10 Common Causes of Itchy Skin and How to Manage It

10 Common Causes of Itchy Skin and How to Manage It

Itchy skin is a common condition that most people will experience in their lifetime. You can have it due to hives, dryness, insect bites, sunburns, allergies and medication. In some cases, however, itchy skin can signal a more serious condition. For example: eczema, psoriasis, HIV, organ failure and skin cancer. The itching can occur anywhere on the body and last for several weeks to months. Sometimes, it comes with rashes, redness, cracked skin and sores or blisters. If you have itchy skin, go to the dermatologist to find out the cause and receive treatment. Don’t scratch the itch because this can make it worse. Here are some common causes of itchy skin and how to treat and prevent that itch.

10 Common Causes of Itchy Skin and How to Manage It

1. Allergies

This is one of the most common causes of itchy skin, and it usually comes with rash. The condition occurs when you come into contact with things that contain allergens. For example: nickel, poison ivy, chemical, wool, paint, and fragrance. Apart from rash and itchiness, allergies can cause swelling or blisters on the skin.

Symptoms can vary, depending on different types of allergies. Also, they can show up several days after the exposure, so it can be very hard to identify. If you think you may have an allergy, go to the doctor to find out the exact cause. A strong topical corticosteroid and antihistamine can help.

Read more: Everything You Need to Know about Allergies

Skin allergies

Skin allergies

2. Psoriasis

This is an autoimmune disease that causes the skin to become itchy, scaly and inflamed. Psoriasis usually comes with dry, thick or cracked skin and red rashes. Symptoms include pain, burning, itching, swelling, joint stiffness and pus-filled blisters.

Psoriasis is not dangerous and can go away with topical treatments (steroid creams). If left untreated, the condition can lead to many serious, long-term health problems. For example: emotional stress, depression, type 2 diabetes, obesity and eye conditions.

Read more: Misunderstanding Between Psoriasis and Ringworm

psoriasis and itchy skin


3. Eczema

Eczema is another cause of itchy skin as it can make your skin become red and itchy. Anyone at any age can have chance of getting eczema. But, children can be more susceptible than others. Symptoms include dry, scaly skin, thickened and cracked skin, bumps or blisters.

Usually, eczema comes with asthma or hay fever. It’s not life-threatening, but can be incurable. To relieve itchy skin and avoid new outbreaks, you have to change your lifestyles. For example: use gentle soaps, moisturize regularly and apply corticosteroid creams or ointments.

Read more: The Connection between Stress and Eczema

eczema and itchy skin


4. Menopause

For many women, menopause is the main cause of itchy skin. During this time, women may experience a loss of estrogen. This may result in the decreased collagen production, making your skin thin and itchy. Menopause can affect any part of your body, including your face, neck, back and chest. It causes abnormal changes on your skin, such as dryness, acne, rashes and wrinkles.

Itchy skin caused by menopause is not serious and can last for 3 days or more. To alleviate the symptoms, you can try oatmeal baths and use moisturizer. Besides, consume vitamin C and herbal supplements.  An OTC hydrocortisone cream can also help manage the itch.

Read more: What Causes Vaginal Dryness and How to Cure It

Menopause and itchy skin


5. Fungal infections

Fungal infections are also the main culprit of itchy skin. They’re so common in summer and include ringworm, jock itch, athlete’s foot and yeast infections. These can cause redness, itching, burning, rashes and blisters on various parts of the body. For example:

Athlete’s foot commonly affects the foot.

Ringworm affects both humans and animals.

Jock itch affects the groin, genitals and inner thighs.

Yeast infections affect the skin both internally and externally.

Fungal infections are extremely irritating and painful. If left untreated, they can lead to serious health problems, such as infertility. To relieve itchy skin, you can use topical antifungal creams. Fugacil is one of the best treatments for fungal skin infections. It especially offers immediate relief from itching. Besides, the cream can remove fungi, preventing recurrences.

Read more: Foods You Should Avoid When Having Fungal Infections

Fungal infections

Fungal infections

6. Shingles

This is a viral infection that causes your skin to itch and pain. It comes with painful rashes and fluid-filled blisters that can break open and ooze fluid. Along with itchy skin, people with shingles may also experience headaches and fatigue.

Shingles is contagious and for some people it can be dangerous. To treat symptoms, you can use topical antiviral medication. Prosurx is one of the best creams for shingles. It can relieve pain, itching and even prevent new outbreaks. Oatmeal compress, baking soda and apple cider vinegar can also help soothe the itch. To prevent shingles, you can get vaccinated.

Read more: Do You Need the Shingles Vaccine?

Shingles and itchy skin


7. Diabetes

Researchers found that most people with diabetes would experience itchy skin. The itching may happen due to several reasons. For example: high blood glucose levels, high cytokines levels and prescription medications. Apart from itching, diabetes can cause a loss of sensation in the skin and pimple-like bumps.

To relieve itchy skin, diabetes patients should have lifestyle changes. For example: control blood sugar levels and eat a healthy diet. Besides, avoid taking very hot baths and only use mild soaps or gentle moisturizers. If your symptoms get worse, go to the doctor.

Read more: The Connection between Diabetes and Skin Conditions

Diabetes and itchy skin


8. Liver disease

Liver disease can also cause itching on your skin. This happens because your liver cannot fully remove toxins out of your body. The itching caused by liver disease most commonly occurs in the hands and feet. It can come and go. But often, it tends to get worse at night, when you’re under stress or before your period.

To relieve itching, take warm baths and use moisturizers. In severe cases, talk to your doctor about medications.

Liver disease and itchy skin

Liver disease

9. Kidney disease

Like the liver, the kidneys are also involved in causing itchy skin at night. It’s because the kidneys lose the ability to clear toxins from the body. The itching caused by kidney disease often affects the large parts of the body. Besides, it tends to get worse at night.

To reduce symptoms, use moisturizers. And, pay attention to treat your kidney disease. You can consult a doctor for help and advice.

Kidney disease and itchy skin

Kidney disease

10. Cancer

Some cancers, like blood cancer and breast cancer are possible causes of itchy skin. But, the rate of that happening is quite rare. Usually, it comes with red scaly skin, rashes, headaches, fatigue and dizziness.

If you have these symptoms while being treated for cancer, talk to your doctor.

cancer and itchy skin

Breast cancer

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