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Reasons your ever—growing belly will not stop itching

Quick notes:

  • Rashes during pregnancy are common, and most are not dangerous.

  • Pregnancy hormones and elevated body temperatures can cause you to break out in intolerable rashes.

  • There are medications and home remedies that can relieve your irritating itch.

Along with all of the other changes, your skin goes through some changes during pregnancy. Some of them make you glow — like a splotchy, bright red tomato.

Rashes during pregnancy

We all hear about the glow and radiance that comes with being pregnant. Though that does happen, you are just as likely to find yourself red and itchy. While irritating, rashes are quite common during pregnancy. Here are four common types you may experience:

1. Heat rash

Heat rashes are possibly the most common type of rash pregnant women experience. They are caused from sweating excessively, making spots and redness pop up, most often in the areas you sweat the most.

A pregnant woman’s body temperature is constantly elevated. In addition to this, parts of your body are growing. Things that may have never touched before may start to as your body develops to carry your baby.

For instance, the bottom of your breasts may now sit on top of your belly, or your thighs might suddenly rub together. All of this adds up to some really sweaty spots on a regular day, but even more so in hot weather.

Many rashes simply go away when you give birth, but you do not have to continue clawing at your skin until then. There are medical treatments and home remedies to give you some relief.

2. Cholestatic jaundice of pregnancy

While not very common, cholestatic jaundice, or intrahepatic cholestasis, of pregnancy is something to keep an eye out for. It is not an actual rash, but you will itch terribly- at times to the point that you cannot even sleep. It happens all over your body but is worse on your palms and the soles of your feet.

Some sufferers notice that their skin looks a bit yellow. If you see any of these signs, speak to your doctor immediately. This condition is actually a sign of liver disease that is caused by hormones.


Another very common and rather annoying rash that shows up during pregnancy is PUPPPs or pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy. As your skin stretches, you will likely notice red, itchy spots around your belly, arms, and legs. They are not dangerous, just very irritating, and they usually go away on their own when you give birth.

4. Hives

Hives are also pretty common during pregnancy. They are characterized by raised bumps, or in a group of red spots. They can show up at any place on your body and are often caused by emotional stress and hormonal changes- both of which pregnant ladies experience.

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Possible medical treatments

Many rashes simply go away when you give birth, but you do not have to continue clawing at your skin until then. Your doctor can help you find relief with things like antihistamines, prescription creams or ointments, or oral corticosteroids.

Some home remedies ladies swear by

Sometimes, home remedies work better than anything on the market. The following are some things to try at home:

  • Avoid perfumed soaps, lotions, and deodorant
  • Change detergent to something gentler
  • Try calamine lotion
  • Take oatmeal baths
  • Wear fewer clothes, including underwear, to decrease sweating
  • Keep yourself in cool water when you can
  • Roll up a cool, wet cloth- place it between your breasts and your belly
  • Try diaper rash creams and ointments

A deeper dive- Related reading from the 101:

Rashes are not the only reason you may be itching.

Before you run to the drug store for your ailment, check out some ways you can use pantry staples.