Itching is a natural instinct that most people have. But why do we scratch ourselves? The possible causes of itchy skin, also known as pruritis, are varied and wide. Common conditions include; discomfort, anxiety, stress, boredom, and more.
Regardless of what's causing the itchiness, itching is a condition that usually occurs because there is an irritation on the skin.
Primary and secondary responses
There are two main types of itches. One type is called a primary response and the other is called a secondary response.
Primary responses occur because your body senses something harmful on the surface of your skin, such as sand or dirt.
Secondary reactions occur due to inflammation and other physical conditions affecting your nerves.
Regardless of their differences, each type causes itching that makes you want to scratch.
You can treat both kinds of itches in different ways, but the immediate goal remains the same. Alleviate the itch- the sensation that makes you want to scratch.
Once you help relieve those areas of skin, you can stop scratching; which is the first step to solving almost all root causes of itchy skin.
The next step would be to determine the causes and treatments of any underlying illness that is resulting in the extremely itchy skin without relief.
Stop the itch, so you can stop the scratch.
As counter-intuitive as it might seem (and feel), a scratch is an itch's worst enemy. It may feel satisfying in the moment to scratch an itch, but all you're really doing is causing skin damage.
Scratching itchy skin has many unintended consequences. It can cause skin tearing, inflammation, and even lead to infections. In some cases, it can also cause a welt - a raised, red area of skin that is often more itchy than the original itch.
So what should you do if you're dealing with an itch? Depending on the cause, there are a few different options for skin care.
If your itch is caused by dry skin, you might need to moisturize more frequently.
If it's caused by an allergy or irritation to common substances, you might need to avoid whatever is causing the problem.
If it's caused by an infection, you'll need to see a doctor for treatment.
In any case, resist the urge to scratch - your skin will thank you for it!
Itchy skin is a common skin condition with a multitude of causes. We'll dive into them a bit later in this two-part article.
Regardless of the cause of your itchy skin, there are two paths to take to bring relief: home remedies, or diagnosis and treatment from a doctor.
Itchy skin can be frustrating, especially when nothing seems to relieve the itch. If you're looking for some relief, here are a few home remedies that may help:
- A cool compress can help soothe itchy skin. Just wet a clean cloth with cool water and apply it to the affected area.
- If you have a tub, you can take an oatmeal bath. This can help relieve itchiness and dryness. Just be sure to avoid hot water, as it can make the itching worse. This goes for the shower, as well.
- If dryness isn't an issue, you can take a bath of Epsom salts to relieve generalized itching.
- There are also a number of topical creams and lotions that can help relieve itchiness.
However, not all skincare products are created equal.
Dermeleve® is one of the best anti-itch creams on the market. It has been formulated to work almost instantly and lasts a very long time. You'll start to feel relief in five minutes; relief that lasts for five HOURS!
Not only is Dermeleve® excellent at treating the causes of itching, it's also steroid free. It's important to avoid using products that contain corticosteroids like hydrocortisone and other steroids, as over time they can cause harmful skin changes such as thinning and stretch marks. These, in turn, can lead to more serious conditions such as bacterial infections.
Not only do corticosteroids take several days to begin working, they are not suitable for long term relief. Dermeleve® is safe for long term use.
Treatment from a medical health professional
In terms of treatment for secondary itches you should consider a check with your doctor or clinic to discuss the problem. It's possible some of the reasons for the itch could include common skin conditions diagnosis. Atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, hives or a rash are all common conditions that can be treated and relieved with medication prescribed by a dermatologist.