When you scratch a lottery ticket, you get a gift. But when you scratch an itchy area, you get pain. The feeling of relief even after knowing the consequences when you scratch the itchy area is understandable. But have you ever imagined why you scratch?
An instant signal to the brain is delivered by the skin as soon as some outside agent like prickly clothes or insect bites disturb the outer skin. The brain after receiving the message commands the body to vanish away those agents and provide us with weapon of scratching. This provides an immediate relief but bring many other consequences.
Whether someone is poor or rich, everyone itch. Let’s try to figure out the causes of itchy skin.
- Dry Skin
Dry skin is the most common cause of an itchy skin. Itches can occur with or without skin lesions. If you don’t observe any blisters, rash, redness, bumps or any other dramatic change in the itchy area, dry skin is a probable cause. Older age usually leads to dry skin. There are many environmental points that also lead to dry skin. They are washing or bathing in excess and long-term use of air-conditioning or central heating.
- Stress in excess
Itch= Stress? It’s uncommon that stress or anxiety leads to itching, but it’s a rare case. The chemical response caused by stress makes the skin more sensitive and reactive. Histamine is the compound which finds the way to irritate your skin when you in high stress. Regular exercise and medication help to relieve stress.
Skin being the largest organ of the human body is easily attacked by the stress. Many other skin problems like eczema and psoriasis can occur because of stress.
To make sure that the health of your skin remains good, it is important to remain hydrated. Many people don’t consider dehydration to be the reason of itchiness. But a dehydrated skin not only causes itchiness, also irritation, inflammation and sensitivity.
The lack of moisture in Stratum Corneum leads to dehydrated skin. Apart from less intake of water, intrinsic ageing, environmental factors and lifestyle contribute to pave way for dehydrated skin.
- Internal Diseases
There are many infections which also lead to an itchy skin. Allergic reactions to some specific chemicals like urushiol, derived from poison ivy found in many fragrances can cause itchiness. There are many other skin infections which make your skin itchy. They are as follows:
- Herpes, a viral disease;
- Swimmer’s itch;
- Head Lice;
- Varicella aka chickenpox;
- Body Louse;
- Insect bites such as those from mosquitoes;
Various other diseases like anemia, cancer, thyroid, kidney failure and lymphoma cause a tendency of itchy skin.
Itching on abdomen and thighs is very common during the pregnancy period. The skin of abdomen in case of a pregnant woman stretches as the pregnancy progresses and as the baby grows. This stretch in abdomen causes an itching sensation on the abdomen. This is the reason some women experience an itchy skin, especially on the abdomen and thighs.
Itchy skin conditions like dermatitis can worsen during pregnancy period.
- Nerve Disorders
Conditions such as multiple sclerosis, diabetes, pinched nerves, and mellitus which affect the nervous system also cause itching.
Some natural remedies to get rid of itching
- Coconut Oil- Coconut oil carries antiseptic, anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties which is a great help for a dry skin. It naturally moisturizes the skin. Mostly, it is used to control anal itching in children.
- Apple Cider Vinegar- Applying cotton soaked in Apple Cider Vinegar to the affected area gives relief in itching. The properties of ACV helps treat dry, cracked and infected skin.
- Lemon Juice- Applying lemon juice directly to the affected area helps you to get rid of itching. Lemons being the carrier of citric and acetic acid kills the harmful bacteria present in the skin.
- Aloe Vera- Aloe Vera is full of anti-bacterial, anti-fungal properties, keeping the skin nourished. The gel present inside the aloe vera leaf is one of the best remedy present to get relief from itching and also it treats your acne very well.
- Avocadoes- The fatty acids present inside the avocadoes are helpful for your skin and hair. It helps you to bring calm against itchy skin.
If the pain is associated with skin irritations like insect bites, sun burns or scratches, a topical numbing cream Dr.Numb® is highly recommended. Always consult a doctor before going ahead with a topical numbing cream and use it in quantity as mentioned on label.
Mostly itchiness is treatable and do not cause any serious threat to health. It goes away after short period of time. However it is advised to consult a doctor in following conditions:
- If it lasts for long time;
- If it becomes severe;
- If it keeps on repeating;
- Symptoms like redness, blisters and bumps.