During pregnancy, there may be itching which is a usual side effect of pregnancy. This happens mostly when the uterus grows, so that it can accommodate the baby and in the process skin stretches. Itching can also be caused due to changes in hormone level and liver enzymes in the body. In some cases there may be unusual itching due to the increase in levels of bile whose symptoms are itching on the soles of feet and palms.
Treatment of itching
The best way to treat itching during pregnancy is to keep the skin moist by applying a lot of moisturizer and avoid situations that dry the skin like taking a hot shower. A mild application of soap can also help in preventing the skin from getting dried. If moisturizer is applied then it should be applied just after coming out of bath when the skin is still moist. This helps in absorbing the more moisture and in the process prevents itching as compared to applying moisture on dry skin. Cocoa butter which is a heavy moisturizer also helps in preventing stretch marks during pregnancy.
Rare cases of itching during pregnancy
There are times when a woman may develop patches of bumps that itch on their bellies or there may be a formation of rash on other parts of the body like thighs. In most of the cases this occurs in the last trimester of pregnancy. It starts on the stomach and spreads to other parts like arms and thighs. Though this condition is not harmful to either the mother or the unborn child, it causes severe itching and can cause a lot of distraction. In some moisturizers are not sufficient and so doctors recommend a topical agent so that itching is relieved. In very severe cases of itching oral steroids are recommended. This condition disappears after a few days of delivery. In most cases this condition is experienced only once and not in subsequent deliveries.
Another rare type of itching during pregnancy is prurigo. This results in development of bumps in the body mostly on the hands, arms, feet and legs. This condition does not cause any harm to either the baby or the mother.
In rarest of rare conditions itching may develop on the hives that change to wound similar to small blisters. This condition is called pemphigoid gestations and blisters occur on the arms, belly and legs. This type of itching is more serious as compared to other types and there are side effects like premature labor. In some cases there may be retarded growth of the fetus. Usually this condition does not occur till the third trimester but in some rare cases this may occur in the first trimester as well.