Why Does Your Skin Itch During Pregnancy? Causes and Tips!

Stretch marks during pregnancy

During pregnancy, many pregnant women suffer from skin troubles such as roughness and rash which accompany the changes in the hormonal balance and physical condition. This is called “gestational prurigo” and occurs from the middle to the late pregnancy.

Although the itchiness can be tolerable somewhat, some women suffer more than others from the symptoms and cannot sleep at night. So why does itching occur during pregnancy?

In this article, we will introduce the causes and measures of gestational prurigo.

When do you feel itching during pregnancy?

Strong itching and symptoms that can cause blisters are called “gestational prurigo”. These symptoms usually happen on the stomach, back, thighs, etc. where the skin becomes red. Although it is a symptom that is likely to occur during the middle to the end of pregnancy, some may start to feel itching from early pregnancy.

What is the mechanism of prurigo?

The causes of gestational prurigo:

  • Decrease in liver function
  • Metabolism becomes active which makes it easy to sweat
  • Hormone balance makes the skin sensitive

 These are said to be the main causes of gestational itching. If you scratch carelessly, scars may remain after birth, so please be careful.

Preventive measures to control itching

In this section, we like to help you prevent gestational prurigo and lighten symptoms even if itching occurs. Please perform the following preventative measures:


Keep your skin clean and moisturize regularly because itchiness gets worse as it dries. To prevent stretch marks and the pregnancy line, it is recommended to apply cream for pregnancy line and stretch mark prevention on the stomach and thighs. We recommend an effective organic cream like Belta Mother Cream. (click on the highlighted text to get to our product page)

Wipe sweat frequently

Our sweat may cause bacterial spread in our body if we leave it in our skin for a long period of time. Change your clothes when you sweat, and wipe your skin gently with a towel. Tap on your skin with the towel, do not rub.

Avoid using powerful fabric softener

Although a fabric softener may seem gentle on the skin, depending on the ingredients, it could be incompatible with sensitive skin and cause damage. If you are concerned about the condition of your skin, refrain from using it.

Cool your skin

There is a tendency for itching to appear strongly after bathing or sleeping. You can temporarily relieve itching by applying a dampened towel to your skin or keeping it cool with a cooler or ice compress. Or you can use some cooling gels like aloe vera gel or cica gel to lower down the temperature of your skin.

Wear clothing made of organic materials

Wear organic or natural materials that feel good to the touch like cotton. Anyway, suppress triggering the skin to itch as much as possible.

Use organic bath materials

Do not use soap with harsh chemicals to wash your body, or in cases when the itching is so bad, avoid soap altogether. If you can tolerate using soap, use ones made with natural and/or organic ingredients. When washing, do not scrub harshly and wash gently. Let the steady flow of water rinse your skin so that there is no soap or shampoo left.

The above tips are merely preventive measures. If symptoms are severe, see a dermatologist. Although some medications do not affect fetuses, it is safer to go on treatment while consulting a doctor.

Similar Symptoms

Below are some important information about several similar symptoms of skin itch:

Polymorphic pregnancy rash

It is common in prematurity in late pregnancy. Erythema like urticaria appears around the abdomen through the arms and legs. Erythema will also merge and spread widely. It is accompanied by strong itching, but it often diminishes after birth.

Gestational herpes

Autoimmune bullous disease that occurs during pregnancy. Edematous erythema with blistering appears. This is also often reduced after birth.

Gestational intrahepatic cholestasis

Stasis of bile due to hormonal change during pregnancy may cause severe itching, spreading over the whole body. Also jaundice may occur.


While pregnant, you may feel a variety of physical changes and may feel uneasy, but every pregnant woman experiences some form discomfort. Try not to strain yourself as much as possible to avoid stress, and always remember to get a doctor’s advice before taking any kind of medication.

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