Itchy Skin During Pregnancy

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Changes to the skin are common during pregnancy, but for some women, these can be highly uncomfortable.

If you’re experiencing itchy, dry skin during the course of your pregnancy or are worried about flare-ups of eczema or other skin conditions, it’s recommended you speak to a doctor.

Our GPs can examine your symptoms and advise on a course of treatment that’s safe for both you and your baby.

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What Causes Itchy Skin During Pregnancy?

Your body goes through a range of hormonal changes during pregnancy. In some cases, this can cause skin conditions to develop or make existing ones worse.

As your baby develops, it’s common to develop itchy skin around the abdomen, since this is the main area of growth during pregnancy.

It’s also usual to experience mild itching in other areas when pregnant. However, severe itching can be a sign of a more serious condition called obstetric cholestasis (OC).

This is a condition that commonly occurs in the final trimester of pregnancy (27 weeks and onwards) and is triggered by a slowing in the amount of bile your liver produces.

Intense itching is the most common symptom of cholestasis, which can potentially be very serious if left untreated. This typically occurs on the palms of the hands or soles of the feet. Other symptoms include:

  • Jaundice (a yellowing of the skin)
  • A loss of appetite
  • Feelings of nausea and sickness
  • Dark-coloured urine and pale-coloured stools
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Treating obstetric cholestasis and itchy skin during pregnancy

If you’re experiencing itchy, uncomfortable skin during pregnancy – you’re not alone. Most women will go through this and there are ways to deal with it that are safe for both you and your baby.

However, if your itching is particularly intense, or you suspect you might have cholestasis, don’t delay – speak to a doctor today.

Our GPs can discuss your symptoms, examine any visible rashes and if needed, prescribe the medication you need to start feeling better.

Speak to a Doctor About Itchy Skin

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