Oh, how it itches! Here's how to deal with bothersome pregnancy itch

Pregnancy is a period filled with joy and anticipation, but it can also come with some discomfort. Itching is a common problem that can occur for various reasons.

Jenny Jansson

Read time: 2 m

Verified by Jenny Jansson

Certified midwife

Oh, how it itches! Here's how to deal with bothersome pregnancy itchPhoto: Preggers

As the belly grows and the skin stretches, it can lead to itching and irritation. Additionally, the skin tends to become dry and sensitive during pregnancy. To relieve the itch, it's important to regularly and thoroughly moisturize the skin. This helps counteract the itching. For eczema and rashes, a mild over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream can help, but it's always best to consult your midwife or doctor first.

PUPPP - Itching in areas with stretch marks

Another common form of pregnancy itch is called PUPPP (Pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy). This is an intensely itchy rash that often occurs in areas with stretch marks. PUPPP rashes usually spread from the belly to the breasts and thighs. They are harmless, but the itch can be very bothersome. Symptoms can be relieved with antihistamines or cortisone cream, which should be prescribed by a doctor.

ICP or OC - Itching on feet and hands

A more serious type of itching can be caused by intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (ICP), previously known as obstetric cholestasis (OC). This condition occurs when the liver becomes overloaded and releases more bile acids into the bloodstream. Typical symptoms include intense itching on the soles of the feet and palms of the hands, but it can also occur in other parts of the body. In rare cases, the level of bile acids can become dangerously high. If the condition is detected in time, medication can be prescribed to lower the bile acid levels. In some cases, induction of labor may be necessary if the pregnancy has progressed enough. If you experience severe and persistent itching, you should consult your midwife or doctor for assistance. Blood tests may be needed to determine the cause of the itching.

Managing pregnancy itch can be challenging, but there are various ways to alleviate the discomfort. By being aware of different types of itching during pregnancy and consulting healthcare professionals, you can find solutions that suit you best. Remember, every pregnancy is unique, and seeking advice from a medical expert is important to ensure the well-being of both you and your baby.

Jenny Jansson

Verified by Jenny Jansson

Certified midwife


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