Getting pregnant is a life-changing experience that brings joy to the parents to be. However, it comes with its fair share of challenges which may vary from one mother to another. One of the common problems women suffer from when pregnant is itchy skin, particularly on the feet. This can be quite uncomfortable and if not taken care of can lead to serious issues such as wounds from constantly scratching of the affected areas and swellings. Rather than popping pills, it is better to embrace natural treatments. Most home remedies for itchy feet do not have side effects and do not affect the baby’s health.
Before treating itchy feet, it is essential that you understand the condition and its seriousness. The itch can vary in intensity from mild to severe which may necessitate a doctor’s intervention. Hormonal imbalance is the primary cause of itchy feet, but skin problems such as eczema may get worse during pregnancy causing the itch.
In more severe cases, hormonal problems may cause the liver’s functions to shut down which may cause bile to be deposited into the bloodstream and later on under the skin for excretion. This may cause itchiness in the hands, back, and belly and predominantly, the feet. The itching is usually more pronounced at night and may cause sleeplessness. This condition is known as intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (ICP).
ICP is prevalent during the last trimester when hormonal levels are at the peak. Also, those with multiple pregnancies or a history of liver problems or failure are at a higher risk. More notable is a rash free itch but other symptoms include lack of appetite, fatigue, jaundice, depression, dark colored urine, nausea, and vomiting.
ICP is a serious condition that can affect the health of the baby leading to preterm or stillbirth. The condition requires a doctor’s attention, and in most cases, the baby can be induced as long as the lungs are adequately developed. What are some home remedies that can alleviate the itch?
Keep the feet cool
Heat can make the feet itchy and also lead to swelling. When you feel like scratching the feet, deep them into cold water for up to 10 minutes or apply cold compresses on the itchy areas. Do not scratch, scrape or vigorously rub the skin as this can break it leading to infections. The cold compress can be used as many times as possible. It’s vital to limit your day’s activities to the cooler hours especially early in the morning or late in the evening. Warm weather may irritate your feet leading to itchiness. If you have to walk in the sun, put on breathable shoes.
Take Lukewarm Showers
Dry skin is also a common cause of itchy feet. Dry skin tends to flake easily leading to more irritation. Taking hot showers can dry the skin, therefore, only use lukewarm water and bathe with mildly or non-fragrant soaps. Take frequent lukewarm showers during the day. After the shower, moisturize the skin especially on the itchy parts with cream or fragrance-free lotion.
Wear loosely fitting comfortable shoes
Tight shoes can lead to feet problems during pregnancy. You are likely to experience an itch when in tight or uncomfortable shoes because your feet cannot breathe properly. If possible, wear open shoes or comfortable sandals that let your feet relax and breathe naturally. Also, note that feet tend to get larger during pregnancy. For this reason, your shoes may be too small or ill-fitting. For more comfort, buy new shoes that accommodate the feet well and make you less tired.
Use Aloe Vera Gel
The gel which is another one of the home remedies for itchy feet can be applied in the itchy parts for as long as it’s needed. Alternatively, you can have warm oatmeal baths. The bath can be beneficial when the itch is intense. For a faster and less stressful experience, buy ready-made oatmeal baths from drugs or grocery stores. The bathe instantly stops the itch and relieves any discomfort. You can have a full body bath or just dip the feet into the oatmeal solution for as long as it takes to get relief.
Drink at least two liters of lukewarm water every day. Also, eat a lot of fruits and vegetables. This will keep you hydrated and at the same time flash the toxins that may build up under the skin causing the itch.
If the itch is too uncomfortable or stays on for a prolonged period, and home remedies are not helping, consult your doctor. Also, if you have a rash or other skin conditions, it is important to seek medical help. Most assuredly, most of the symptoms will disappear after childbirth; you, therefore, do not need worry. However, try these remedies to ease the discomfort of itchy feet.