Itchy Skin Causes to Identify the Symptoms and Treat It Accordingly

itchy skin causes

It is obvious to look for itchy skin causes online as soon as you find your nails scratching an area of the body that was left untouched a while ago. You will be more curious to find out the reason if you don’t know why you feel itchy in the first place.

Well everyone has experienced itching for some reason or the other, but for some, this symptom can be uncontrollable and painful. While the degree of itching varies, it typically irritates your skin and causes an unbearable sensation in your skin. Itching can be confined to a specific area or mushrooming all over your body.

Skin itching can cause you to scratch the affected area uncontrollably. Moderate, temporary itching is frequent, but severe itching can occur due to some serious underlying disease. Severe painful skin itches may need a doctor’s appointment, while mild ones can be cured with home remedies. The skin acts as a safety net against the attacks of bacteria, germs, and other viruses. In some cases, the skin triggers a reaction to the entry of suspicious objects and causes inflammation. This inflammation can cause your skin to itch. Sometimes itchy skin can be the early warning signs of severe incoming disease. Read on to know more about pruritis or itchy skin causes.

Itchy skin causes

Here are the reasons why you might have an itchy skin condition right now:

Dryness can cause itchy skin rash

Thae problems associated with dry skin get more activated in extreme weather conditions. Dehydration and low humidity also can cause dry skin. Itching caused by dry skin is usually common. It does not cause any redness or changes to your skin. Often, too much bathing can wash off your skin’s natural oils leading to dry skin. Dry skin exists in all age groups, but usually, aged people are more likely to be struggling with such symptoms.

How to identify dry skin symptoms?

Here are some symptoms that will help you detect a dry skin condition:

  • Flaky and rough skin
  • Extreme continuous itching all over your body
  • Chapped lips
  • Scratching a dry skin will leave grey patches
  • Cracked feet
  • Chapped skin that may mild cause bleeding

Chapped skin can pave the way for viruses to enter and cause an infection. Exceedingly dry and flaky skin may be an early warning signal of dermatitis. Mild dry skin will cause no harm to you and can be treated easily. Consuming lots of water and moisturizing your skin will help you get rid of itchiness due to dry skin.

Bug Bites

Insect bites will cause a burning sensation in your skin. The irritated skin will make you scratch your skin uncontrollably. It is easy to recognize spider and mosquito bites. They leave a red patch around their bite mark. These bite marks will fade away quickly. Bed bugs, however, create long-lasting itchiness throughout your body. Body lice and scabies cause uncontrollable itching and irritation. They will leave significant bite marks and rashes all over your body. If you are suffering from bug bites, you should use a robust repellent to clean your bed and room of bugs and mites. If the infestation is severe, you may need medical help.

Skin Diseases

People will the following skin diseases might find themselves itching their body often:

Atopic Dermatitis

Also known as eczema, it is prevalent in children. Adults rarely suffer from this. The thin skin barrier of children often loses its moisture retention property and causes dryness.


Hives occur when your body releases histamine, a chemical that causes swelling and inflammation in your skin. It can occur in two forms- acute hives and chronic hives. Acute hives get triggered because of an allergic reaction to any medication, pollen, or food item. It may also occur due to excessive heat, extreme weather conditions, and strenuous exercising. Chronic hives are non-contagious, more painful, and prolonged.

Contact Dermatitis

Certain plants, jewelry, cloth materials, cleaning products, or chemicals present in cosmetics can trigger itchiness in the skin. Poison ivy is one such plant that causes contact dermatitis.


An agitated immune system may cause excess cell production, which causes piling up of skin layers.

Fungal Infections

Athlete’s foot, folliculitis, hand-foot-and-mouth disease, impetigo, yeast infection, ringworms, diaper rash, nail fungus, oral thrush, and other fungal infections can also cause itching.

