Itchy Hands and Feet During Pregnancy

Do you feel slightly itchy? Giving the palms of your hands and the soles of your feet a good scratch may feel really good. To the point that you may not be able to stop rubbing or scratching?

Be aware and consult your doctor if the itching continues and doesn’t subside. It could be a sign of something more serious – termed as Cholestasis, a liver dysfunction.

Itchiness of hands and feet is one of the first signs of Cholestasis, along with

  • Signs of jaundice
  • Feeling sick
  • Loss of appetite
  • Feeling more itchy at night

What is Cholestasis?

During my pregnancies, I went through periods where I was constantly feeling the urge to rub and scratch the palms of my hands. I didn’t research it on the internet or ask my doctor about it because I thought it was most likely to be a phase of pregnancy. It was only after writing it down and doing the research for my website that I realised it could be a sign of something more serious. Luckily for me, this would have been picked up during my routine blood sample checks due to having high risk pregnancies. I can only presume in my case that it was my skin reacting sensitively to my increased blood volume.

Itchy All Over During Pregnancy

Pregnancy can make you feel itchy all over or just in certain areas. I felt itchy all over in the later stages of pregnancy, especially on my belly where my skin was stretched the most and my scalp due to hair growth (see Itchy Scalp).

Why Does Pregnancy Make You Feel Itchy?

  • The increased volume of blood in the body during pregnancy (up to 50%) delivers more blood to your skin, which could make it feel sensitive and itchy.
  • Itchiness could also be due to the fabric of your clothes. During pregnancy you could develop allergic reactions which you previously did not have, simply due to changes in hormones. It may be worth experimenting with wearing different clothing materials or using different washing powders.
  • If you are experiencing severe itchiness then always consult your doctor to get yourself checked.