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Why I Feel Dry and Itchy in Pregnancy?

Why I Feel Dry and Itchy in Pregnancy?

During pregnancy your body is undergoing many hormonal changes . The skin is rich in sweat and oil glands which are hormonally sensitive. The hormonal changes of pregnancy can steal the oil and elasticity of skin leading to dry, itchy skin and stretch marks. This can be further exacerbated by the stretching effect due to belly growth and maternal fat gain especially on the tummy and breasts and increased blood supply to the skin.

Itching in pregnancy 1

Itching

Itching can happen because of dry skin or without it. It usually starts on the belly .There is most of the times nothing to worry especially in the absence of rash.

Itch should always be mentioned to the doctor taking care of you because it can be a symptom of cholestasis of pregnancy. This condition is believed to be due to the hormonal changes during pregnancy affecting the liver  due to which certain irritants are deposited in the skin which leads to itching. This condition has to be taken seriously as in very rare cases it may lead to still birth.  In such a case your doctor will order a liver function test (LFT) and will prescribe medicines. Early delivery is recommended in such a situation because of fear of harm to the baby usually around 37-38 weeks if natural labour pains do not start.

Other pathological causes of itching may be eczema (skin condition), scabies (caused by mites), and thrush (fungal infection). All these require specific treatments. Pre existing skin conditions (allergies, eczema or dry skin) may worsen in pregnancy.

Accompanying rash and fever needs to be reported to the doctor it may be a serious viral infection.

How to take care of your dry itchy skin not due to pathological causes?

  • Clean your body frequently to get rid of dead cells with mild, pH balanced soaps.
  • Wear loose cotton clothes.
  • Keep your water intake high ( 8-10 glasses/day).
  • Avoid excess caffeine and colas.
  • Take a balanced diet .
  • Liberal use of moisturizers / coconut /olive oil.(in case of dry skin)
  • Calamine lotion (for itchy normal skin).
  • Avoid hot bath.

To conclude please discuss all your problems with your doctor. Most of the problems are normal symptoms of pregnancy. Let your doctor be the judge as to what needs to be done. Do not self medicate!

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