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Itching in body, 26 weeks pregnant, intensifies at night. How can we resolve the issue?

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My wife is 26 weeks pregnant. Since past one month, she is getting lot of itching all over the body. It intensifies during night. We have tried applying extra moisturiser, but it didnt help. Can you please suggest, how can we resolve this issue?
Mon, 10 Sep 2012 in Pregnancy
Answered by Dr. Sourav Ganguly 50 minutes later

Thanks for your query.

It's not uncommon to feel itchy, particularly around your growing belly and breasts as your skin stretches to accommodate them. Hormonal changes may also be partly to blame. It usually disappears right after delivery.

But you should remember severe itchiness in the second or, more commonly, the third trimester can be a sign of effect on fetus.

So better to visit your obstetrician first and if he/she suspects, you should do a liver function test with special mention on bile salt and acid and also frequent Ultrasound monitoring of the fetus to see his wellbeing.

Ways of getting relief from the itching?
It depends in part on the cause. If your itchiness is just from your skin stretching or being dry, these simple measures may be enough to give you some relief:
1. Avoid hot showers and baths, which can dry out your skin and make the itching worse. Use mild, unscented soap (some scents can cause irritation) and be sure to rinse the soap off well and towel off lightly.
2. Take an occasional warm oatmeal bath. (You can buy oatmeal bath preparations in drugstores.)
3. Slather on unscented moisturizer after you've showered or bathed.
4. Try putting cool, wet compresses on itchy areas.
5. Avoid going out in the heat of the day, since heat can intensify the itching.
6. Wear loose, smooth cotton clothing.

If you have a serious rash or are extremely itchy, these measures alone will likely not be enough to give you adequate relief. Talk to your caregiver. You may need topical or oral medication, or both.

Hope I have answered your query. If you have any further questions I will be happy to help.
If you do not have any clarifications, you can close the discussion and rate the answer and write a review.

Best Wishes,
Dr Sourav Ganguly
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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