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Itching During Pregnancy – Causes And 11 Home Remedies

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Itching During Pregnancy – Causes And 11 Home Remedies August 23, 2018

Pregnancy has its share of ups and downs. While it is undoubtedly a blessing, certain issues might end up frustrating you. One such issue is the constant itching pregnant women experience. With all the extra blood pumping and the hormones running amok, side effects like itching are no surprise. But don’t worry. Here are some natural and safe home remedies to beat itching during pregnancy. Read on.

Table Of Contents

What Causes Itching During Pregnancy?

Itching during pregnancy is not of much concern and is most often a result of changes that occur in your body. These changes include:

  • Increased blood supply to the skin
  • Stretched skin
  • Developing stretch marks
  • Hormonal changes
  • Dry and itchy skin, which may hint at pruritic urticarial papules and plaques
  • Tiny raised spots all over the body
  • Severe and uncontrollable itching, which could further hint at a serious medical condition called intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (ICP) that affects the liver

Itching can be quite traumatic when it becomes a constant affair. Hence, we have come up with the following home remedies for safe and effective relief.

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Home Remedies To Get Relief From Itching During Pregnancy

  1. Oatmeal Bath
  2. Coconut Oil
  3. Aloe Vera Gel
  4. Baking Soda Bath
  5. Essential Oils
  6. Cold Compress
  7. Lemon Juice
  8. Dandelion Root
  9. Gram Flour Paste
  10. Juniper Berry Lotion
  11. Calamine Lotion

Natural Remedies To Treat Itching During Pregnancy

1. Oatmeal Bath

Itching During Pregnancy - Oatmeal Bath Pinit

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You Will Need
  • 1 cup of oatmeal
  • Water
What You Have To Do
  1. Add a cup of oatmeal to a tub filled with water.
  2. Soak in this for about 20 minutes.
  3. You can also tie some soaked oatmeal in a muslin cloth and use it in place of your loofah.
How Often You Should Do This

You must do this on a daily basis.

Why This Works

Oatmeal possesses anti-inflammatory and antipruritic properties that can help with itchy and inflamed skin (1), (2).

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2. Coconut Oil

Itching During Pregnancy - Coconut Oil Pinit

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You Will Need

Organic coconut oil

What You Have To Do
  1. Take some organic coconut oil in your hands and gently massage it onto the affected areas.
  2. Leave it on overnight or for 30 to 40 minutes before washing it off.
How Often You Should Do This

You must do this at least once daily.

Why This Works

Coconut oil has anti-inflammatory properties that can help in soothing itchy skin (3). It is also highly moisturizing and is thus the best option to treat itchy skin caused by xerosis (4).

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3. Aloe Vera Gel

Itching During Pregnancy - Aloe Vera Gel Pinit

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You Will Need

Aloe vera gel (as required)

What You Have To Do
  1. Take a little aloe vera gel and apply it directly to the affected area.
  2. Leave it on for 20 to 30 minutes.
  3. Wash off with water and pat your skin dry.
How Often You Should Do This

You must do this 2 to 3 times daily.

Why This Works

Aloe vera is an age-old remedy for treating various skin conditions and infections. It contains phyto components have anti-inflammatory and soothing properties, which help relieve itching (5).

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4. Baking Soda Bath

Itching During Pregnancy - Baking Soda Bath Pinit

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You Will Need
  • 1 cup of baking soda
  • Water
What You Have To Do
  1. Add a cup of baking soda to a tub filled with water.
  2. Soak in the bath for 20 to 30 minutes.
  3. Pat your skin dry.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this once daily.

Why This Works

The alkaline nature of baking soda helps in restoring the pH of your skin. This helps reduce the itchiness associated with pregnancy (6).

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5. Essential Oils

a. Rose Geranium Oil

Itching During Pregnancy - Rose Geranium Oil Pinit

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You Will Need
  • 12 drops of rose geranium oil
  • 30 mL of coconut oil
What You Have To Do
  1. Add 12 drops of rose geranium oil to 30 mL of coconut oil.
  2. Mix well and apply it to the affected areas.
  3. Leave it on for 30 to 60 minutes before washing it off.
How Often You Should Do This

You must do this 1 to 2 times daily.

Why This Works

Rose geranium essential oil is useful for treating itchy skin due to its anti-itch and anti-inflammatory properties (7).

b. Juniper Oil

Itching During Pregnancy - Juniper Oil Pinit

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You Will Need
  • 12 drops of juniper oil
  • 30 mL of coconut oil
What You Have To Do
  1. Add 12 drops of juniper oil to 30 mL of coconut oil.
  2. Apply this mixture to the areas that are itching.
  3. Leave it on for 30 to 60 minutes and then wash off.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this 1 to 2 times daily.

Why This Works

The powerful anti-inflammatory properties of juniper oil not only relieve itching but also reduce inflammation and swelling (8).

