There are many reasons why you may suffer from itchy skin, including both common medical conditions and completely random and temporary circumstances. One thing is for sure, it can be both annoying and inconvenient. You might have an important interview, date or special occasion, or you could be on holiday, but instead of basking in the moment you find yourself fighting the urge to rip your clothes off and have a good scratch. Or maybe you only have itchy skin at night, making it difficult to sleep? Some people have it in small areas of their body, like their arms, back of the knees, neck or face, while others have itchy skin all over.
Itchy skin from heat
It could be that the overpowering urge to itch only happens when you get warm, and you get itchy bumps on your skin, making exercising and holidays in warm climates a bit of a nightmare. Prickly heat (miliaria rubra) rash creates the red bumps and spots that can appear on hot skin causing it to feel itchy or even stinging. It's usually a sign that excessive sweat is blocking your pores. Ironically, some people get itchy skin only after a shower or bath. This shows your skin is sensitive to heat in general.
Medical conditions leading to itchy skin
For some, having very itchy skin is linked to cracks, lesions or red and inflamed skin, and itching brings with it pain and further discomfort. In this case, the itchy skin causes could include eczema or scabies which require specialist support from a dermatologist. Also, if you ask yourself “Why is my skin so itchy?” and you can’t find any logical answer, or if the itchiness is severe or keeps coming back, that too suggests you need expert help. Though it rarely indicates anything serious, itchy skin can be a sign that something is happening inside your body, such as an overactive thyroid gland or liver or kidney problems. There will probably be other symptoms and signs to share with your doctor.
Itchy skin from hormones or allergy
Itchy skin with no rash could be an indication of your body reacting to hormonal changes, such as when women are on their periods. Often, an itchy skin rash is a sign of an allergic reaction to something you have come into contact with, like a particular food or a chemical in your cosmetics or laundry. You may need help identifying which specific allergens cause itchy skin for you. Avoid products which contain perfume or harsh chemicals and try laundry products that are designed for sensitive skins.
Itchy dry skin
Itchy dry skin may indicate that you need to take more care over keeping your skin hydrated. Use specialist moisturising products regularly and choose ones that are an “emollient” as they are particularly effective at getting rid of dry itching skin problems.
Gaining control over itchy skin
As you can see, the answer to “What causes itchy skin” includes a lot of possible sources. The good news is that there a specialist creams and other products to help soothe and alleviate the problem, in many cases leading to a permanent solution. Find the right cream for your itchy skin and you can start to “scratch the surface” of getting back control.