Pregnancy itch, what's wrong with it?

Do you suffer from itching? Itching on your stomach, breasts, legs, arms or your whole body? Very annoying! Did you know that this itching is also caused by your pregnancy? It is therefore also called: pregnancy itch. Read here what causes this annoying itch and how you can give yourself some relief. Even if you suffer from red spots, bumps or blisters during pregnancy!

What is pregnancy itch?

Pregnancy itch is perhaps a pregnancy ailment that is not so well known, it is very annoying. About 1 in 5 pregnant women suffer from this to a greater or lesser extent. In many cases the cause is innocent and with some simple tips you can relieve the itching.

But it is also possible that the pregnancy itch is caused by a skin condition and then it is wise to contact your doctor. If there is a skin condition, the itching is often accompanied by other symptoms such as bumps, blisters or spots.

Maternity itch is most common on your stomach and your breasts, but sometimes your other limbs join in cheerfully. Think of your legs, arms, feet and even mucous membranes. If it is harmless, you can relieve the itching by following our tips against the itch at the bottom of this page. And in addition, the itching often disappears after the birth!

Causes of pregnancy itch

Most causes of pregnancy itch are pretty harmless and do not have a major impact on your health. These causes are:

  • Stretching of the skin

    Because of your growing belly and breasts, your skin gets stretched more and more. Because of this, it comes under tension and that causes itching. This itching then feels the most on your stomach and your breasts. It does not necessarily mean that you also get stretch marks, but it does not hurt to smear some extra cream. Not necessarily against the stretch marks, but to keep your skin greasy.

  • Your blood flow is better

    Now that you are pregnant your blood circulation is a lot better. This will get you hot faster and you will probably sweat earlier. All that heat can cause itching on your skin.

  • Dry skin

    Some women have drier skin during pregnancy than normal. Dry skin can also become more itchy. Fortunately, you can easily remedy this by smearing a greasier and moisturizing cream more often. Preferably as neutral as possible without perfume, alcohol or essential oils.

Pregnancy itch by skin condition

When the itching is so bad, that you really suffer from it and you also suffer from rashes, blisters, bumps or broken skin, then there is probably a skin condition. Fortunately, this condition can be treated in most cases. There is a skin condition that can occur in the first weeks of your pregnancy. In addition, there are a few that can occur later in your pregnancy.

Pregnancy itch first weeks

  • Early form of pregnancy itch: atopic eczema

    Atopic eczema, also called Prurigo or Pregnancy, PP, often occurs in the first trimester of pregnancy. Mostly women suffer from this eczema if they have suffered from eczema in their childhood. The risk of PP is also greater if you suffer from certain allergies such as hay fever, dust mite allergy or an allergy of cat hair. But atopic eczema can also simply arise from nothing. That is because your immune system works differently during pregnancy.

    Symptoms of atopic eczema:

    It starts with itching, later itching occurs. It may look like red and scaly patches, but sometimes you feel itching and itchy lumps.


    It is very important that you keep your skin well-greasy with neutral oils or moisturizing creams. That way your skin does not dry out. In addition, lotions with Menthol can also provide relief, you can use it during pregnancy. Do you really have a lot of itching or worry about the places you get, then visit the doctor.

Itching last weeks pregnancy and last trimester

Later in your pregnancy you may have to deal with the late form of pregnancy itch.

  • Pregnancyscholestasis

    This form is caused by the accumulation of bile salts. About 2% of pregnant women suffer from this. Bile salts are waste products from the liver. At the end of the pregnancy the bile salts accumulate in the body. Usually this is caused by a sting of the liver under the influence of pregnancy hormones.

    Symptoms of pregnancy scholestatis:

    Severe itching, especially in the nights. The itching is mainly on your arms and legs, but can also occur on your hands and feet. There is no rash, but your skin can be damaged by scratching. Other possible complaints: yellowish skin, dark urine, less appetite and nausea.


    Always go to your midwife and the doctor if you suffer from these complaints. This itching can be an expression of a disturbed liver function. An impaired liver function can be harmful to your baby and to yourself. By means of a blood test we can see how serious the situation is and can proceed to treatment.

  • PUPPP, itchy bumps

    PUPPP stands for Pruritic Urticarial Papules and Plaques of Pregnancy. This type of pregnancy itch occurs in the third trimester and often also during a first pregnancy or mothers who are pregnant with twins.

    Symptoms PUPPP:

    It starts with itching and countless gall bumps (large or small) on the stomach, especially with your possible stretch marks. Sometimes there are also blisters. The area around your navel and your face is usually saved.At a later stage the hives spread to your thighs, breasts and arms.


    Always go to your doctor if you discover PUPPP. You will be prescribed a hormone ointment with which PUPPP can be treated perfectly.

  • Pemphigoid Gestationis (Herpes Gestationis): Blisters and vesicles

    HG is a very rare blister disease that fortunately occurs very little, in 1 in 50,000 pregnancies. Usually it occurs around the 21st week of pregnancy or afterwards in the third trimester. It is caused by your body producing antibodies against your skin.


    First you notice itchy spots, then you get blisters and / or large blisters that are filled with clear moisture. Usually the first blisters are visible on the belly, around the navel and then on the arms and legs. If you notice these symptoms, go to the doctor immediately. This skin condition can increase the chance of a premature birth. Your baby can also get blisters after birth. A gynecologist and dermatologist will guide you further during pregnancy.


    The treatment starts with the lubrication of creams. If this does not help, prednisone tablets are prescribed.

Treat pregnancy ankle

If you suffer from one of the aforementioned skin conditions and you have severe itching, red spots, bumps or blisters, always go straight to the doctor. Other complaints of pregnancy itch can be remedied or alleviated by:

  • Do not try to scratch and cut your nails as short as possible!
  • Keep your skin greasy by moisturizing creams or oils without perfume.
  • To relieve the itch, menthol gels, creams or powders help.
  • View the Mentho 10 products here

  • Do not stand in the shower too long or do not take long baths, this will dry out the skin.
  • Wear light-hearted cotton clothing. This does not breathe and itches like synthetic fabrics.
  • Drink plenty of water so that your body stays hydrated.

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