How to Stop Itchy Skin

Dealing with dry, irritated, Itchy skin? You’re not alone. Itching is a common problem caused by a wide variety of issues and conditions. But no matter the cause, itchy skin, or “pruritis” as it’s known in the medical community, is undoubtedly an uncomfortable, frustrating problem to have..

So how do you get relief from itchy skin? The first step is to pinpoint what’s causing the itch. Here are some of the most common causes of itchy skin and tips for how to make it stop.

What Causes Itchy Skin?

Itchy skin can be due to a number of causes. For some people, like those who suffer from a chronic skin condition like eczema, itchy skin is a constant battle. For others, that tingling, irritating sensation may be a fleeting symptom of an allergy, infection, or bite. Although bothersome, most causes of itchy skin are fairly mild and easy to treat. Here are a few of the most common causes of itchy skin.

1. Dry Skin

One of the most common causes of itchiness, dry skin is a sign that your skin’s protective barrier isn’t retaining enough moisture to stay soft and healthy. Dry, itchy skin may look and feel rough, flaky, and red.

2. Chronic Skin Conditions

Chronic skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis often cause intensely itchy patches of red, dry, scaly skin. .

3. Allergies

Known as contact dermatitis, an allergic skin reaction often manifests as a red, inflamed, itchy rash. Metals, soaps, chemicals, detergents, cosmetics, and many other substances are common allergens that can trigger an itchy rash in anyone who is sensitive to these substances.

4. Insect Bites

Most of us can relate to the intensely itchy, raised red bump you get from a mosquito bite. But bites and stings from other pests, like spiders, bees, mites and beg bugs, can all cause itchy skin flares too. .

5. Infections, Diseases, and Other Underlying Medical Conditions

Fungal infections like athlete’s foot and ringworm, hormone imbalances, and a wide variety of other medical conditions or diseases can cause localized or widespread itching

Tips for Itchy Skin

Here are some of the most effective ways to tame itchy skin—fast.

  1. Resist the urge to scratch. Scratching is a powerful reflex reaction to itching. However, scratching can actually intensify the itchy sensation and cause further damage to your skin, leaving it susceptible to infection and scarring.
  2. Try a cold compress. Instead of scratching, try using a cold, wet cloth or an ice pack on the affected area.
  3. Take an oatmeal bath. A cool or lukewarm oatmeal bath can be very soothing to raw, red, itchy skin.
  4. Cool it with the hot water. Long, hot showers and baths can strip your skin of its natural hydrators, damaging its protective barrier, and leaving it tight, dry, and sensitive. Short, lukewarm showers are best, especially if you’re already fighting itchy, dry, or damaged skin.
  5. Use a humidifier. Dry air pulls moisture from your skin. A humidifier can help keep the air inside your home comfortable and healthy for your skin and for you.
  6. Avoid allergens and irritants. Keep track of any chemicals, products, or substances that cause an allergic reaction, and take care to steer clear. If you’re sensitive to perfumes and dyes, choose gentle, fragrance-free soaps, detergents, and products that are specially formulated for sensitive skin.
  7. Use medicated creams or ointments. Over the counter cooling creams and ointments like calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream can soothe itchy rashes, patches, and bites quickly in addition to reducing redness, swelling, and irritation.
  8. When in doubt, see a doctor. Although some causes of itchy skin are relatively harmless and easily treatable, itchy skin can be caused by a potentially serious underlying medical condition or disease. If you have uncontrollable itching over the entire body or that can’t be traced to an obvious source, or itching that isn’t soothed by self-care measures, affects your daily life, or is accompanied by other symptoms, see a doctor right away. A medical professional can help diagnose and treat the cause of the itchiness so you can get relief.
 

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