Itching or Rash

Itching or Rash under 20 weeks

It is very common to experience dry and itching skin in pregnancy because of the hormonal changes. This is often more noticeable when the skin is stretching especially on your abdomen, breasts and thighs. You may find relief by keeping moisturised. Your pharmacist can talk to you about which type of moisturiser will work best for your skin condition.

Skin rashes can occur for a variety of different reasons. Although they are generally not harmful to your baby, in occasional cases they may be associated with an infection that can be transmitted to your baby. For this reason, it is recommended that if you develop a widespread rash during pregnancy, you contact your GP within 24 hours.

Some rashes may be caused by viruses and bacteria which we all encounter throughout life. As part of our defence mechanism, the body makes antibodies to help fight infection. If you have antibodies against a particular virus or bacteria, you are immune, and the antibodies help to prevent or reduce the impact of getting the infection again.

You can get more information on infections during pregnancy by clicking here 

Call 999 if you

  • Develop a rash that does not disappear with pressure (the ‘Glass Test’)

Contact your GP surgery within 24 hours (if at the weekend call NHS 111) if you have any of the following:

  • A new generalised rash anywhere on your body. Please alert the GP receptionist as they may want you to wait in isolation rather than the main waiting area.

Contact your community midwife or GP surgery today if you have:

  • Come into close contact with someone with an infectious rash, and you don’t think you are immune.

    • Chickenpox

    • Parvovirus (slap cheek)

    • Rubella

You think you have genital herpes or syphilis please contact your local genitourinary clinic 

Self care at home if:

  • You have mild itching on your tummy as it grows and is relieved when moisturised.

  • You have come in to contact with someone who has chickenpox but you have had chickenpox previously. 

  • You have come in to contact with someone who has measles or rubella but you have previously had two MMR vaccinations or had the infection previously.

  • Some infections do not affect the development of your baby.

    • Scarlet fever

    • Hand, foot and mouth

    • Ringworm

    • Impetigo

However, if you are unwell please contact your GP surgery for symptom relief.


Self Care

See your local pharmacist for extra advice or support

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