Pregnancy hives is a common ailment affecting many pregnant women. Hives are basically red raised welts on the skin surface accompanied with severe itching, burning and stinging sensation. Hives usually appear in groups and the onset is sudden and abrupt. These skin lesions are usually irregular and asymmetrical.
Hives during pregnancy occur asymmetrically on the trunk, hands and legs.
Usually hives appear when the woman is pregnant for the first time it does not appear during subsequent pregnancies.
What Causes Hives During Pregnancy?
Pregnancy hives can occur at any stage of the pregnancy. The common cause is attributed to several chemical and hormonal changes taking place in the body during pregnancy. This is true because a woman may find sudden appearance of hives which she never had before becoming pregnant.
- The immune system of the body recognizes these changes as abnormal and unknown. In response to this, the immune system releases large amount of histamine in the circulation hoping to correct whatever changes are happening. Release of histamine and serotonin causes dilatation of tiny blood vessels (capillaries) of the skin giving rise to welts and hives. Women having twins are at a greater risk of suffering from pregnancy hives during their first pregnancy.
- Beside the chemical and hormonal changes, some other contributory factors include stretching of skin, as the uterus grows the abdomen skin is stretched and becomes dry. This increases the chances of hives appearing on the abdomen first in a pregnant woman.
- Emotional and physical strain that a woman passes through her pregnancy period is other cause for pregnancy hives.
- Pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy (PPPP) is a skin condition having similar symptoms of hives during pregnancy. The condition is frequently present in the last three months of pregnancy. The hives are present on buttocks and arms. There is severe itching on the skin. It is necessary to consult the doctor when PPPP suspected.
Natural Home Remedies For Pregnancy Hives
Pregnancy hives is not harmful to pregnant mother as well as the fetus. The condition subsides after the birth of the baby within two weeks. However, if the hives are present on the genitals it is necessary to consult a gynecologist.
- There are several antihistamine medicines to control itching and reducing the symptoms. Many women prefer to use home remedies since they have less side effects.
- A pregnant mother may find relief from itching and burning after cool shower. Soaking in oatmeal bath is an effective natural way to treat hives occurring during pregnancy.
- Wearing loose fitting clothes is always beneficial during pregnancy. It is more comfortable and soothing to the skin.
- Use soaps that moisturize the skin and prevent skin dryness.
- Avoid hot baths as they can trigger the flare up of hives and also avoid scratching and rubbing as it will aggravate the condition.
- After a cool shower, pat dry your skin with a towel instead of rubbing the area as it may aggravate itching.
- Applying cocoa butter over the hives is another effective natural home remedy for relieving the itching and burning sensation.