Hives During Pregnancy

When you are pregnant, your body goes through a multitude of changes. Sometimes those changes can be great, such as the growing belly or the "okay" from your doctor to eat more ice cream! But there are other changes that can reveal the true stress on your body. Some of these changes include skin problems. Hives during pregnancy is one of those uncomfortable problems that can make you feel awful during what should be a very happy time.

What Are Hives During Pregnancy?

Your body is going through serious changes, and hives during pregnancy might become one of them. Even if you have never had hives before, you might get them during pregnancy. It is quite common in all stages, no matter how many weeks or months along you might be.

Hives look like welts on your skin. They are raised and red, sometimes with a white center. They might also have some swelling around. They might stay in one place, or migrate to various parts of your body. Hives can also be there one day, go the next, and then come back again. They are almost always accompanied with itching, which can sometimes be severe.

Since hives looks very much like a rash, your doctor should always check them out to ensure that they are really hives, and not something more serious, such as autoimmune progesterone dermatitis of pregnancy or other problems that could lead to complications.

Are Hives During Pregnancy Dangerous?

Fortunately, most cases of hives are not dangerous at all – they are just very uncomfortable for the mother. However, it is very important to talk to your doctor to make sure there is no underlying problem. In addition, watch carefully to make sure you do not develop hives around the genital area. If you do, this has a slight chance of leading to a problem for your pregnancy, so get checked out immediately.

Sometimes hives can become very severe. This is especially true if the hives are caused by something other than pregnancy such as an allergic reaction. If you experience any of the following symptoms, you might be going into anaphylactic shock, and you should call 911 immediately:

  • Fainting
  • Difficulty breathing, extreme shortness of breath and wheezing
  • Swelling of the face and tongue
  • Trouble swallowing or throat tightness

What Causes Hives During Pregnancy?

In some cases, no one knows what causes this problem during pregnancy. In other cases, the doctor can point out the reasons. Here are the most common things that cause hives during pregnancy:

  • Hormone imbalance. When you are pregnant, your hormones are changing drastically. Sometimes your body might see these hormone changes as a sign of a foreign invader and it will then try to ward off what it believes is an infection. The antibodies released to fight this "infection" can cause hives.
  • PUPP. This is a serious condition called Pruritic Urticarial Papules and Plaques. This often happens in the third trimester, and can lead to hives that do not respond to antihistamines or other medications. This makes it vastly uncomfortable!
  • Dry skin. When the skin loses moisture, it can lead to itching. This is especially true in areas where the skin is stretched tightly, such as over your belly during pregnancy. This can also cause hives. Using lotion and moisturizing soaps can help ensure that hives don't appear due to the dryness of your skin.
  • Moisturizing soap. Using regular soap can make the problem much worse. By using moisturizing bar soap, you might be able to alleviate some of the redness and itching.
  • Lotions. Dry skin is often a culprit in hives during pregnancy. To avoid this, stay well-hydrated with lotion on your skin as often as you can remember to do so.
  • Oatmeal and baking soda. Take a lukewarm bath – but not hot because that can make it worse. Add oatmeal or baking soda to help relieve the itching.

How to Get Rid of Hives During Pregnancy

Home Remedies

  • Moisturizing soap. Using regular soap can make the problem much worse. By using moisturizing bar soap, you might be able to alleviate some of the redness and itching.
  • Lotions. Dry skin is often a culprit in hives during pregnancy. To avoid this, stay well-hydrated with lotion on your skin as often as you can remember to do so.
  • Oatmeal and baking soda. Take a lukewarm bath – but not hot because that can make it worse. Add oatmeal or baking soda to help relieve the itching. 

Medications

If none of the home remedies work, you can try antihistamines that are deemed safe by your doctor. Never take anything that hasn't been approved by your physician! Some medications that are commonly used include Allegra and Benadryl, as well as Claritin and Zyrtec. If the condition is more serious, such as PUPP, your doctor will prescribe medications and watch you closely.

How to Prevent Hives During Pregnancy

Fortunately, there are many ways to prevent hives when you're pregnant. Try out following tips and see which ones work to alleviate or diminish the hives you might be experiencing.

  • Avoid tight clothing, as any pressure on your skin can lead to irritation of hives.
  • Hot showers and hot baths can dry out your skin and make hives more common. Always use lukewarm water or take a cool shower, and follow up with moisturizing.
  • If your skin begins to itch, try not to scratch it because scratching can make hives worse.
  • Avoid stress as much as you can, since sometimes that can make hives worse. Relaxation techniques might help you avoid the problem. 
 
 
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