Pregnancy is a time when a woman experiences a number of physical and other changes in her life. One of the common pregnancy problems is an itchy skin. Hormonal changes along with an increased blood flow and stretching of the skin are some of the factors that contribute to the problem. Some of the common parts of the body that are afflicted by itching during pregnancy include the belly, the arms, feet and the palms.
One of the most common causes of pregnancy itching is skin rashes and bumps that appear during pregnancy due to the rising estrogen levels in the body. The result is the redness that appears on the palms and the soles of the feet. This condition usually resolves after the birth of the baby when the hormonal levels become normal. In addition to this skin rashes caused by eczema and psoriasis can also cause skin itching.
In addition to this itching can be caused when the uterus expands to accommodate the growing fetus resulting in the skin of the belly stretching and dry skin. Using a mild soap and applying a moisturizer after a bath helps in treating dry skin during pregnancy. Increase in the daily water intake can also help keep the skin hydrated and reduce the itching caused by dry skin.
During the last trimester of pregnancy a woman may develop pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy (PUPP). This condition results in severe itching and the presence of rashes in the abdomen, thighs and legs. Your doctor may prescribe topical ointment for treating the skin condition and reduce the itching.
Another rare skin condition that afflicts pregnant women and results in itching is pemphigoid gestationis. This condition results in blisters and can cause pregnancy complications like preterm delivery and fetal retardation.
Other than these skin conditions vaginal itching is commonly observed during pregnancy. This can be caused by microbial diseases and sexually transmitted diseases. Severe itching in pregnancy can also be caused be cholestasis, a liver problem that causes the accumulation of bile in the liver along with severe itching and scratchy skin. Keeping yourself clean and wearing loose cotton clothes can help in preventing this condition and reduce the itching.