Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine can be very helpful in alleviating irritating itching experienced during pregnancy. Itching due to a ‘heat rash’ during the last trimester of pregnancy can occur due to several factors. The most common skin condition of pregnancy is PUPP (pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy), which presents with itchy red raised bumps that start on the abdomen and spread to the thighs, arms or buttocks. Studies suggest that the foetal cells can invade the mother’s skin during pregnancy, causing this to develop. Papular dermatitis of pregnancy is an extremely itchy rash consisting of red, raised spots that look like insect bites, with crusts or scabs covering some of the spots. This can appear all over the body and occur at any time during pregnancy. Abnormal hormone levels are linked to this condition. Prurigo gestationis is a very itchy rash with red dots appearing on the upper trunk and upper parts of the arms and legs (and rarely on the abdomen and buttocks) that can appear in the second trimester. If you experience extreme itching during pregnancy it is important to inform your doctor or midwife as this can be a sign of obstetric cholestasis (increased bile salts passing through the skin).
Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine can help to alleviate itching and rashes during pregnancy as it works to take heat out of the Blood, move and/or nourish Qi and Blood, as is appropriate to your individual case.