Itchy Feet During Pregnancy

Submitted by Pregnancy and Baby Care team on January 17, 2012

Most women complain of itchy palms and feet during pregnancy, however though uncomfortable and irritating, this is considered as normal and is not a cause for concern. Itchy hands and feet during pregnancy are mainly caused on account of the growing uterus as the pregnancy progresses which the causes the skin to stretch. At times pregnancy related hormones and changes in the liver enzymes or increase in the bile salts obtained from the liver also result in itchy hands and feet in pregnancy or even overall itching. In some pregnant women fairly large patches of itchy bumps appear on their stomach or a rash along other parts of their skin.

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This symptom is typically observed during the third trimester. This medical condition is medically known as pruritic urticarial papules or plaques of pregnancy (PUPP). This skin condition is not known to harm the mother or the baby but may be extremely uncomfortable. Some women experience unusually severe itching in their hands and feet. This may be a cause for concern as it could indicate that the mother may be suffering from Cholestasis of pregnancy. This is an extremely rare condition among pregnant women and is caused on account of a problem in the liver. Cholestasis resulting in itchy feet during pregnancy occurs when bile is unable to flow normally through the small ducts present in the liver. This in turn causes bile salt to accumulate in the body thereby causing itchy feet in pregnancy which may also spread to other parts of the body. Itching caused by Cholestasis is more severe and intense than the other forms of itching experience during pregnancy. Infact at times, women are known to scratch so roughly that the skin may even develop small tears. More on itchy belly during pregnancy

Women suffering from itchy hands and feet during pregnancy on account of Cholestasis are basically said to be in a high risk pregnancy. This is depending on the severity of the condition; Cholestasis increases the risk of maternal and fetal hemorrhaging, premature labor, fetal distress and even still birth or the intrauterine death of the baby. Women experiencing an itchy feet pregnancy are therefore required to be under expert medical care as itchy feet and pregnancy are not a combination that should be taken lightly. In some cases, depending on the criticality of the situation, the doctor may suggest an early induction. Like most skin conditions, Cholestasis tends to clear up on its own after the child is delivered.

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