Itchy skin can be caused by a variety of reasons, let’s start with the simplest and most likely solutions as we fan out.
If your skin is dry, it will let you know through itching. To ease the itch:
- Use moisturizer immediately after bathing when your skin is still damp
- Drink lots of fluids
- Use a humidifier
- Shower quickly and don’t use water that’s too hot
- Use mild, hydrating soaps
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There’s a rash
If you start scratching and find a rash, the problem may be in your skin. Common suspects include:
- Bug bites – bugs that usually cause itching after they bite you include mosquitoes, ticks, wasps, hornets, and bedbugs. Soothing ointment usually will suffice to stop the itching. Skincare: 7 Quick Remedies For Mosquito Bites
- Eczema or atopic dermatitis – this is usually genetic and shows up on the skin as dry, scaly patches or a bumpy rash. Different Types Of Eczema And Treatment Or Management
- Contact dermatitis occurs when you touch or use something that irritates your skin such as cosmetics, metals used in jewellery, or cleaning products.
It feels like it’s beneath the surface
An itch can be an indication that something is not quite right inside your body. This itch does not have a surface rash and may be a symptom of deeper problems.
- Medication – medication can cause itchiness without a rash. Some medications that can cause that include cholesterol-lowering medication, blood pressure medication, opioids, blood thinners, antimalarial medication, diabetes drugs, and antibiotics.
- Hives – they look like raised welts that may be alone or in clusters and are a product of allergies.
- Psoriasis – it makes your body overproduce skin cells which pile up in itchy inflamed patches on the skin.
- Pregnancy – for 1 in 10 women, itching during pregnancy is a problem.
- Illness – it is highly unlikely but possible that it is a symptom of an illness such as thyroid disorders, kidney disease, liver disease, diabetes, iron deficiency, or HIV.
May be related to your nerves
Sometimes when something is off whit your nervous system, it causes the nerves on your skin to start itching even though there’s nothing directly causing it. Potential nervous conditions linked to itchy skin include shingles, multiple sclerosis, stroke, brain tumour, and nerve damage.
Could be psychological
Some mental conditions give people the urge to scratch. If your doctor examines you and there’s no physical reason for the itching and no rash, it could be psychological. This is especially true if the scratching is compulsive. Compulsive scratching can be a sign of depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or psychosis.
Treatment depends on the cause for each instance from the nervous to the psychological potential causes and everything in between. Home remedies usually work for itching that is accompanied by a rash. Consider speaking to your doctor if your itchiness has no rash and it:
- Affects your entire body or sensitive parts of your body
- Is accompanied by other changes like fatigue, weight loss, and changes in bowel habits
- Lasts 2 weeks or more and doesn’t respond to home remedies
- Occurs suddenly without any clear cause
- Is so severe that it disrupts your everyday routine or sleep.
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