How Do I Treat Itchy Feet in Pregnancy?

A positive pregnancy test.
Cornstarch can be used on the feet to relieve itching.
Avoiding hot showers and baths may help prevent itchy feet in pregnancy.
Moisturizers and oatmeal baths can soothe itchy feet during pregnancy.
Article Details
  • Written By: Madeleine A.
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 18 June 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
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Itchy feet in pregnancy can be treated by putting moisturizer on the feet, taking oatmeal baths, and avoiding baths or showers that are too hot. In addition, sprinkling baby powder or cornstarch on the feet can be soothing and relieve itching. Itchy feet typically occur as a result of rising estrogen levels; however, the itching sometimes afflicts the whole body.

When a pregnant woman gets dry and itchy feet, medications should be used sparingly. Although topical anti-itch medications such as hydrocortisone and Benadryl are very effective in soothing itchy soles and itchy feet, they can be absorbed into the bloodstream and affect the baby. This is especially important during the first three months of pregnancy. If topical medications are used only when symptoms are severe, and large parts of the body are not covered by the medication, chances of complications are slim.

In addition to having itchy feet in pregnancy, women often have other foot complaints during pregnancy. These include swollen feet and ankles, and sore feet. Swelling of the feet is common during pregnancy and is typically related to fluid retention and increased sodium intake. Swollen feet and ankles can also cause itchiness, but is typically not a serious problem. When the feet swell, elevating them and limiting intake of high-sodium foods and beverages typically relieves symptoms.

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It is important to check with a medical professional when itchy feet becomes more than just a nuisance for a pregnant woman. This is especially true when the itching not only affects the feet, but the abdomen, arms, and legs. When a pregnant woman notices generalized itching, it can signal a liver abnormality, such as a blocked bile duct, and her healthcare provider should be notified.

Itchy feet in pregnancy can become so intense that the individual can break the skin on her feet from scratching so much. This can be dangerous because the skin is a person's first line of defense against bacterial invasion. If bacteria gets into the bloodstream via broken skin on the feet, the patient can get an infection and pass it along to her unborn baby.

If itchy feet complaints persist, the medical professional might recommend an oral antihistamine. Most over-the-counter anti-itch medication can be give to pregnant women without risk to the baby, if taken in recommended dosages. In addition, a pregnant woman should never take any medication unless recommended by a medical professional.

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