A lot of us have experienced itchy skin at some point in their lives. Personally, I can tell you that it is not a funny experience especially when it is a severe one. The severe type of itching can be quite sinister. It can hit you at unannounced when you least expect it.
Many factors are responsible for itchy skin also known as “pruritis”. Before we go further, let us first find out why you are experiencing that skin discomfort.
Skin experts have been able to identify many factors that irritate your skin to the point of itching and here are some of them.
- Skin Allergy
Allergy can be the culprit for your itchy skin. Skin allergy can take diverse forms and dimensions. It can result in rashes in a select part of the body or the whole body. The rashes more often than not are followed by itching. Skin allergy will hit you once you come in contact with anything your body does not approve of probably because it considers it harmful to you. These allergens cause your body to overreact and signal danger to the brain which in turn releases antibodies to fight the ‘demon’. That is when you experience that bumpy, red, scaly, itchy skin.
Types of skin allergy
Eczema: This is also referred to as atopic dermatitis. It is inflammatory and causes the skin to become rough and inflamed. It can spread to different parts of the body but not from person to person. Eczema is most common among children and adolescents but can continue into adulthood. It can result in dry, itchy skin. Common triggers of eczema include dust, animal dander or cleaning products.
Contact dermatitis: when your body comes into contact with anything it considers dangerous, it reacts. Truth be told, the offending allergen can be anything, depending on the individual body system. People react to a lot of funny stuff including pollens, dust, rings, oil, zippers, detergents, skincare products, medications, latex, food, and even sun. Allergy from the sun is called photoallergic contact dermatitis because the skin reacts to the sun due to contact with certain products like lotion or perfumes.
The symptoms range from redness to bumps and rashes, not forgetting the itching. However, the reaction may not set in until after a while. This makes it difficult to pinpoint the cause if you newly started experiencing it.
Hives can occur as a result of medications, insect bites, food or contact dermatitis. They are itchy and can present as red bumps or swellings on the skin that may turn white at the center when you press it. They usually become obvious immediately and fade away just as quickly.
Any of these skin allergies mentioned above can be caused by
- Fragrances from various products including perfumes.
- Latex products like condom and gloves
- Poison ivy
- Ingredients found in certain products like sunscreens, antiperspirants and hair dye.
- Medications including antibiotic creams and opioids.
- Underlying Illness
Certain ailments like cancer, overactive/underactive thyroid gland, kidney disease, liver/pancreas related ailments, and the pinched nerve can all cause itchy skin.
- Dry skin
Some people are ‘blessed’ with dry skin while for others; the dry skin is caused by diseases like psoriasis. Persistent dry skin can lead to itchy skin accompanied by ashy looking skin.
Home remedies for itchy skin
Now that you know the probable cause of that itchy skin, how do you control and erase them? Basically, the first step is to avoid scratching the itch as much as possible because the more you scratch, the more the itch and so the circle continues. This can result in further skin infections. Those aside, try these simple home remedies.
- Moisturize and hydrate the skin. This works well for those with dry, itchy skin or eczema. Drinking lots of water and using moisturizers helps. Original organic products like Martderm photo-age ampoules 10 that have deep hydrating and moisturizing power are highly recommended.
- Oatmeal bath. Soaking the skin in an oatmeal bath can provide succor from skin allergy and itchy skin generally. It can help reduce itching, roughness, and dryness because it contains anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It is effective also for eczema and psoriasis. Just add a cup or two of the ground oatmeal into tepid water and soak for about 30 minutes. You can also make it into a paste by adding water to ground oatmeal and applying the paste on the skin to seal in the moisture within.
- Use menthol. There is some natural menthol you can use, like peppermint, to relieve itching and dryness. Massage it into the skin or add to a bath and soak.
- Baking soda. This household ingredient is a jack of all trade and master of all. It possesses antifungal properties that are effective in treating fungal itchy skin infections. One can mix it with a little water and apply on the itchy surface or add a cup to your bath and soak for like half an hour.
- Apple cider vinegar. It can give relief from itchy skin or rashes and skin allergy, especially from poison ivy. It can be used to keep the skin’s acid-base level balanced, moisturize the skin and as antiseptic and anti-fungal. Dip a cotton ball into the apple cider vinegar and place on the itchy skin.
- Chamomile. You can use the chamomile tea to soak the affected areas or add pints of it to coconut oil and rub on the allergic/irritated skin. Chamomile is a potent treatment for itchy skin, skin allergy and reduction of skin irritation and inflammation. It has anti-irritant and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Cold compress. Cooling the itch has been found to offer respite to itchy skin. It can reduce the inflammation associated with the itch. Place ice packs over the itchy spots or soak a clean cloth in ice-cold water and place on the affected parts.
If your skin allergy or itchy skin continues unabated or repeatedly, please visit medical personnel. If the symptoms get worse despite all the home therapies, it is time to visit the experts, please.