Edie and Amy

Why You May Have Itchy Skin After Childbirth

It’s the end of your nine-month journey and you think all the discomfort and weird changes are over. However, an itchy feeling pops up and you’re wondering what it’s all about.

Don’t Fret: There’s a way out!

This article would answer every question you have about itchy skin after delivery; the causes, duration, and possible home therapies.

Keep reading to find out more.

What causes Postpartum itchy skin?

The fact is: Nobody really knows.

Although it’s really difficult to identify the main cause of postpartum itching, here are some of the possible causes:

1. Allergies

Your body may just be reacting to some of the new changes, that’s all! Sometimes, the hormonal fluctuations during and after pregnancy may cause your body to be more sensitive than usual.

When this happens, your skin may become sensitive to common allergens like:

  • Dust
  • Dyes
  • Latex
  • Animal Fur
  • Pollens
postpartum-itch-unhappy-family

2. Stress

Proper rest is really important in the first few weeks after delivery. Stress weakens your immune system, making your skin susceptible to various irritations and infections.

3. Dietary modifications

Of course, motherhood (and breastfeeding) comes with its fair share of dietary changes. In some cases, these changes can lead to allergic reactions that make your skin feel very itchy.

4. Infections

If any of the following infections are left untreated, it can cause your skin to become really itchy:

  • urinary tract infections (UTIs)
  • common cold virus
  • strep throat,
  • influenza virus
  • hepatitis virus

Furthermore, these infections lower your immunity, exposing your skin to a higher risk of allergies and irritation.

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In addition, the other causes of itchy postpartum skin include:

  • Postpartum Depression
  • Exposure to exteme weather conditions
  • Blood transfusions
  • Hormonal Fluctuations
  • Side Effects of Certain medications
  • Underlying medical conditions like Thyroid Dysfunction

How Long Does Itching After Childbirth Last?

Your itchy skin won’t stay forever. However, the duration varies based on the underlying cause.

postpartum-itch-woman-hand

For most moms, the itching stops a few days after childbirth. On the other hand, some women experience the feeling for as long as 6 weeks after delivery. Furthermore, the faster your body is able to clear out the allergens, the shorter the duration of postpartum itching.

How to Relieve Postpartum Itching

If you’re not sure of what is making your skin itch, you can consider visiting your doctor or healthcare provider. They will help you determine if your itch is a result of any underlying medical condition or minor allergic reactions.

However, you can also try out these home remedies to get some needed relief:

1. Stay hydrated

Water works.

how-to-relieve-postpartum-itching-drink-water

In the first few days after childbirth, drink a lot of water. In addition to keeping your skin hydrated, water improves the quantity and quality of your breastmilk.

Furthermore, hydration is really important because dehydration can make your skin very dry and itchy.

2. Use Cool/Cold Water

Hot water dries out the skin.

Frequent hot water baths can dry out your skin and cause irritation or itchy sensations. As you adjust to life after pregnancy, remember to tone down the temperature of your bath water as often as you can.

3. Read The Label

As a mom, you need to pay extra attention to the details when shopping for skincare products.

From sunscreen to creams, and powder; check every ingredient and make sure what you pick is actually safe for your skin.

Furthermore, it helps to read the label and search for any possible allergens that can cause a skin reaction after use.

4. Reduce The Chemicals

It also helps to limit your exposure to strong chemicals as much as possible. While doing your laundry, use mild detergents that are skin-friendly.

Sometimes, the dyes, perfumes, and chemicals in your detergent can stay in your clothes even after rinsing. If you eventually wear these clothes, they may cause your skin to become very itchy and uncomfortable.

5. Try a Cold Compress

As it does with many other postpartum conditions like edema or swelling, a cold compress works.

This would provide relief from itching, swelling, and inflammation. You can try it three to four times a day.

6. Topical Applications

In addition to the other remedies on this list, you can also apply a cream or lotion on the surface where you’re feeling the itch.

how-to-relieve-postpartum-itching-topical-lotion-application

However, it is very important to read the label of any product you choose to avoid any possible skin reaction

7. Change your Razors Regularly

Razor blades dull over time.

When this happens, it may cause nicks and razor burns on your skin. Therefore, it is really important to change your razors as often as you can. In fact, we recommend doing this bi-weekly.

In addition, you should consider getting razors with moisture. These razors give you a smoother shave that leaves your skin fresh, clean, and without the nasty itchy feeling.

8. Reduce Stress

Yes, there is a lot of work to do now that baby is here.

However, you’re important too. Please, remember to relax, rest, and ease off the stress. As important as it is for you to take care of your baby, so it is for you to take care of yourself too.

When To See A Doctor About Postpartum Itch

The first few days after childbirth is very important.

As a result of this, you need to inform your doctor about any symptom you have as soon as you notice it. Immediately you observe the itchy feeling after childbirth, try out the home remedies mentioned in this article and place a call to your doctor.

Although postpartum itching may not be a serious issue, it is always best to take every step necessary to stay healthy.

References

Ellen Cathrine Pritzier and Carsten Sauer Mikkelsen (2012). Polymorphic eruption of pregnancy developing postpartum: 2 case reports. Dermatology Reports. Accessed on 7th July, 2021 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4212670/#!po=2.63158

Kim E.H. (2017). Pruritic Urticarial Papules and Plaques of Pregnancy Occurring Postpartum Treated with Intramuscular Injection of Autologous Whole Blood. Case Report Dermatology. Accessed on 7th July, 2021 from https://doi.org/10.1159/000473874

Marc Tunzi, and Gary R. Gray (2007). Common Skin Conditions During Pregnancy. American Family of Physician. Accessed on 7th July, 2021 from 75(2):211-218 https://www.aafp.org/afp/2007/0115/p211.html

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