Feeling the pregnancy itch? These tips can help you:
Pregnancy is a joyous time, but for many women, it can also be a time of itchy skin. As your body goes through changes, your skin may become more sensitive, dry and prone to itching.
But don’t worry, there are ways to soothe that pregnancy itch and keep you comfortable.
Dealing with Itchy Skin During Pregnancy
Commonly, the growing belly is likely to be the itchiest part of the body as the pregnancy progresses, but other areas like the breasts, thighs, legs and arms can also be affected. ‘The itch’ tends to appear during the fifth or sixth month of pregnancy, when the Mama-to-be is really starting to show – and it only seems to get more pronounced as the belly continues to grow.
When skin expands (and the skin on the belly is expanding big-time), it becomes increasingly moisture-deprived and very dry. And often dry skin tends to feel itchy and uncomfortable.
So, what can you do to alleviate the annoying pregnancy itch?
1. Get your partner to prepare a nice bath with oatmeal.
Just make sure the water is not too hot, as it can dry out your skin even more.
2. Avoid harsh soaps when bathing / showering.
Harsh soaps (containing ingredients such as sodium lauryl sulfate) can strip your skin from natural oils, making your skin even drier. Try out of soap-free & gentle Belly Cleanser.
3. After bathing, pat excess water off your skin & apply moisturiser/lotion/belly oil before the skin has fully dried.
4. Use a humidifier at home, if you live in a dry climate.
5. Avoid tight clothing.
Wear loose-fitting & breathable fabrics instead, as this will reduce friction on your skin & prevent itching.
IMPORTANT: If you are experiencing a severe and persistent itch, it is important to contact your health professional as it could be a sign of a medical condition called PUPPP rash (pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy) or ICP (intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy). PUPPP rash is a skin condition that commonly occurs during pregnancy and is characterised by the development of red, itchy bumps on the skin. ICP, on the other hand, is a liver condition that occurs during pregnancy and is characterised by a build-up of bile acids in the blood, which can lead to itching. Both PUPPP rash and ICP can be managed with the help of a healthcare professional, so it is important to seek medical attention if you are experiencing a severe and persistent itch during pregnancy. You can find more information here.