Q: “I am 39 weeks pregnant and have lots of stretch marks on my stomach. These have become very itchy. What treatment would you recommend to relieve the itching?”
A: I’m sorry to hear about the discomfort you are in. Stretch marks are often very itchy – especially when the skin is well stretched towards the end of pregnancy.
I’m afraid there is no recommended treatment. Some women find calamine lotion very soothing – keep the bottle cool in the fridge and dab on with cotton wool. Messy, but effective! You can buy calamine lotion from any chemists, and it is relatively inexpensive.
Alternatively, you may find relief in gently massage with a good moisturising cream, such as E45, sold in Boots and other chemists. A hand or body cream or lotion containing Vitamin E may help. These creams won’t prevent or reduce the stretch marks (no cream has been proven to do that), but a combination of the cream, the massage, and pampering yourself may ease the itching.
Other women say that taking an oatmeal bath is very soothing. Tie a handful of oatmeal in a square of muslin or thin handkerchief and suspend it under the taps when you run the bath (not too hot).
Hopefully, you will not have to wait too long before your baby is born and the itching stops completely. Good luck!
Hannah Hulme Hunter, Babyworld Midwife.