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 though. Mustela’s got you covered with the 5 best ways to treat itchy skin 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.
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.
3. Treat Itchy Skin 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.
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 afterwards. 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.
After you’ve 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!