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Many pregnant women complain of itchy and dry skin. Skin rashes are common during pregnancy. A majority of women experience dry skin in several parts of their body, especially the abdominal and breast region. This symptom is considered perfectly normal.
Why you encounter itchy skin?
Around 20% of all pregnant women experience generalized itching, which could be attributed to several factors. As the pregnancy progresses and the uterus grows, the skin on abdomen also continues to stretch, giving an itchy feeling. Another major contributor is the effect of pregnancy hormones, which makes the skin dry.
Due to the hormonal level, sweat amount is increased which makes the skin dry and itchy. Many women get itchy and have red palms, which is due to increase in estrogen. You may also suffer from rashes and dry/itchy skin if you are allergic to something, like a food or a cosmetic item. One can have a bacterial or yeast infection known as intertrigo, which causes itchy skin in loose skin areas, such as under the breasts. Most of these conditions automatically vanish a few days after the baby is born and the body starts returning to normal.
How to get relief from Itching?
Signs that indicate a complication
If the itching is severe and accompanied by nausea, fatigue and loss of appetite or jaundice, it could indicate cholestasis. It is an illness related to improper functioning of the liver. You must contact your doctor right away.
Another problem related to severe itching is PUPPP, which stands for pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy. It is a condition developed during the third trimester in only about 1% of all the pregnant women. You may have a hive like rash which is very itchy. The itching spreads to arms and legs too. It does not pose any harm to the baby and disappears after pregnancy although; an ointment will be prescribed by your doctor to relieve you of this condition.