Keep your belly smooth and itch-free with safe scrubs, oils and lotions.
Notice that the bigger your belly gets, the itchier it becomes? "Hormonal changes during pregnancy can cause inflammation or itching," explains Thelda Kestenbaum, M.D., a dermatologist at University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City. To prevent itching, avoid hot showers and baths. Instead, bathe in warm water and use mild, fragrance-free body washes, such as Johnson's Softwash Body Wash, $5, which also contains nourishing baby lotion.
Exfoliating dry, flaky skin from your belly weekly with an extra-gentle scrub will slough off dead skin and reveal fresh, smooth skin. Scrubs—such as Belli Skin Smoothing Body Exfoliator, $25, with green tea, ginseng and peppermint—should be pregnancy-specific or made for sensitive skin. Anything you normally would use on rough spots like elbows or feet is too harsh. Then, slather a hydrating oil or moisture-rich lotion on slightly damp skin to lock in softness. Try Mustela 9 Months Ultimate Hydration cream, $19; and Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula For Dry, Itchy Skin, $5, with healing vitamin E.