clean your skin.
- Moisturise your skin regularly using unscented products to ensure that it is kept hydrated and pliable.
- Camomile lotion, a traditional natural remedy, can be applied to the skin to soothe particularly itchy spots and patches.
- Try to stay cool as heat rash can make itching worse. Wear loose cotton clothing and stay indoors or in the shade if it is really hot.