As if the heartburn, swollen feet, and, well, not SEEING your feet aren’t enough …. The more pregnant you get, the itchier you get. Between hydrating for two, hormones, and being stretched to the limit, it’s no surprise that your skin is crying out for a little attention!
Increases in estrogen can make your palms and soles of your feet red and itchy (don’t worry, it will go away after delivery). Eczema, allergies, and everyday dry skin might be more agitated (and agitating!) than normal during pregnancy.
And then there’s your belly. Dry, itchy, swollen to beat all -- it’s no wonder women are constantly rubbing their bumps!
But there are things you can do for relief -- and you don’t have to wallow in a tub of lotion to get it.
Drink more water. I know. You pee enough already. But hydrating from the inside out is the most healthy thing you can do -- and not just for itchy skin relief.
Eat more fat. This doesn't mean more Pringles and Reese's. Take in more good fats -- olive oil in your dressing, fatty fish, walnuts, peanut butter -- all of these will help your skin feel a little less dry. While you're at it, consider taking an essential fatty acid supplement. This can be fish oil or, if you are vegetarian, flax seed oil.
Use vitamin E. I love vitamin E. It's so fantastic for your skin in just about every way imaginable. It will also help you itch less. You can actually buy vitamin E oil roll-ons (look for it at Whole Foods). Just take that sucker to your belly and massage in. Or, buy a bottle and add it to something else moisturizing, like jojoba or sweet almond oil, along with a yummy essential oil and you'll have a lovely scented skin oil. If you can, apply it just after your shower to lock in the moisture.
Try cocoa butter. You can buy something fancy, but I always go for plain old Palmer's cocoa butter. It's dirt cheap and comes in stick form, lotion, and tubs. They make something called "Tummy Butter," which is nice, but if you're cheap like me, just get the regular stuff -- it's just as good.
Go for some Crisco. Seriously! Don't laugh! As a child, my pediatrician Dr. Neal (who was ancient before ancient was old) instructed my mom to rub me down with Crisco in the winter, when my skin would get dry, itchy, and rashy. And you know what? It worked. It's not glamorous, but it works every time.
Most of your pregnancy itchiness is perfectly normal and harmless. However, if in the course of slathering your bump with Crisco, you notice a rash, make an appointment with your doctor -- some rashes can be indicative of a bigger problem than a belly you can't see over.
What do you do to cure dry pregnancy skin?
Image via Meemal/Flickr