What is the Reason for Itchy Palms in Pregnancy?

Itchiness during pregnancy can not only feel irritating, but can also Indicate an underlying medical condition. You may feel itchy because of the stretching and pulling of the skin around your abdomen, which is totally normal. Dry skin due to hormonal changes may also cause itchiness, which is also harmless. If you feel particularly itchy at your palms and feet, then it is a cause for concern.

Itching of palms and soles of feet in pregnancy is often associated with liver functioning. This condition is known as Intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy, which commonly affects pregnant women. Palmar erythema is another condition, which affects pregnant women and causes redness of palms, but itching is mild to none in most cases.

what does itchy palms mean when pregnant

Cholestasis of pregnancy causes your palms and feet to itch, but there is no redness or rash. The itching can be very severe and it may also occur in other parts of the body. This condition serves as a warning of the possible complications for the expecting woman and her baby.

Itching usually starts towards the end of third trimester. There is no visible rash. Some women may experience itchiness all over the body and the itchy sensation tends to get even more severe as your due date gets close. In most cases, the itchiness is extreme at night time and you may lose your sleep over it.

Signs to lookout for

  • Itching of the palms and feet, without any rashes. Sometimes it affects other parts also.
  • Feeling nauseous and losing appetite
  • Skin and eyes may turn yellow, in case of jaundice.


  • Cholestasis of pregnancy is linked to genes and this can be hereditary in some cases.
  • This condition is also due to an uprise in the hormones in late pregnancy. This is known to slow down the bile juice from entering the digestive system. As a result, the bile building in the liver, may enter the blood stream and cause itchiness.
  • Itchiness in palms may also be due to palmar erythema, which triggers dilation of blood vessels in the hands. This usually causes a red rash on the palms and the itching is often mild in this case.

In case of cholestatis of pregnancy, your doctor may suggest an early delivery, to avoid serious complications. Sometimes, the itchiness disappears after the delivery, in a few days. This condition requires prompt medical attention, as it is associated with dangerous complications which may affect both the mother and her baby.


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