Many pregnant women may be familiar with nausea and vomiting, but not itchiness. Well, the truth is itching is quite common amongst pregnant woman. Although the real cause of itching during pregnancy is not yet known, there are indications that it could be caused by raised levels of pregnancy hormones. Besides, when the bump grows, the skin of the abdomen stretches and could result in itching. It is worth noting that itching is common during pregnancy and there is a need to get checked by a healthcare professional if it becomes severe.
That said, the general causes of itching during pregnancy include;
Dryness: Some pregnant women suffer from dryness which is characterized by itchy flaky dry skin;
Hormonal changes: Hormonal changes are a natural part of pregnancy. However, they often result in many unpleasant side effects such as mood swings, nausea and even itchiness;
Fabrics and perfumes: Some pregnant women can be irritated by certain materials and chemicals to the extent that their skin begins itching;
Cholestasis: Sometimes, itching during pregnancy is a symptom of cholestasis, a liver disorder that causes the buildup of acid bile in the blood;
Prurigo: Pregnant women may also suffer from prurigo. They are itchy crusty bumps that often appear on the legs, arms and abdomen during the third trimester of pregnancy;
Pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy (PUPPP): This condition is characterized by an itchy rash that occurs around stretch marks during pregnancy.
Slight itchiness during pregnancy may be considered normal. However, intense itching on areas of the body such as the arms, legs and abdomen may indicate a serious problem that needs treatment. Of course, some pregnant women may also experience vaginal itching that could require treatment.
Inasmuch as itching during pregnancy may be considered normal, it’s generally not an early symptom of pregnancy. Therefore, any intense and prolonged itching during the course of pregnancy should be reported to your doctor.
Just as there are several potential causes of itchiness during pregnancy, there are equally several natural remedies to prevent it. For instance, wearing loose clothes made with natural fabrics and changing your perfumes or detergents are some of the ways to prevent itchiness during pregnancy. Drinking enough water and using a moisturizer to ease skin dryness will also minimize itching during pregnancy.