The most common cause of itchy skin is excessive dry skin. Cold weather, sunburns, strong winds, long showers with hot water and harsh soaps and detergents can cause dry skin. What happens is that a thin layer of oil settles on the top layer of the skin and prevents it from losing the required amount of water.
If you suffer from a condition that leads to excessive sweating (called hyperhidrosis), it is possible that your skin will itch. This is because microbes present in the sweat can irritate the skin and lead to redness as well.
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Itchy skin can also be a result of insect bites. That area may get infected and a rash may develop. This skin will eventually heal in a number of days. Itchy skin can also be due to allergic reactions to a particular insect bite.
Fungal Infections: If you do not take care of your skin properly; it is possible that fungi will appear on that part. Common areas include the skin under breasts or feet. Fungi can also settle on the scalp and lead to dandruff.
Scabies: If you have lice or scabies; it is possible that your skin will itch. A rash may also develop. If you have a pet with tics, they may get transferred onto your body and lead to skin that itches.
Intestinal Worms-Intestinal worms can also lead to skin itching and skin rashes.
Bacterial Infections: Other bacterial infections caused by bacteria like Treponema pallidum or Staphylococcus aureus can lead to itchy skin. While the former tends to infect boys and girls after adolescence, the latter infects athletes and children. Staying in a hot tub for too long may also lead to itchy skin.
Viral Infection: Chickenpox, measles, rubella and other skin diseases can also lead to itchy skin.
STDs: Sexually transmitted diseases likes herpes or AIDS can also lead to skin that is constantly itchy.
Other Substances Causing Itchy Skin
Insulation material or glass wool can also result in itchy skin. Fiberglass is the most common example.
Washing powder or detergents tends to remove the upper layer of fat in the skin and cause the skin to itch uncontrollably.
There is a number of categories under Dermatitis. While “contact dermatitis” can lead to further skin problems, it is caused due to woolen clothes, harsh beads on necklaces, rough cosmetics, and solvents. “Photo dermatitis” is caused by harsh sunlight. Strong antibiotics may lead to “generalized exfoliative dermatitis”. Varicose veins on legs can also lead to “stasis dermatitis”. If you constantly scratch your skin, you may stimulate the occurrence of “localized scratch dermatitis”.
Allergies Causing Itchy Skin
If you are allergic to a particular substance, a reaction can occur within a time span of 72 hours. If you come in contact with a substance that triggers the allergy, it can lead to a number of problems.
Food Allergies can lead to tingling or itchy skin. If you are allergic to a particular medicine, the facial skin, in particular, will be itchy and may swell.
If you are allergic to pollen or hay, you may find it difficult to breathe and your eyes and skin may itch uncontrollably if you come in the contact with the substance.
Contact with poison oak or poison ivy may also lead to itchy skin.
Hay fever can also lead to reactions leading to itchy skin.
Allergic reactions to Hair Dyes and lacquers may also result in itchy skin.
An allergic reaction that is called ‘hives’ can lead to itchy skin that tends to get red and raised.
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Medications Causing Itchy Skin
A number of medicines as well as chemotherapy and other radiations can lead to excessively itchy skin. Medicines like morphine, amiodarone, estrogen, opioids, hydrochlorothiazide, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and simvastatin can cause itchy skin.
Plasma expanders and blood transfusions can also lead to itchy skin.
Drugs Causing Itchy Skin
Abuse of drugs like cocaine, ecstasy, LSD and heroine can also lead to redness, swelling and itchy skin.
Itchy skin is not uncommon and every person experiences it. However, if your skin swells up and the itching persists for a long period of time, it is recommended that you visit a dermatologist as your skin could require the application of a particular ointment.