Other Skin Conditions

  • Neurodermatitis
  • Shingles
  • Ringworm
  • Uremia
  • Seborrheic dermatitis

Underlying Disease

Early signs of several diseases may also pave the way for itchy skin causes. Conditions such as cutaneous T-cell lymphomas and Hodgkin’s disease will spark a reaction in your blood and cause itching in your skin.

Illnesses that might lead to itchiness on the skin

  • Kidney disease
  • Hyperactive thyroid gland
  • Certain cancers
  • Diabetes
  • Obstructed bile duct
  • Iron deficiency
  • Anemia
  • Liver disease
  • Hepatitis C
  • Cirrhosis

Specific medical treatments also cause itchiness in your skin. People with kidney diseases need regular dialysis. Kidney dialysis, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy can cause generalized itching all over your body. They are more prominent in your legs, hands, and back area.

Skin Cancer

If you notice new spots all over your body, it may occur because of skin cancer. Skin cancer will leave marks that may keep changing size and patterns. It will irritate your skin and provoke you to scratch continuously. Basal cell skin cancer forms crusty lesions that make the area excessively itchy. Melanoma, the most lethal of skin cancer forms, develops itchy moles.


Certain medications can cause side-effects and itching in your skin. Itchy skin can be brought about by both prescribed medicines and non-prescribed medicines. Sometimes it is accompanied by rashes. If such itching persists, consult your doctor and stop taking such drugs. Some drugs which generally lead to itchy skin causes:

  • Aspirin
  • Opioids
  • Estrogen
  • Blood pressure medications
  • Allopurinol
  • Hydroxyethylcellulose
  • Medicines for heart problems such as Amiodarone
  • Bloating reduction drugs such as diuretics
  • Pills for high cholesterol such as Simvastatin
  • Pain killer drugs such as naproxen sodium, acetaminophen, and many others.

Allergic Reaction

Many substances and products may trigger an allergic reaction to your skin. Allergy often causes red rashes, small bumps, blisters, and swollen skin. It will make your skin itch uncontrollably. When your skin diagnoses an allergen, it’s immunity system causes inflammation and irritation. Some foods that cause itching can also be a problem. Apart from that chemicals, latex, clothing fabrics, pets, plants, soaps, and shampoos should also be considered.

Nickel allergy

  • Jewelry
  • Sunglasses
  • Zippers
  • Eyeglass frames
  • Belt buckles
  • Cell phone

You should carry out a patch test before using any new products to ensure that it doesn’t cause any skin irritation. Everyone does not react to all products in the same way. Stop using products may lead to itching and rashes.

Plant allergy

If you touch individual plants such as grass oils, poison sumac, poison ivy, and poison oak, it will cause an itchy sensation. If it goes unnoticed, your skin will keep reacting to such allergic plants. Moreover, if you go underwater regularly, certain marine parasites and creatures may cause itchy skin. These parasites and animals, when coming in contact with your skin, causes red rashes and irritation. While scuba diving, sea anemones, jellyfish and other creatures may get caught between your skin and gear. It will leave rashes and irritation on your skin. Parasites, leech, and other aquatic animals can cause long-lasting itching. Often it takes time to develop itchiness. If you establish regular itchiness after swimming or scuba diving sessions, it is mostly because of the marine creatures.


Itchy skin causes are often related to age. Itching can be found in all people, be it children, adults, males, and females. But older people have a higher tendency of itchy skin. With age, collagen production and natural oils secretion of your body reduce. The skin becomes thinner and drier. The skin loses its tenacity and moisture retention capacities. It leads to flaky and dry skin. People over the age of 65 can usually be seen scratching their bodies at all times.

