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What does itchy skin during pregnancy mean?

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Itchy skin during pregnancy is quite common, according to PregMed. It can be caused by dry, flaky skin due to changing hormone levels. The stretching of abdominal skin during a pregnancy can also be a factor in causing itchiness. Additionally, it is possible that there is a pregnancy-related reaction to things like lotion, pool water or sunlight.

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PregMed explains that itchiness can occur early in a pregnancy during the first or second trimester when the belly begins to stretch. Many pregnant women develop sensitivities to things that never bothered them before pregnancy. The itching is most commonly experienced on the breasts, arms, abdomen and thighs. Although it is not uncommon in the third trimester, the website notes that itchiness during the latter part of a pregnancy can sometimes be related to liver problems.

Oregon's Bay Area Hospital cautions that skin conditions such as dermatitis can worsen during pregnancy, increasing the sensation of itchiness. This may lead to excessive scratching, which can cause more severe dermatological conditions or infections. If the itchiness becomes hard to control, it is advisable to make an appointment with a primary care doctor. The doctor can make the decision as to whether the problem should be referred to a dermatologist.

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