Pregnancy can be a jubilant experience for the expecting mother but coping with the changes her body goes through during this period can be really difficult. Along with many other problems, skin problems are also quite common during pregnancy and nothing but the changing levels of hormones in the body of a pregnant woman are to blame for it.
Skin problems are naturally more prominent during the summer season as the heat and the sweat makes it already worse for the skin and great for the harmful bacteria and fungus that thrive on the skin. For a pregnant woman the summer season can be particularly critical as she might experience excessive skin related issues.
Prickly heat or prickly itch or summer rashes are a common skin problem and while you might deal with it efficiently during other times, dealing with these irritating skin rashes can become tricky during pregnancy. Summer prickly itch might make you feel uncomfortable but they are not a very serious problem as they can be treated effectively even without medication. Interestingly, prickly itch can appear even during winter, but they are more common when the weather is hot and humid.
However, if you are experiencing itchy skin during your pregnancy, it is important that you first ensure that it is nothing other than summer prickly itch. Other skin problems or allergies might look similar to summer prickly itch at the beginning but might need different treatment for cure. So, first make sure that your itchy skin during pregnancy is caused by summer prickly itch and nothing else.
Symptoms of summer prickly itch during pregnancy
- Red rashes on the skin with or without small bumps or blisters are the most common symptom of prickly itch.
- Pricking and itching sensation in the area that does not seem to soothe easily.
- Increase in the uncomfortableness and itching after a period of sweating.
- Ice compress seems to soothe the problem like magic for some time at least.
When taken proper care of, the uncomfortableness of summer prickly itch should be reduced considerably within a week or so, but if the problem seems to continue or exaggerate even after maintaining the precautions and following the home treatments for over 2 weeks, you must see your doctor to make sure that the problem is nothing serious.
What causes prickly itch during pregnancy?
Before we move to the natural treatments for summer prickly itch during pregnancy, it is important that we inform you what causes this irritating skin condition at the first place and why it is more common and extreme during pregnancy.
Prickly itch is generally caused due to blockage of sweat glands on the skin which results into trapping of sweat inside the glands, giving rise to the red skin bumps, blisters and skin irritation. During pregnancy, the skin becomes highly sensitive due to the changes in the bodily hormones and hence the chance of getting prickly itch is increased. Moreover, due to more blood circulation in the body during pregnancy, naturally the expecting mothers’ feel warmer and flushed, which induces more sweating.
Profuse sweating can lead to blocked sweat glands which then might be infected by fungus causing severe itching, skin irritation and redness.
What should and should not do to treat prickly itch during pregnancy?
For treating prickly itch during pregnancy you should not opt for any over the counter medicine without consulting your doctor first. Common over the counter medications for prickly itch are not safe for pregnant women as most of them contain an anti-itch ingredient hydrocortisone, which can be passed to the fetus. You should not also use any topical cream or ointment from the medical store for the same reason without asking your doctor.
Scratching the skin to get quick relief is not a viable option, if you are suffering from summer prickly itch during pregnancy. At this time, your skin is much more sensitive than usual and scratching the skin can cause injury to the skin, adding to the problem and making it more prone to catch a bacterial infection, which can turn to be serious.
The best way to treat summer prickly itch during pregnancy is to opt for natural treatments and home remedies. Making some changes in your diet and clothing habit can also be most helpful to deal with the problem without side effects. So read on to know the best natural treatments for summer prickly itch during pregnancy.
Natural treatments for prickly itch during pregnancy
Get the right diet
Prickly itch is essentially related to excess body heat and by including the food items that help in reducing body temperature you can surely get help in treating the problem from inside. You will also need to discard the food items that might lead to more body heat production.
Indulging in green and leafy vegetables is a sure shot way to reduce your body temperature. Also devour on fresh and juicy fruits that can be helpful to control the excess body heat. Discard fried and fatty foods that can cause the body temperature to rise. Foods loaded with high protein such as red meat, spices like chilies and pepper should be reduced in your diet.
Opt for fruit juices and dairy based drinks to lower your body temperature naturally. Drinking sufficient water at frequent intervals is also important to keep your body cool and hydrated. Indulging in ice cream and cold drinks might seem like a great treat to feel cooler when you are suffering from prickly heat rashes during pregnancy. However, while these items might give you some relief for the time they are not good for your digestive system and can be a cause of more heat generation in the body. So, bank more on water, juices and dairy products like cold milk, lassi, milk shake, etc.
Wear cotton clothes
One of the best ways to treat summer prickly itch during pregnancy is to opt for light, loose and cotton made clothes that support proper air movement and absorbs the sweat instead of making the skin damp. Wearing light cotton clothes with loose fit will not only reduce the irritation of prickly itch but will also help to heal them quickly as the sweat will not be trapped inside the cloth. Also make sure to change the cloth as quickly as it seems to become damp, so that your skin stays dry for the maximum span of time.
