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Itchy Skin During Pregnancy

Why Didn't Anybody Tell Me: Itchy Itchy

Everyone says that each pregnancy is different. My second time around hasn't been all that different from my first round but one major difference is my skin's sensitivity. Starting about halfway through the pregnancy, I started to experience an insatiable itching. I tried lotions and heavy creams but certain areas still feel like poison ivy has taken over my body.

Concerned that something might be wrong, I talked with my OB/GYN about my irritations. She said it could be a result of the increased estrogen levels I am experiencing or poor blood circulation in those areas. Luckily, she told me that it will probably go away after I have the baby.

In the meantime, she gave me some tricks to help ease my pain. To see what they are,


  • Mix a bit of anti-itch cream like Cortaid with my pregnancy tummy rub and apply that to the itchy areas.
  • Keep the showers warm, but not too hot as hot water tends to dry out the skin making the irritation worse.
  • Apply unscented lotion immediately after bathing so your skin can soak in the moisture.
  • Avoid using using too much soap in the shower as it can dry the skin out.
  • Soak in an oatmeal bath.

So far, the best solution for me has been the first tip. What worked for you?

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marieantoinette marieantoinette 8 years
marieantoinette marieantoinette 8 years
lizak lizak 8 years
Something else to keep in mind is a rarer condition that pregnant women can get called ICP - Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy, also known as Obstetric Cholestasis. The only symptom of this is itching. I believe only 1 to 2 pregnancies in a 1000 are affected, but something to check out online or mention to your doctor if you think your itching is extreme.
erniew erniew 8 years
Cetaphil, Cetaphil, Cetaphil. You also have to remember it's not just the soaps and lotion you use but also the detergents you wash your clothing in. I suffer from eczema and while pregnant (both times) definitely noticed it worsened. Switch your detergent to ALL, Baby ALL or Dreft. Fragrance free is best. Cetaphil bar soap is amazing and their lotion gentle. I also loved DML lotion which some drugstores carry. Aquaphor and Eucerin work wonders as well on the really dry patches. Good luck!
kittyhill kittyhill 8 years
I get horrible itching every winter, especially on my thighs, & cortisone creams only made the area more sensitive. The only thing that's worked has been to use the C.O. Bigelow Lemon Cream that comes in a tub, not a tube (formulation 005 I think?) right after my showers, & sometimes use the Lemon Cream Body Wash in the shower after I shave. It works even better than prescription creams!
Greggie Greggie 8 years
I was told not to use cortisone cream for it. I had terrible itching and rashes on my wrists and the back of my hands and had to use an oatmeal lotion. It worked ok but not great.
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