Welcome back to part 2 of our deep dive into what makes us itch!
If you haven’t read part 1 yet… you know what to do.
Causes of skin itch
Being itchy is of course a very uncomfortable feeling. The urge to scratch that itch can be overwhelming; even when you know that scratching that itch can actually make the itchy feeling worse.
Most people would like to get rid of the itchy feeling as soon as possible. But, you can’t always control when you feel itchy, which makes it difficult for you to stop scratching.
Pick your itch
There are many different reasons that might cause you to feel itchy. You may have allergies, or you could have a fungal infection. It could be due to side effects of a medication you are taking in the course of a treatment prescribed by a doctor for an unrelated medical condition or disease.
Other common reasons include dryness in your skin, eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis and hives. Any number of conditions can cause skin irritation that makes you want to scratch the area; whether it’s an itchy rash or itching without a rash.
Get the right treatment for the itch
The most important thing is to try to identify what the cause of your itches is. This way, you can use the information to take steps to treat the problem, either by using over the counter (OTC) medication to get relief at home, or by seeking medical advice from a dermatologist or other doctor.
For example, if you think that you are allergic to something, then you should use a moisturizer with a lot of aloe vera. Aloe vera is known to help to soothe irritated skin. Also, don’t forget to wash your hands frequently to avoid spreading the allergens around.
If you have a fungal infection, then you should use antifungal medications such as topical creams and ointments. These products contain ingredients that will kill the fungus.
These medications come in various strengths for different treatments and for different parts of the body. Consult with a dermatologist to ensure that you are getting the proper diagnosis and subsequent medical treatment to provide relief for that itch.
Causes of skin inflammation
When you feel itchy in your body, it can be annoying. But when you scratch the itch, it can lead to more serious conditions like rashes, blisters, and sores.
As if feeling itchy wasn't bad enough, it's as tied so closely to a seemingly never ending cycle of itch-scratch-ITCH-SCRATCH. Anybody who has gotten a mosquito bite probably knows how this works.
So, it’s important to learn how to stop the itching before you get into worse situations.
Your health is allergic to being itchy
The most common reason why people itch is because they are allergic to certain things.
When a person visits their doctor with suspected skin allergies, the first step is typically to perform a physical examination. This will involve looking at the skin for common signs of allergic reactions, such as redness, swelling, and itching.
The doctor may also perform a patch test to identify specific allergens that are causing the reaction. In this test, small samples of potential allergens are applied to the skin, and the area is then monitored for signs of a reaction.
Or maybe your dog has fleas, and you get bitten by them. In this case, you might want to wash your hands. This will help prevent the spread of bacteria.
Common reasons for itching include: insect bites, poison ivy, sunburns, bug bites, and other allergies.
Creams of the crop
If you don’t know what to do about the itching, you can try to use anti-itch creams or ointments. These products contain ingredients that will reduce the symptoms of itching.
However, it's important to make sure that the anti-itch medication you are using does not contain corticosteroids, as these could lead to bigger health problems that require more serious treatments.
Currently, one of the best topical itch creams on the market is Dermeleve®. As a powerful, steroid-free anti-itch cream that provides long-lasting relief, Dermeleve® is the perfect choice. The patented formula is made with natural ingredients like shea butter and Vitamins C & E. What’s more, this unique formula starts working in just five minutes and lasts up to five hours, so you can immediately get back to your day without the itchiness and discomfort.
If you know why you are feeling itchy and know that you don’t require the medical treatment of a dermatologist, you can also take over-the-counter pain relievers such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen.
Causes of eczema
Eczema is an inflammatory condition of the skin.
Keratinocytes are the primary cells that make up the outermost layer of the skin, or epidermis. They are responsible for producing keratin, a protein that helps provide strength and resilience to the skin.
In cases of eczema, keratinocytes may become over-activated and inflamed or irritated, leading to an excessive production of keratin. The main symptoms are dryness, itching, red patches, oozing, and scaly areas. There can be a range of other symptoms as well.
There are many reasons why people get recurring skin conditions like eczema. These include allergies, stress, genetics, and even diet. It can also be triggered by upper respiratory infections, stress, changes in temperature or humidity, or other factors.
