Have you ever had a patch of itchy skin? We’ve already talked about rashes, but what causes itchy skin? It is great to know how to treat the annoying irritation, but here I’d like to focus on summarizing what the main itchy skin causes are.
I think we all agree that prevention is always the best “cure”, and knowing the causes always helps avoid the situations that cause us pain.
Most Common Itchy Skin Causes
Depending on the severity of the itch, and whether or not it is accompanied by a rash, you may want to have your itchy skin looked at by a Dr.
If the rash spreads, gets worse or is accompanied by fever definitely pay a visit to your local physician.
Other than that here are some common causes of itchy skin that probably shouldn’t send you rushing to the emergency room.
1. Dry Skin
Dry skin is one of the easiest itchy skin causes to clear up. This can be due to a few things like your environment and the weather.
If you live in a hot environment that causes you to sweat a lot, it is easy to get dry skin.
One of the common myths is that if you are in a humid environment to your skin will not dry out.
This is not true, humidity causes you to sweat, and the constant sweating causes your skin is dry out.
2. Insect Bites
Insect bites are probably one of the most irritating causes of itchy skin. It seems like mosquito bites will itch even after there is no bite left.
If you’re in a place with a lot of stinging and biting insects, make sure you use a bug repellent that contains DEET.
The CDC has shown that DEET is the only active ingredient that will repel mosquitoes.
Here’s an example of bug repellent with DEET.
For some reason, insect bites seem to be one of the worst causes of itchy skin at night.
Maybe it’s just me, but the only time a mosquito bite or ant sting will itch is when I’m getting ready to go to sleep.
Mosquitoes are not the only insects that cause itchy skin, also spider bites can cause your skin to itch, and horseflies just to name a few.
Dermatitis is just a broad name for inflamed skin. Many physicians interchanged the use of the terms dermatitis and eczema because they are the same thing.
If you have contact dermatitis, you also have contact eczema. Don’t be freaked out if you or your kid comes down with dermatitis, it’s just an itchy skin rash.
Several types of dermatitis are common in people. Contact dermatitis is similar to what would be caused by poison ivy.
Seborrheic dermatitis is a skin condition that causes scaly patches of red skin.
Nummular dermatitis causes coin shaped rashes or sores that will lose, itch, and crust over.
As you can see, there are about as many causes of eczema or dermatitis as you can imagine. Most of them can be cleared up with the use of antibiotic or antihistamine ointments and bandages.
To stop them from spreading, stop itching them. I know it’s hard, but just don’t scratch it.
Allergies are another one of the causes of itchy skin. Depending on the severity of your allergy, your rash and itchy skin may appear to be horrible.
Food allergy is the type of allergy that usually causes itchy skin, especially in children. If you notice the symptoms in your child, a food allergy test is always recommended.
When you’re experiencing a rash caused by allergies the best thing that you can do is to remove yourself from the allergy-inducing environment or remove allergy factors from your environment.
If your allergies are caused by pet dander and are giving you itchy skin, then you can do a few things to make sure that your itchy skin is minimized.
Use a HEPA filter in your vacuum and air-conditioning system. There are shampoos for animals that can cause them to release less dander.
Finally taking an antihistamine can help relieve the horrible itching.
If your allergy is due to contact with a particular substance, try to identify that element.
I am allergic to most metals. I didn’t know this for a very long time. I knew I couldn’t wear earrings, but I thought that was because they just irritated my ears. There was always a rash of itchy skin just below my navel.
What caused itchy skin and why was getting a rash?
Finally, a doctor told me I was probably allergic to the metal on the buttons of my trousers.
Once I started painting the back of the buttons with clear nail polish, the itchy skin went away.
Other Possible Causes of Itchy Skin
We just saw what the main itchy skin causes are , and some are quite obvious, like insect bites, but I don’t think you googled just to find that out.
Allergies and dermatitis are the other two most common causes, and we should not forget that sunburn can cause itchy skin as well, even though that might fall under the category of dermatitis.
But there are reasons why you could experience itchy skin. Not so common, but it’s still worth mentioning them:
- Parasitosis: mistaken belief of being infested by bugs such as scabies, lice etc.
- Skin cancers
- Psychological causes: emotional factors, anxiety, stress…
- Mental disorders: psychosis, schizophrenia, OCD etc.
- Medications/drugs: aspirin-induced, ACE inhibitors, morphine, opiates
If you have a mystery rash try to identify the itchy skin causes for you and it’ll be easier for your doctor to help you find the perfect treatment.
In the meantime, you can always opt for home remedies for itchy skin and see how that goes.
Have you ever noticed that you seem to be itchier at night? Or is that just me?