What can a pregnant woman do about itchy skin and rashes?

I always have itchy skin and rashes after being pregnant. Why is it so?

Due to hormonal effects, you may experience changes on your skin during pregnancy. A study shows that about 20% of pregnant women have itchy skin and rashes during different trimesters of their pregnancy. Some pregnant women may only feel itchy on their skin with unknown reason while some find small and bulging red spots and even a broader area of hives on their bodies. Sometimes, you may experience both itchiness and rashes. Moreover, areas such as abdomen, thighs and pelvis are most commonly affected.

Will my baby be affected by frequent itchy skin and rashes during pregnancy?

Will my baby be affected by frequent itchy skin and rashes during pregnancy? Fortunately, pregnant women and their babies will not be adversely affected by such skin changes. Most of the symptoms will disappear within several weeks after delivery.

So, what should I do with the itchy skin and rashes?

  1. Trim the nails and avoid scratching. Scratching only makes it itchier and even causes more skin inflammation.
  2. Avoid excessive washing, brushing, or bathing in water, especially hot water, and using too much bathing soap.
  3. Apply adequate amount of cream and increase frequency as needed, e.g. increase use in dry weather.
  4. Put on over-sized cotton clothes.
  5. If the condition does not improve or get worse, please consult the health care personnel to see whether medication is required.

What should I pay special attention to?

Pregnant women should stay alert to the possibility of some rare skin diseases. If any of the following conditions is found:

  1. rashes with blisters
  2. extreme itchiness in palms and soles only
  3. fever, skin turning to yellow, joint pain or general discomfort

Consult health care personnel for further management as soon as possible.