How to calm the itching during pregnancy
Itching during pregnancy is a normal complaint from most pregnant women. As the abdomen, hips, and breasts expand, the skin becomes stretched and dry. The skin may even crack open and lead to painful itching and discomfort. Hormones can also affect the skin and make it more susceptible to itching. Hydration is essential for mother and baby, and it can also be a good way to remedy some of the itching that accompanies pregnancy.
Always discuss any unusual itching or other symptoms with your personal physician. There are some rare conditions which may cause itching but only a qualified health professional can make that determination. Once you know that there is nothing serious to worry about, take steps to calm the itching.
The human body is the largest organ of the human body so it takes plenty of water and moisture to keep it comfortable. There are other steps that can help soothe and calm the skin during pregnancy.
Take a cool, calming shower.
Cool showers are important and rinsing in cooler water is even more important. This helps keep the skin moist since hot water dries out the skin even more. Lightly towel dry the skin after a shower but don’t scrub or rub the skin. Within 5 minutes of the shower, apply a moisturizing lotion while skin is still moist and partially damp. This will help lock in moisture. Avoid perfumed lotions or creams and stick with organic or natural creams whenever possible.
Use a mild cleanser.
Skin can be especially sensitive during pregnancy. Using a mild soap or oatmeal bath will help. Harsh soaps and cleansers contain perfumes and additives that will exacerbate the situation and lead to even more itching.
Avoid salt-based exfoliants.
Many over-the-counter exfoliants are salt-based products that dry skin out more than ever. Sugar-based products are much easier on the skin whether you are pregnant or not. Exfoliation should always be followed with a high quality moisturizer immediately afterwards. Don’t exfoliate too often or you wash away healthy skin cells and promote dryness.
Drink plenty of water.
Water is a miracle cure for dry, itchy skin. During pregnancy, the unborn baby needs lots of water for nourishment. Water flows constantly through the umbilical cord to keep it open so that vitamins and nutrients find their way to the baby. It takes more water for your body when you are pregnant. When you don’t drink enough water, you start to become dehydrated and that leads to itching. It is also unhealthy for your unborn baby so chug a glass of clear, pure water any time of day.
Avoid the sun.
Whether you’re pregnant or not, the sun is not good for your skin. But it is especially harmful during pregnancy when skin may be more sensitive. Avoid the sun and always use a good quality sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher. Even if you’re not planning a day on the beach, you should apply sunscreen to exposed skin daily. Neutrogena with SPF 70 is one of the best products on the market and it can actually help moisturize skin. If you have been exposed to the sun and wind for any period of time, always wash skin with cool water and apply lotion as quickly as possible.
Communicate with your health care professional.
Always contact your doctor or health care professional if you experience unusual itching, rashes, or other skin conditions during pregnancy. You are probably experiencing normal skin changes and itching, but only your doctor can properly diagnose and treat your condition. Once you know the itching is normal, start taking steps to nourish and refresh the skin in every way possible.
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