Itchy skin is an extremely irritating and embarrassing problem that most people would rather not discuss about. People who have itchy skin are often made the butt of unkind ridicule. So, rather than face the ignominy of being made the laughing stock, you would rather grin and bear this irksome problem. But have you ever wondered what the reasons are for severe skin itchiness?
Skin itchiness is commonly known among medical circles as pruritus. Skin itchiness typically starts off as an unpleasant tickling sensation, which can produce the urge to scratch the affected part or region of the body. Itching can be limited to a specific region of the body or some people may complain of itchiness through out their body.
Violent scratching to reduce the discomfort brought about by severe itchiness can lead to permanent skin damage. Before we tackle the problem of itchiness it is imperative to understand the factors which initiate and later aggravate this skin condition. Some common causes for itchy skin have been discussed in this article.
8 Main Causes For Itchy Skin
Itchiness can be the result of excessively dry skin. When the skin cells dry out due to lack of moisture or because of excessive exposure to environmental toxins it can leave a person feeling itchy all over, his or her body. One of the best ways to combat the problem of itchiness, caused by excessively dry skin, is to hydrate the skin inside out.
Use a superior quality skin cream which can lock in the moisture. If you have extremely dry skin, a cream based moisturizer is a better option than a hydrating lotion. The best time to apply moisturizing cream is to use it directly after having a bath when your skin is still wet.
Did you known that using an ordinary bar of soap can actually aggravate the problem of itchiness? Ordinary bathing bars can actually strip the skin of essential oils and moisture leaving the skin feeling dry and itchy. Some soaps, contain chemical ingredients which can leave the skin looking inflamed. Skin inflammation can also lead to itchiness.
To prevent skin itchiness use mild glycerin soap bars instead of liquid soaps or antibacterial cleansers. Add a couple of drops of oil into your bath water to moisturize the skin. Finally, opt for soaps which are prepared from plant derivatives as they are milder on the skin.
Spending an inordinately long time in the sun to get that beautiful bronzed look can often leave you with dry and extremely itchy skin. Spending too much time in direct sunlight can leave you with a skin condition called prickly heat or heat rash. The small red bumps which are the characteristic feature of heat rash can leave your skin feeling all itchy and uncomfortable.
The problem of itchy skin caused by severe sun burn can be combated by applying a cold compress on the affected region. To soothe inflamed skin and reduce the sensation of itchiness you can even place a thick hand towel that has been immersed in cool, full fat milk on the afflicted part.
Strong fragrances can also leave the skin feeling itchy and inflamed. Personal care products including creams, lotions, soaps and deodorants contain a lot of fragrance. Fabrics which are washed in detergents that contain a lot of fragrance can also leave your skin feeling itchy.
While most people are able to withstand the harsh perfumes and chemicals contained in the products mentioned above some people have extremely sensitive skin which becomes inflamed and itchy when exposed to these harsh fragrances.
To avoid itchy skin, stay away from personal hygiene products which have strong perfume. Instead opt for products which are marked as ‘fragrance free’ or ‘unscented’.
Exposure to Certain Plants
If you like to spend a lot of time outdoors, just hiking in the wilderness or soaking up the wonders of Mother Nature, you have to protect yourself against certain type of plants. Certain plant species including sumac, poison ivy and oak can release a poisonous secretion which can leave your skin all inflamed and itchy. In fact, eight five percent of all people suffer from itchy skin due to exposure to these specific plant species.
The best remedy for itchy skin, caused by exposure to these plants, is to have an antihistamine. If you have suffered a severe skin reaction, then a visit to the emergency ward is a must.
Certain skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis or hives can also leave your skin feeling itchy and inflamed.
Eating a diet that is deficient in vital nutrients can also leave your skin all itchy and uncomfortable.
If you enjoy having a bath in excessively hot water, you have an increased risk of suffering from extremely dry and itchy skin. So, the best option is to have a bath in luke-warm water.