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Itching is common during pregnancy, and is usually caused by elevated blood levels of hormones. Later, as your bump grows, your tummy skin (abdomen) may also become itchy due to stretching.
The 23rd week of pregnancy may bring with it a continuous itch that does not seem to diminish, no matter how much one scratches the belly. It is not uncommon for this irritation to occur due to the stretching or expansion of the skin on your belly.
As a result of this expansion, the skin on your abdomen tends to become dry and itchy, resulting in an uncomfortable feeling of itching. You may experience this itch in your butt, torso and breasts too .
Why Does My Belly Itch During Pregnancy?
It is also important to note that pregnancy hormone levels, oestrogen, play an important role in causing this sensation, particularly in the palms and feet. Therefore, we will discuss ways to relieve itchy belly during pregnancy.
Our skin is capable of stretching to a great extent; however, during pregnancy, the abdomen has to grow at a rapid pace which the body cannot easily adapt to .
Although, in most cases, this irritation in the skin is gone immediately after childbirth, there are some tips for dealing with abdominal itching during pregnancy. This itching cannot be completely eliminated; however, certain measures can be taken to reduce its severity .
Home Remedies For Itchy Belly During Pregnancy
1. Avoid scratching
Despite the strong temptation to scratch that itch on your belly, believe me, it will only get worse and can exacerbate the condition further if you do so. Keep your nails short and wear gloves at night.
2. Apply a moisturiser
Keeping your skin moisturised constantly is an effective means of reducing that irritation since most of it is caused by a lack of moisture in your skin. You should use a good quality moisturiser, particularly one containing vitamin E, and apply it all over the affected area. Avoid moisturisers with strong scnets, as they may worsen the condition due to the added perfume (alcohol - makes skin dry) in it.
3. Bath with colloidal oatmeal
This is not the oatmeal we are accustomed to eating, however, it can be found easily in drug and grocery stores. Pour a small pouch of oatmeal into lukewarm water and soak for 15 minutes. The oatmeal will help balance the pH of your skin and will relieve itching .
4. Avoid hot water baths
Bathing in hot water can strip your skin of its natural oils, resulting in much drier skin. A drier skin will cause itchiness to become more severe.
5. Dress comfortably and dry
The best thing you can do for your skin is to wear dry, clean, loose fitting clothes every day, as clothes that rub constantly on your skin aggravate the condition more. Tight clothes absorb sweat, which leads to further irritation of your skin.
6. Use a humidifier
The use of a room humidifier can prevent the skin from losing a great deal of moisture; however, one should be careful not to use too much humidifier as this can result in allergies.
7. Keep yourself hydrated
It is important to drink plenty of water as this in turn will help the body be hydrated and, in turn, the skin will be kept healthy .
Does Itchy Belly During Pregnancy Pose a Risk?
There are some circumstances, however, in which itching can be associated with a liver condition called intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (ICP), also known as obstetric cholestasis (OC). ICP requires medical attention. It occurs in one out of every 140 pregnant women .
ICP is typically characterized by itching, usually without a rash. Women with ICP often experience itching on their hands and feet, but it can occur all over the body and be more severe at night.
There are also other symptoms that may be present, such as dark urine, pale stools, and yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes (jaundice), but these symptoms are less common.
Cholestasis of pregnancy is characterized by severe itching, which usually begins on the hands and feet and spreads to other body parts. Cholestasis does not cause a rash, unlike other conditions that cause itching.
During pregnancy, your uterus grows, causing your skin around your belly to stretch, yet the oil glands cannot meet their normal moisture requirements.
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