Last updated: Dec 10, 2010
pregnancy
Q:Im pregnant, and my belly itches all over! How come?


A: As your skin stretches over your growing bump, it can become dry and irritated. Hormonal changes may cause itching, too. So slather on moisturizer regularly and avoid hot showers, itchy fabrics like wool, and scratching (which makes the problem worse). If you also start to develop small bumps, especially in your third trimester, you may have pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy (PUPPP). Your doctor can suggest an ointment to help relieve this harmless condition. In rare cases, though, itching can be a sign of liver or gallbladder disease; pregnancy makes you more prone to both. So if moisturizing doesnt help, be sure to check in with your doctor.