Take frequent bath
Another thing that can be most helpful to treat summer prickly itch during pregnancy is to take frequent bath. Frequent bathing will not only help in reducing your body heat but will also help in getting rid of any sweat, which can be most helpful for controlling the irritation. You can also add some easy available ingredients in your bathing water as mentioned below to get better results.
Natural home treatments for summer prickly itch during pregnancy
Here is a list of the summer prickly itch home treatments that you can use during pregnancy without worrying for any side effects. These treatments are completely natural and they can be most effective to give you relief from the uncomfortableness of prickly heat rashes.
Aloe Vera paste for treating prickly heat rashes
One of the best natural ingredients that you can use to treat the prickly itch rashes during pregnancy is Aloe Vera. Aloe Vera has a natural cooling and soothing effect on the skin. Moreover, it also has mild anti-germicidal properties and helps in nourishing the skin. Prepare Aloe Vera paste from a fresh Aloe Vera leaf and apply it over the prickly heat rash affected area of the skin. Do not rub the paste, apply it in excess. Leave on. You need not to wash it off. Apply 2-3 times in a day or as required.
Mint for treating prickly itch
Another 100% natural and effective prickly heat rash treatment can be prepared easily with mint leaves. Mint has natural cooling effect on the skin as well as anti-microbial properties that can be helpful to kill any infection causing bacteria or fungus. Collect a handful of fresh mint leaves and grind them to make a smooth paste. Apply this paste lavishly on the affected area of the skin to get rid of the uncomfortableness of prickly heat rash.
Margosa and Indian Basil leaf paste for prickly heat during pregnancy
If the prickly heat rashes seem to have taken the size and shape of blisters or bigger nodules, try this treatment for quick results. Margosa or neem leaves has excellent natural antibacterial properties. Basil leaf is also known for its soothing effect on the skin as well as ability to kill bacterial and fungal infections.
Collect 10 -12 margosa and 5-6 basil leaves and grind them together to make a smooth paste. Apply the resulting mixture directly onto the prickly heat rash affected area of the skin and leave on. Wash off once it gets dried. Repeat 2-3 times in a day.
Oatmeal bath is ideal for healing prickly itch
One safe and easy treatment for prickly heat during pregnancy is to use oatmeal in your bathing water. Oatmeal helps in soothing the irritated skin and also removes excess oil from the skin which might be blocking the sweat glands, exaggerating the problem of prickly itch rashes. You can add a handful of oatmeal in your bathing water to get the benefits.
You can also prepare a paste with oatmeal and cold milk and apply it onto the affected area of the skin. Leave on for 30 minutes or more and then wash off with water. Repeat at least 2 times a day for best results.
Sandalwood paste is ideal for treating prickly heat
Sandalwood paste can calm the irritated skin quickly and can be effective to remove any oil trapped within the skin of the affected area. The sandalwood oil is also great for healing the skin naturally. Application of freshly prepared sandalwood paste onto the prickly heat rash affected area of the skin can be extremely comforting. Try it out 2-3 times in a day and you are sure to get quick relief without worrying about any side effects.
Potato for treating summer prickly itch during pregnancy
Looking for side effect free natural treatments to treat prickly itch during pregnancy? Try out the humble potato treatment. This easy available kitchen ingredient has fantastic skin soothing properties and can give you quick relief from the irritation of prickly heat. Take a raw potato, grate it or grind it to make a smooth paste and apply it directly onto the affected area. Leave on until it gets dry and then remove with excess water. Repeat as frequently as you want.
Fuller’s earth and cucumber juice for prickly heat relief
Fuller’s earth has skin healing and nourishing properties. It also helps in killing infection causing microbes on the skin. Cucumber juice helps in comforting any irritation on the skin. Soak 3 spoons of fuller’s earth in cold water for 10 minutes. Now add 3-4 spoons of freshly prepared cucumber juice with the earth, once it becomes soft. Apply the resulting paste on to the affected area and leave on till it gets 80% dry. Wash off with excess water.
Corn starch, a natural prickly heat treatment
Corn starch can also be comforting if you are suffering from prickly heat rashes during pregnancy. Just make a paste of corn starch by adding sufficient water and apply the resulting paste onto the prickly heat rash affected area. Leave on till it gets 80% dry and then wash off with water.
Baking soda for summer prickly itch
Baking soda and water paste is also commonly used for treating prickly heat. However, as during pregnancy the skin becomes very sensitive hence it is best to not to apply the baking soda directly onto the skin. Instead, add 1 teaspoon of baking soda into 1 cup of cold water. Soak a soft cotton cloth in this mixture, squeeze out the excess water and compress the affected area with the cotton cloth repeatedly. Repeat as required.