Pregnancy Hives

Pregnancy hives are a type of skin rash characterized by itchy, raised, red welts. Hives appear in clusters or groups of various shapes. They initially appear on the abdominal area and slowly spread to neck, chest, buttocks, back of arms and legs, and rarely, the face. Generally, hives during pregnancy are harmless even though severe itching associated with the rash is annoying and uncomfortable.

Causes of Hive During Pregnancy:

Hives are also called as “urticaria”. They are usually caused by allergies, but pregnancy hives are an exception. Causes of pregnancy hives include:

  • Allergic foods:

    Sometimes, hives during pregnancy are caused by the allergic reaction to certain types of food like soybean, shellfish, tomatoes, eggs, etc. Women with food allergies should avoid these foods during pregnancy.

  • Stretching Skin:

    Hives are also caused by stretched skin during pregnancy. Skin on the stomach stretches to accommodate the growing baby inside the womb, causing itching and sometimes hives.

  • Drugs and Medications:

    Reactions to several drugs and medications also trigger skin rashes during pregnancy. Pregnant women should avoid using the over-counter medications without seeking their doctor’s advice. If you are seeking medication for any ailment during pregnancy, discuss all your symptoms with your doctor so that he/she can prescribe the appropriate medication.

  • Hormonal Changes:

    In some cases, hormonal changes in pregnant women, especially estrogen and progesterone, trigger hives and rashes. Hormonal fluctuation during pregnancy results in the release of histamines which cause skin rashes. Commonly, hives are accompanied by lesions and tiny blisters, which are harmless.

  • Pruritic Urticarcial Papules and Plaques of Pregnancy (PUPPP):

    Typically, PUPPP occurs during the last trimester of pregnancy. These are similar to hives and are harmless.

  • Chemicals in Food Products:

    Sometimes hives are caused by additives in processed food such as preservatives and edible food coloring. Maintaining a healthy diet and avoiding processed foods may help prevent hives during pregnancy.

Additionally, extreme temperature, emotional stress, physical strain, wearing tight clothes, and excessive perspiration may trigger pregnancy hives. Pregnant women with pet allergies should avoid close contact with pets.

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