What are some different causes and triggers of itchy skin?
- Dry skin occurs when the top layer of skin loses moisture.
- Insect bites can cause an intense, local reaction. Symptoms include inflammation, irritation and itchy skin.
- Poisonous plant skin reactions come from exposure to certain plants, such as poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac. (9) These plants contain a chemical called urushiol that can cause inflammation of the skin, known as contact dermatitis. Contact dermatitis is an inflammation of the skin caused by direct contact with an irritating or allergy-causing substance. (10-11)
How can I prevent dry, irritated skin?
One of the most common causes of itching is dry skin, so try the following:
- Take short, warm showers and baths. Hot water tends to dry out the skin.
- Pat-do not rub-yourself dry after bathing, leaving a bit of water on the skin.
- Keep your skin moist by applying a fragrance-free moisturizer. Creams work best to seal in moisture when applied to skin that is slightly wet, so moisturizing after bathing is ideal.
- Avoid sunburn by applying sunscreen frequently or wearing protective clothing on sunny days.
- Avoid harsh detergents, perfumed soaps and heavily fragranced lotions that could irritate the skin.
- Use a humidifier in the home. (12)