Skincare Products

The chemicals used in skin care products and cosmetics may activate an allergic or itchy reaction. Your skin will react to the chemicals and get irritated. Products which join the list of itchy skin causes:

  • Mosquito repellent ointments
  • Soaps and shampoos
  • Deodorants
  • Cosmetics
  • Nailpolish

All skincare products come with a patch test recommendation to check for allergies and irritation. If irritation starts after using a particular product, immediately stop the usage of that product. Often the chemicals used in cosmetics and skincare products are not skin-friendly. Some products even cause rashes and bumps.

skin care products

Nerve Problems

When the nervous system fails to function correctly, it causes the skin to itch. If your nerve undergoes any damage resulting from an injury or disease, it may result in itchy skin. Itchy skin caused by a malfunctioning or damaged nerve will not create any kind of rashes or bumps. The itching will also be concentrated on a specific part of your body instead of generalized spreading. Shingles may cause tingling and itching sensation in your skin. The disease is accompanied by numbness, rash, and pain

Other nerve issues that can cause itchiness:

  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Brain tumor
  • Stroke
  • Nerve damage


During pregnancy, 1 out of 10 women complains of itching in their skin. Pregnancy causes hormonal changes in women. Such changes bring a multitude of health issues. One such problem is itchy skin. The symptoms of itchy skin caused by pregnancy vary from women to women.

  • Some women face only itchy skin with no rashes
  • Some women face rashes with itchy skin
  • Many women may also face severe underlying skin issues such as psoriasis, acne, and painful blisters.

The itchy skin problem usually resolves after delivering the child.


Itchy skin causes also arise because of menopause women. The phase of perimenopause and menopause gives birth to skin problems. Due to hormonal changes, the skin goes through alterations and modifications. These skin changes are often accompanied by itching in the T-zone area of your face, back, neck, arms, legs, and elbows. These itching conditions persist for some time and then stop. In case of severe itching, you may go for professional help.

Psychological causes

If no physical reason for the itching of your skin comes out after diagnosis, it may be a mental condition. Some health conditions relating to your mental state often give you a sensation of crawling on your skin. It provides a tingling sensation that will make you scratch your skin uncontrollably. Such compulsive scratching may cause damage to your skin. Itchy skin caused by mental conditions doesn’t come with rashes or blisters. Your mind makes you feel a crawling sensation that doesn’t exist in reality.

Mental health conditions that can lead you into itching your body:

  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Depression
  • Psychosis
  • Anxiety
  • Somatoform disorders
  • Trichotillomania
  • Mania
  • Body anamorphic disorder
  • Kleptomania
  • Borderline personality disorder

Healing Wounds

Healing wounds exert mechanical stress, which makes the nerve fibers prompt the spinal cord to start a scratching stir. The nerve fiber communicates an itching sensation in the healing area. When a wound starts healing, the cells begin to regrow and shut the injury. This activates the nerve fiber to trigger an itching sensation in your body. Your body secretes chemicals to cover the wound. Such a compound also triggers the nerve fibers to cause itching around the affected area. Even scar tissue starts developing over the injured area to fill the wound. This tissue forms keloids, which irritates your skin.

healing wounds

Hair Regrowth

After removing hair from underarms, folding areas, and genitals, the new growth of hair may be accompanied by soreness and itching. The regrowth phase often causes excessive itching. You should regularly moisture such areas to keep it itch-free.


Exposure to excessive heat for a prolonged period may cause irritation and itching in your skin. Staying on beaches and high altitude with high sun exposure will cause a burning sensation in your skin. You should always apply sunscreens before stepping out in the sun. Excessive exposure to the sun may damage your skin, and its ultraviolet radiation can lead to actinic keratosis. Actinic keratosis causes severe itching and often leads to skin cancer.

Final thoughts

Itchy skin causes may be brought about by mild reasons, but sometimes there can be severe underlying health issues. If severe irritation and itching persist, you should consult a doctor. Mostly itchy skin occurs due to allergic reactions, specific medications, and dry skin. Age also plays a massive part in it. Excessive itching can damage your skin cells. Always try to soothe your skin with some moisturizer and ointment. Now that you know all the reasons, you must have understood what you’re facing and look out for the perfect itchy skin treatment.

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