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6. Cold Compress

Itching During Pregnancy - Cold Compress Pinit

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You Will Need

A cold compress

What You Have To Do
  1. Place a cold compress on the itchy areas.
  2. Leave it on for 5 minutes and repeat the process 3 times after every few minutes.
How Often You Should Do This

You can do this thrice daily.

Why This Works

The cooling and numbing effect of a cold compress reduces swelling and gives immediate relief from itching (9).

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7. Lemon Juice

Itching During Pregnancy - Lemon Juice Pinit

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You Will Need
  • 1 lemon
  • ¼ cup of water
  • Cotton pads
What You Have To Do
  1. Squeeze a lemon and mix the juice with one-fourth cup of water.
  2. Soak a cotton pad in this solution and gently apply it to the affected areas.
  3. Leave it on for 20 to 30 minutes before washing it off.
How Often You Should Do This

You must do this once every alternate day.

Why This Works

Lemon juice contains citric and ascorbic acids (vitamin C) (10), (11). The powerful acidic nature of lemons restores the pH of your skin. This, in turn, reduces itching and inflammation of the skin (12).

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8. Dandelion Root

Itching During Pregnancy - Dandelion Root Pinit

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You Will Need
  • 1-2 tablespoons of dandelion root
  • 1 cup of water
  • Cotton pads
What You Have To Do
  1. Add one to two tablespoons of dandelion root to a cup of water.
  2. Bring it to a boil in a saucepan.
  3. Simmer for 5 minutes and strain.
  4. Allow the solution to cool a bit before soaking a cotton pad in it.
  5. Apply it to the affected areas and let it dry.
How Often You Should Do This

You must do this 2 to 3 times daily.

Why This Works

Dandelion root is alkaline. It can help in soothing inflammation and itching by restoring your skin’s lost pH. The carotenoids present in dandelion roots also promote healthy skin (13).

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9. Gram Flour Paste

Itching During Pregnancy - Gram Flour Paste Pinit

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You Will Need
  • 1 tablespoon of gram flour
  • Yogurt (as required)
What You Have To Do
  1. Add a little yogurt to a tablespoon of gram flour.
  2. Mix well to form a paste of medium consistency.
  3. Apply it to the affected areas. Leave it on to dry.
  4. After 30 minutes, wash it off with water.
How Often You Should Do This

You must do this once daily.

Why This Works

Gram flour is one of the best remedies for skin irritation, inflammation, as well as itchiness (14).

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10. Juniper Berry Lotion

Itching During Pregnancy - Juniper Berry Lotion Pinit

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You Will Need

Juniper berry lotion (as required)

What You Have To Do

Apply the juniper berry lotion to the affected areas.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this 1 to 2 times daily until you notice an improvement in your condition.

Why This Works

Juniper berry has powerful anti-inflammatory properties, which help relieve itching (15).

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11. Calamine Lotion

You Will Need

Calamine lotion (as required)

What You Have To Do

Take some calamine lotion in your palm and apply it evenly to the itchy areas.

How Often You Should Do This

You must do this at least twice daily for best results.

Why This Works

Calamine lotion contains zinc oxide and ferric oxide, which have anti-itching and antiseptic properties (16). The lotion prevents you from scratching yourself, preventing scarring (17).

Most of the remedies listed here treat as well as prevent the recurrence of itching in the further stages of pregnancy. Here are a few tips to assist these remedies to work better.

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Prevention Tips

  • Keep your skin well moisturized, especially if you have dry skin.
  • Use unscented soaps and lotions as the scented ones may aggravate the condition.
  • Avoid hot baths or showers as they dry your skin out, causing it to itch even more.
  • Rinse yourself well with water after every shower to get rid of any traces of soap or shampoo.
  • Use a soft towel to dry yourself.
  • Wear loose and light clothing.
  • Do not overuse loofahs.
  • Use mild detergents to wash your clothes.
  • Avoid going out in the sun.
  • Drink lots of water.
  • Do not wear wet clothes or swimwear for too long as they promote fungal growth.
  • Avoid being in an air-conditioned room for too long as it tends to dry out the skin.

A combination of the above remedies and tips helps relieve the itching you experience during pregnancy. Do you know of any other remedies that have given you instant relief from constant itching? Share them with us via the comment box below.

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Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

Why are my nipples itching during pregnancy?

Itchy nipples are usually a symptom of increased blood flow to that area as a result of pregnancy. The constant changes in your hormone levels can also lead to constantly itching nipples.

What are the best creams available to treat itching during pregnancy?

One of the most commonly used creams to treat itching during pregnancy is calamine lotion. However, it is best to consult your doctor before doing so.

Why is my skin so dry during pregnancy?

Hormonal changes in your body during pregnancy cause your skin to lose elasticity and moisture. This is especially evident when your skin begins to stretch and tighten. As a result, it becomes increasingly dry and itchy.

Is itching a sign of pregnancy?

Itching skin may not always be a sign of pregnancy. It can also be caused by allergies or other skin conditions like xerosis. Itching in the vaginal region may be a sign of a yeast infection.

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