Itching is a painful sensation which is caused by constant irritation of the nerve endings and shows a strong need to scratch the skin and mucous membranes.
Causes of Pruritus
The main reasons are:
- The rapid growth of stomach and breast augmentation. In the second half of pregnancy, the skin begins to rapidly expand, there are gaps of fibers, and a constant desire to scratch the skin appears. Especially itching is intensified in the evening and at night;
- Allergic reactions. Allergen may be new hygiene means, pollen, foods etc. Besides itching allergies are characterized by redness, swelling, presence of rashes;
- Excessive sweating. If we ignore the rules of hygiene, sweat can accumulate in the body folds and cause itching;
- Cholestasis of pregnant women (disorders of the liver and biliary tract, caused by hormonal changes). Cholestasis is characterized by severe itching and redness of the palms and soles and may then spread to the other parts of the body;
- Dermatoses of pregnant women as a manifestation of rare types of toxicosis. This is a group of skin diseases that occur only during pregnancy. More common is itching at pregnant women, which is distributed throughout the body and leads to a deterioration of general condition, irritability, insomnia. Less common are eczema, manifested by severe itching, burning, and the presence of skin rash;
- Jaundice of pregnant women (also a rare type of toxicosis). It is characterized by liver disease, jaundice skin staining, severe itching;
In any case, do not try to independently determine the cause of the itching, and the more indulge in self-treatment. At the first sign of itching you should immediately consult a doctor.
Treatment of Pruritus During Pregnancy
The treatment of pruritus is primarily directed at eliminating the causes that caused the appearance of this symptom.
Before this, methods can be used, which will help to temporarily relieve itching, or at least alleviate its symptoms:
- Regularly ventilate and humidify the room. The room should be cool (no more than 18 degrees Celsius) to avoid sweating;
- Compliance with the rules of personal hygiene. It is recommended several times a day to take a warm or a contrast shower;
- Regularly wash the itchy place by the decoction of herbs (Air marsh, chamomile, violet tricolor) or a weak solution of baking soda;
- Regularly make bandages with chamomile and duckweed. The herbs need to be ground to a mushy state, put on the itchy skin and cover with gauze. The procedure is performed two times a day for several hours.
These methods help to relieve the itching for a short time. The important thing still remains the treatment of the underlying disease. With the manifestation of pruritus as a symptom of an allergic reaction it is important, first of all, to identify and eliminate the effect of allergen, often after that itching is immediately terminated. Self-administration of antiallergic drugs is strictly forbidden, treatment should be prescribed only by the allergist.
In diabetes it is necessary to strictly control blood sugar levels. You may need additional insulin. Treatment should undergo under the constant supervision of an endocrinologist. When a pregnant woman is suffering from dermatoses, she is usually recommended in-patient treatment. Sparing diet is prescribed with the exception of spicy and salty foods, smoked meat. Lotion with a solution of potassium permanganate is applied to the affected areas. To reduce itching and burning antihistamines, vitamin therapy, calcium supplements are prescribed.
With cholestasis during pregnancy, treatment should be carried out only in a hospital. Drugs to improve the outflow of bile are prescribed (drotaverine, papaverine) and gepatoprotectors to maintain liver function (carsil, essentiale). Jaundice at pregnant women (a rare type of toxemia) is a very dangerous disease, and threatens the health and lives of women. When the diagnosis is determined the pregnant woman is urgently hospitalized and the pregnancy at any stage is interrupted.
Prevention of Itching
Itching makes a lot of unpleasant things to a pregnant woman, it affects the state of health and worsens the sleep. Treatment is not always effective and often symptoms of itching can be renewed.
For this reason, preventive measures are extremely important:
- Weight control. With excessive or uneven weight gain there is a high probability of skin stretching and the appearance of stretch marks, which leads to itching;
- Observe the rules of hygiene. You should at least once a day take a warm shower (not hot), hot bath during pregnancy is contraindicated;
- To avoid drying out of the skin. After water procedures be sure to apply to the skin a lotion or body cream;
- Massage with alternating strokes and rubbing. It works well as a prophylactic against the appearance of stretch marks, and, accordingly, from the appearance of pruritus;
- Give preference to the clothes only from natural fabrics (cotton, wool, flax).