There is no cure for eczema, but it can be controlled with moisturizers, anti-inflammatory medications, and other treatments.
Most importantly, though; if you want to treat your eczema, you need to make sure that you identify its cause.
For example, if you’re allergic to pollen, then you will have a reaction when you come into contact with it. So, you need to avoid coming in contact with allergens such as pollen. That may seem like basic information, but anybody who suffers from pollen allergies knows that this is much easier said than done.
The best way to do this is by using a mask that you put on if you must go to areas where you know you will come into contact with these allergens, such as a garden or field of flowers. You should also wear gloves to protect yourself from the allergen. Though inconvenient, these measures don't match the inconvenience of getting sick.
Another reason for eczema is stress. When you are stressed, your immune system is triggered. This causes your body to release chemicals which make you feel tired, unwell, and can also lead to skin issues.
Tragically ironic is the stress-itch cycle, where anxiety about growing itchy is enough of a stressor to actually cause the itching to start.
Fortunately, there are stress management and reduction tools that have proven effective in allowing people to change their thought patterns and reduce the stress in their lives. Not only does this have benefits for better looking and feeling skin, but also for your overall health.
Food is another potential trigger for eczema. Some of the foods that can trigger eczema include wheat, milk, eggs, nuts, soy, citrus fruits, tomatoes, and chocolate.
While this information can come as a major bummer to foodies, don't fret. Many restaurants have a specific policy and menu to cater to persons with these allergies.
Check with your dermatologist or doctor if you're not sure which foods you may or may not be allergic to. You might be surprised to find they have a glowing review of some allergy-friendly restaurants in your area.
Causes of rashes
Rash is a skin condition in which the skin becomes red and inflamed. There are many reasons why people get a rash. They include allergies, poison ivy, insect bites, contact dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, and more.
The most common cause of a rash is an allergic reaction. If you are experiencing a rash that seems to be getting worse, then it might be a sign that you are suffering from an allergen.
To treat this problem, the first thing you need to do is identify the cause of the allergic response. This could be relatively easy; if you've just tried a new type of food, for example.
If you're not sure of what might have caused the issue, you should review where you've been and what you've done prior to the outbreak of the rash. Were you rolling down grass hills? Could be a grass allergy. Just saying...
Once you've identified the allergic trigger, you should take all practical steps to avoid that trigger in the future, or at least prepare for interacting with it.
Another reason for a rash is a bacterial infection. One common type of bacterial infection is perioral dermatitis, a skin condition that typically affects the mouth and nose area.
It is often characterized by red, inflamed skin around the mouth, and an itching or burning sensation. Perioral dermatitis is commonly treated with topical and oral antibiotics.
The itchy feeling that is often associated with bug bites is caused by an allergic reaction to the bug's saliva.
When the bug bites into the skin, it releases its saliva, which contains histamines. Histamines are chemicals that cause the blood vessels to expand, which leads to the characteristic redness and swelling of a bite. The histamines also trigger nerve endings in the skin, which signals the brain to send the message to scratch.
If you have been bitten by insects, then you should wash the area with soap and warm water, drying them completely. This will prevent the spread of disease.
Also, make sure that you wear protective clothing when you are outdoors to avoid being stung in the first place.
Wrap Up and Review
So, why is your skin so itchy?
Basically, it’s your brain and the chemicals in your brain that cause the itchy feeling.
When the skin is rubbed or scratched, it releases histamines, which are chemicals that cause the nerve endings in the skin to send a signal to the brain that it itches. The brain then sends a message back to the skin that tells the nerve endings to release more histamines, which makes the itch feel even worse.
Kind of meta, if you ask us.
Stop The Itch Once and For All
After all the info in this two-part article, the best advice we can recommend to stop an itch is to give Dermeleve® a try.
For fast and long acting relief, Dermeleve®’s “Five for five” promise can’t be beat. That’s relief in as little as five minutes that lasts for as long as five hours!
Well, that covers everything you ever wanted to know about why our skin can be so damn itchy. If this has been a burning question for you for a while, well, we hope we've scratched that itch.