Having hives during pregnancy is a rare skin problem that results from an allergic reaction. To know more about the connection between them, read on.
Pregnancy hives are essentially a kind of skin rash, that is characterized by raised, itchy, and red welts that develop on the skin. They change their shape and placement, and appear in clusters and groups. Generally, they first appear on the abdominal area and then gradually spread to the buttocks, chest, neck, back of the legs, and arms. They are generally harmless, although severe itching accompanied with the rash is very annoying and discomforting. They can also appear on the face during pregnancy; however, it is not a very common occurrence.
Hives, also known as urticaria, are generally caused by allergies, but pregnancy hives are an exception to this. Following are some of their causes.
Stretching Skin: Hives can appear as a result of stretched skin during pregnancy. The skin of the stomach gets stretched to accommodate the baby inside the womb, and these changes can cause rashes.
PUPPP: It typically occurs in the last trimester of the pregnancy. Pruritic Urticarial Papules and Plaques of Pregnancy (PUPPP), is similar to hives and quite harmless.
Hormonal Changes: Sometimes, hormonal changes in pregnant women can induce hives rashes. Fluctuations in the levels of hormones, like progesterone and estrogen, can lead to skin rashes and hives. Additional hormones that are secreted during pregnancy may lead to the release of histamines, causing rashes on the skin. Many times, they are accompanied by tiny blisters and lesions, that are harmless.
Allergic Foods: In some cases, they can be the result of an allergic reaction to certain foods, such as eggs, tomatoes, shellfish, soybean, etc., that are notorious for inducing hives on skin. Women with food allergies should refrain from eating such foods during pregnancy.
Medication and Drugs: Reaction of various medications and drugs can also trigger pregnancy skin rash. So, a pregnant women should avoid taking over the counter medicines without consulting her doctor. It is also advisable for pregnant women to discuss the entire case history with the doctor so that he/she can prescribe medicines, that complement the hormonal changes occurring during pregnancy.
Chemicals in Food Products: Sometimes, food products contain various additives, like edible colors and preservatives that can cause hives. So, a pregnant woman should avoid eating food from outside. Homemade fresh food is always recommended for a pregnant women.
Apart from these, extreme temperatures, excessive perspiration, wearing tight fitting clothes, and emotional as well physical strain can ignite pregnancy hives. If there are pet animals around pregnant women, there are chances of having hives due to animal hackles. So, it is essential to take the good care of pets in the house. It is best to avoid close contact with pets.
Treating Hives During Pregnancy
Pregnancy hives do not pose any danger to the mother or the baby. However, if they occur on the genitals, it is advisable to consult a gynecologist as soon as possible. Following are some remedies that can help heal them. Maintaining general hygiene will help you prevent them. As mentioned earlier, they are innocuous and are faced by very few pregnant women. However, excessive itching can irritate the mother. In such cases, the following remedies can provide you some relief.
Anti-histamine Medicines: In some cases, where histamine is the cause of the rash, anti-histamine medicines can be of help. This restricts the histamine levels in the body, lessens the rash, and provides relief to the mother.
Anti-itching Creams: Your gynecologist can also prescribe you medicated ointments that will sooth the hives rash. The anti-itching creams reduce the irritation and make the skin feel cool. They also reduce the itchy feeling to a great extent.
Moisturizing Creams or Calamine: Dryness of skin is the cause of excessive itching in many cases. Moisturizing creams or lotions hydrate the skin well and prevent it from dryness. Calamine lotions are also known for their cooling qualities. So, applying calamine lotion to the affected area, can give you some relief from hives.
Cold Compress: Cold compress is also the best way to combat pregnancy hives and is considered one of the safest hives treatment. It is easy to make cold compresses at home. You need one napkin and a bowl of cold water for the cold compress. Just dip the napkin in a bowl and squeeze out the water and place the cold napkin on the affected area. It soothes and cools the rashes reducing the itchy feeling. Along with this, bathing with cold water can also provide relief from the hives rashes.
Apart from this, avoid scratching and rubbing the hive rashes, as this act can spread the rash, thus aggravating the hives. And lastly, follow a balanced diet along with the regular exercise regimen as suggested by your doctor. Cherish motherhood.
Disclaimer: This HerHaleness article is for informative purposes only, and it should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.