Itchy skin during pregnancy can drive you crazy! Your clothes make it worse by constantly rubbing against those itchy patches. You can barely concentrate because you’re trying to resist the urge to scratch.
Believe us, it’s no fun at all. As unpleasant as this itchy skin is, when you get right down to it, it’s really no surprise that it happens.
Almost immediately after you get pregnant, your body starts to produce and release hormones that get you ready for the nine months ahead. These hormones can cause your skin to feel tight, rough, and itchy, and can even slow your circulation slightly over time.
This decreased circulation, in combination with your skin stretching to accommodate the baby, can leave your skin irritated and dry. You don’t have to suffer through. Mustela’s got you covered with the seven best ways to treat itchy skin during pregnancy.
7 Ways To Treat Itching During Pregnancy
1) Moisturize Itchy Skin For All-Day Relief
Moisture is extremely important for your skin — whether you’re pregnant or not. It helps maintain your skin’s elasticity and keeps your skin healthy throughout all the hormonal changes. Most importantly, maintaining the moisture balance in your skin helps you stay comfortable and better able to deal with morning sickness, back pain, and fatigue.
We recommend choosing a product like Mustela’s Soothing Moisturizing Balm to keep your skin soft and supple. Begin applying a moisturizer as soon as you know you’re pregnant to prepare your skin for the changes to come.
Continue to apply a moisturizer over the next nine months, even if your skin doesn’t itch. It’s often easier to prevent itchy skin than it is to treat it once it’s formed.
Use coconut oil as another option for moisturizing. It seeps into your skin to reach the dry parts and provides a layer of moisture to improve skin hydration. Another bonus of coconut oil is its antimicrobial properties, which are beneficial for treating inflammation or skin irritation.
So grab a handful of coconut oil and start massaging to relieve your itchy skin!
Aloe Vera Gel
Just as you would with coconut oil, massage aloe vera gel onto your itchy skin to find relief. Grab a leaf from an aloe vera plant and cut it on its side to obtain the gel from the plant, which you can then apply directly to your skin.
The hydrating and moisturizing components in aloe vera gel give your skin the moisture it needs during your pregnancy. Your skin will be soft, and the gel will soothe your itching.
2) Wash With Warm Water Instead Of Hot Water
Hot water is great at keeping your skin free from dirt and contamination. However, it can severely dry your skin, not to mention that it is also bad for your baby. Hot showers or baths can raise your core temperature. That, in turn, can cause your heart rate to increase and reduce blood flow to your baby.
Instead, use warm water for all baths and showers once you get pregnant. Not sure what we mean by warm? Anything up to your body temperature — 98.6℉ — is safe for your skin and the little one growing inside you.
Warm water is just as effective at removing dirt and contaminants, but it isn’t as harsh as the hot water to which you might be accustomed. We recommend reducing the temperature of your shower or bath so that no steam is produced.
This isn’t the time to turn your bathroom into a sauna. If you want to be certain, you can also use a thermometer to test the temperature of the water. Just hold the thermometer in the water for three minutes to get an accurate reading.
If you prefer baths, try adding a nourishing bath oil to help keep your skin soft. Keep in mind that these oils can make the bathtub slippery, so be very careful when getting in and out of the tub.
Create A Baking Soda Paste
While you’re taking a bath, prepare a home remedy to find relief for your itchy skin. One home remedy that works well consists of mixing baking soda and water to form a paste and applying it to the itchy areas of your skin.
The paste will restore balance to your skin, which is crucial for keeping it healthy. This is known as the pH balance. Your skin’s pH balance results from a thin, protective layer on the surface — the acid mantle.
This layer protects your skin from bacteria and allergens while also maintaining moisture. So you can see why it’s important for your skin to maintain a healthy pH balance.
As if restoring your pH balance wasn’t enough, a baking soda paste can also treat any redness or irritation that accompanies your itchy skin during pregnancy.
Make Yourself An Oatmeal Bath
Oatmeal is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. But not only will it relieve skin inflammation, but it will also soothe and moisturize your skin. So add a cup of oatmeal to your warm bath water to ease the itching!
If you’re dealing with severe itchy skin in the evenings, use oatmeal in conjunction with your baking soda paste when taking a bath.
3) Treat Itching During Pregnancy By Preventing Stretch Marks
Itchy skin during pregnancy can be greatly reduced when you work to prevent stretch marks. That’s because the ingredients in products like Mustela’s Stretch Marks Prevention Cream or oil, also work to keep your skin soft, supple, and elastic. When your skin maintains its ability to stretch, it won’t get dry and itchy.
We recommend applying a stretch mark prevention cream or oil to your belly and bust as soon as you know you’re pregnant. This, in addition to your daily moisturizer, will provide extra healing and protection to areas of your body that are more prone to stretch marks and dry skin.
We suggest that you continue to use a stretch mark prevention serum even after your baby is born to help heal your skin as your body adjusts to life postpartum. Even better, this serum is 100 percent compatible with breastfeeding.
4) Use A Moisturizing Shower Gel
Reducing the temperature of your shower or bath is a great way to prevent itchy skin during pregnancy, but there’s even more you can do to keep skin healthy. We recommend using a moisturizing shower gel to keep your skin hydrated and soft while you bathe.
Choose a gentle, soap-free formula so you don’t scour your delicate skin with harsh cleansers. Consider choosing a shower gel with a citrus-scented formula, which can re-energize you when you’re feeling tired.
We also suggest that you skip the loofahs and other exfoliating bath accessories during your pregnancy. These tools are great for getting rid of dead skin cells on the surface but can leave your skin dry and itchy afterward. You don’t want to undo all the hard work you’re putting into keeping your skin hydrated and itch free!
5) Gently Pat Yourself Dry Instead Of Rubbing
Preventing itchy skin during pregnancy is all about being gentle. Your skin is becoming more delicate with each passing day. Any vigorous rubbing can cause micro-tears that result in irritation and dryness.
This is especially true when you dry off after a bath or shower. We recommend gently patting your skin dry with a soft towel instead of rubbing back and forth to remove excess water. Patting is just as effective at drying off, but it doesn’t pull and stress your skin like rubbing does.
Patting yourself also feels great — like a mini massage — and can help relax you after a long day.
6) Apply A Cold Compress
As you know, cold compresses have a numbing and cooling effect, which makes them the perfect remedy for your itchy skin. Also, if you’re noticing some swelling from all the itching, you’ve found the perfect treatment.
If you want immediate relief from your itchy skin during your pregnancy, apply a cold compress to the affected areas. Just leave it on for about five minutes. It’s really that simple!
7) Avoid Stress
Not only should you avoid stress for the sake of your well-being while pregnant, but you should also avoid stress for the sake of your skin. Breakouts, inflammation, and dry skin are a few examples of how your body reacts to stress.
Some ways to avoid stress are asking for help, letting go of some of your obligations, and not taking on more than you can handle.
Avoiding stress also involves a little self-care. Take some time for yourself — and your baby — by stepping back and clearing your mind. Relieve stress by getting away for a little bit or going out with a few friends.
After you’ve followed the tips above, bathed with warm water, and gently patted yourself dry, apply a pregnancy-safe moisturizer and stretch mark prevention cream like those found in Mustela’s Ultimate Hydration Bundle to keep skin healthy and elastic. Now you can go out and enjoy a wonderful, itch-free day!