How to Relieve Itchy Belly during Pregnancy?


Skin Itchiness during Pregnancy – Causes, Treatments & Precautions

Itchy belly, Psoriasis, Eczema Dermatitis, whatever you called it – Irritation won’t reduce. When you are pregnant, it is common to feel itchiness over your belly.

Itching (Pruritis) over belly region is an uncomfortable sensation which includes tingling and uneasy irritation of the skin. It increases the desire to scratch over that part. Usually, pregnancy comes up with lots of complications due to changes in hormones. One of the most commonly known conditions, arriving due to this hormonal change, is itchy belly.
itchy belly
It is often irritating as you can’t keep working at regular pace. Every time you will feel the urge of scratching to get relieve from itchiness. This is normal as when you got pregnant, enormous changes occur in your body they are usually hardly noticeable but you can’t ignore it. Pregnancy with this irritating itchiness over your belly is really hard to work with.

After reading this article, you’ll get to know about – what actually Itchy Belly is, when you have to take measures for its cure, the best ways to avoid itchiness and what treatment will work the best.

Types of Itching

You may find it same every time but medically, it is classified into two types –

Localized itch usually persist after the stimulus is removed from a specific spot. This spontaneous itch is caused at some specific part of body (e.g. forearm, belly, or near some wound)

Diffused or Generalized itch involves surrounding areas also. It is spread all over the body. Though not spontaneous, but it causes intense itching to a light touch or minor stimulus.

What are the Causes of Itching in Pregnancy?

• Itchy belly is usually caused by hormone changes during pregnancy. The level of progesterone or estrogen has a great effect on women’s body and during pregnancy the rate of their secretion changes. It gives rise to different skin problems.
• Improper hygiene may often cause these problems. The proper bath can deploy the accumulation of dirt and germs, along with removing excess sweating.
• Endocranial disorder may be responsible for itchy skin.
• Three months onward your pregnancy, the body’s shape change and your skin begin to stretch which may also cause skin itches.
• Dryness may be a cause. Itchiness mostly occurs to moisture-deprived areas over your tummy.
• During pregnancy, it is believed that itching is caused by the backup of bile in the Bile Duct (See Above – Intrahepatic Cholestasis). The ability of the liver to transport certain chemicals like bile builds up and accumulates in the blood. Finally, it stimulates the nerves under the skin which causes itching.

Worry or Not To Worry – Itchy Bump During Pregnancy

Not to Worry When –

Some rashes occur only during pregnancy. It’s absolutely alright if you have some itchiness in your belly, most skin changes return to normal by the time. During first trimester, the tight clothes, skin dryness, increased sensitivity and the hot bath (or shower) may cause this problem.

When to Worry?

There is nothing to worry about unless you feel severe itching and see your itching spread all over your body. If you are getting major wounds due to scratches, talk about this with your doctor and gynecologist. Third trimester is considered the most problematic duration as most problems related to itching are caused at this time. Such conditions when you should start worrying are discussed in the next section.

Conditions when you may Get Itchy Belly

Here are some conditions that cause severe belly itching during pregnancy. You should know about this to understand your own problem accurately.

Intrahepatic Cholestasis

ICP is a problem, connected with liver, where bile does not flow consistently from the liver. Instead, it accumulates under the skin and causes itchiness, rashes, and hives. You will develop rashes which are red in color, causing massive itching. ICP is dangerous if it remained neglected. It may cause stillbirth. Other symptoms of ICP include nausea, loss of appetite and malaise.


This is most common itchiness which develops during pregnancy. Mostly, pregnant women in the third or second month of pregnancy are more prone to it. You have a tiny eruption, like tiny bug bites, around your stomach. Finally, it will end up in making you scratch that portion wildly, which is really irritating and painful.

Pruritic urticarial

It is also known as Plaques of pregnancy. In this skin condition during pregnancy – Itchy redness, hives or large patches of rashes appears on the belly. The exact reasons are still unknown but it may be caused by stretching of the abdomen during pregnancy. Pruritic may not be that serious, but if it spread out to other parts of the body then you should consult your doctor or gynecologist immediately.

Pemphigoid Gestationis

This condition causes serious skin irritation that starts out near your belly or abdomen. Later spreading over the trunk and other body parts, this Itchy eruption begins as hives & turns into large blister or lesions that spread out to the other regions.

Impetigo Herpetiformis

Mostly, this type of skin itchiness comes in the third month of pregnancy. It is characterized by red patches, filled with pus, which slowly grows into larger wounds, filled with white pus.

How to Avoid Itchy Belly during Pregnancy?

Have you read and imagined the above itching problems?

Yes, it is troublesome so better you take these precautions to avoid them. There are possibilities of avoidance of these conditions during your pregnancy. You can shield your abdomen with these helpful tips:

• Keep your skin dry and clean.
• Avoid hot showers and bath. Exposure to hot water will create more itchiness.
• Avoid exposure to heat. Don’t go in direct sunlight (sensitivity of skin increases in pregnancy). Use good sunscreen to cover you well.
• Use neutral soaps. Try to use less fragrant soap or which is gentle on the skin. It will reduce the itchiness.
• Keep your skin supple and moisturized. Use good moisturizers which have a neutral ph.
• Choose your cloth wisely. Do not choose silk clothes during that time as it will cause more itching.
• Use Dettol or other medicated preparation in the bath tub. It will keep you germ-free.

How to Treat Itch if You are Expecting

The women, who experience this, usually complain about its worst condition in their last trimester. There are many things you can do usually to minimize the urge of scratch. Some such good treatments are listed below –

• Management of itchy belly by Nerve stimulation, Acupuncture and Phototherapy may be helpful.
• Application of cooling or soothing creams and lotions. Cooling controls itching & directly acts on sensory receptors which minimize itchiness.
• Oral steroids, Anti pruritis, and antihistamines are suitable during pregnancy. But take them only once prescribed by the doctor.
• You can try Broad spectrum sunscreen and other conventional methods. It will protect your skin from adverse Sun’s exposure.
• You can use anti-itch cream. That’s safe to use in pregnancy.
• Use Dettol or put oatmeal in your warm bathwater for soothing your skin.
• Consult your doctor if you find it serious do not neglect these skin irritation although these are normal but may slowly develop into bigger problems.

Last but not the least – Drink plenty of water to avoid dryness and thus the itch. It will relieve you from the Itchy Belly during Pregnancy. Share more such ideas by commenting below. Also, you may ask your queries and share your itchy experiences with us.


About Author


An IT professional, a mom of two, Sapana had belly-only pregnancies in her life & has lost 15Kg weight twice. Along with fitness, Sapana is an expert in Indian names & has helped scores of Indian parents to shortlist suitable baby names by virtue of her years of expertise in Sanskrit origin names & logical approach towards cultures & trends during the name research. Drop a comment to get help from her.

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