What is Itchy Skin?


An itch is described as anything that initiates a scratch reflex. Medically known as pruritis, an itch is a tingling sensation felt on the skin that makes an individual feel the need to scratch the affected area. Typically, itchiness and pain feature several similarities with the exception of the kind of reflex action they initiate. A localized itch may be nothing to worry about, but when it becomes persistent, or when it turns widespread, it then becomes a major cause for concern.

Understanding Itches

• An itch is most often localized and only needs to be slight scratched to achieve relief. But when it just doesn’t go away, it might be indicative of something more serious. Similarly, when the itch is accompanied by redness or a rash, it’s suggestive of an underlying skin disorder.

• Emotional instability, brought about by nervousness or extreme anxiety can lead to the development of itchiness. If you’re already suffering from persistent itchiness, the presence of stress can exacerbate the condition.

• There are many different medical causes for skin itchiness. Contact dermatitis is known to cause itchiness. When your skin is in contact with something that it perceives as foreign and harmful (could be anything from a poisonous plant, to something more familiar, like nickel on your jewelry), skin irritation soon develops with itching as one of its many symptoms. Insect bites elicit the same kind of result from the body.

• Dry skin is also known to be very itchy, especially if the dryness is severe or accompanied by fissures. In this case, any scratch exacerbates the condition, as it’s likely to increase the size of the fissures which in turn greatly increases the risk for infection. Dandruff, athlete’s foot, and folliculitis are other conditions associated with itchiness.

• Sunburnt skin tends to be itchy. Extended hours of exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun without any UV protection damages the skin, results in dryness, itchiness, and pain as signs of skin irritation.

Generalized or itching of the entire body is suggestive of an underlying disorder, such as liver disease, diabetes mellitus, or polycythemia. Given the apparent difficulty of understanding the cause of generalized itchiness, a doctor’s consult is recommended.

Caring for Itchy Skin

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Itchy skin does not have to be a long term or inconvenience that may disrupt normal, daily life. With a little effort, you can lessen the discomfort and even get rid of this condition altogether. Here are a few ways to care your Itchy Skin.

Protect Your Skin Against Sunburn

Preventing dryness and sunburn should be priority. Regularly moisturizing your skin and ensuring that it is never depleted of moisture or natural oils will ensure that it remains supple, and free from dryness. Applying sunscreen every time you are out in the sun, however briefly helps a lot.

Do Not Scratch

Scratching an itch is ill-advised as this can be very damaging to the skin. Whenever the desire to scratch comes to a specific area, place a cool washcloth over the area to provide relief.

Keep Your Skin Away from Irritants

Stay free from all substances or chemicals that your skin is most sensitive to. These could be fabrics, cosmetic products, as well as soaps and jewelry. Whenever you’re out in the open, ensure there you have adequate protection between your skin, and the immediate environment, in order to prevent contact dermatitis and skin irritation.

If the itch is accompanied by redness or rashes, the use of an effective ointment is recommended. There are a ton of natural and over-the-counter treatments that feature powerful formulas that can relieve the itch, and treat the rash accordingly. Creams such as these are readily available and can even be purchased without prescription.

Consider visiting your doctor or dermatologists if none of these suggested methods work, or if the skin itching becomes worse.