We’ve all experienced itchy skin caused by mosquito bites or poison ivy, but there are many more reasons why you may want to scratch yourself all the time. Itching can be caused by patches of dry skin or various skin conditions. Sometimes, the issue might come from much more severe problems. Learn what causes itchy skin rashes and what you can do to keep them from reoccurring.
Causes of Itchy Skin Rashes
There are many different causes that lead to itchy skin rashes. They could be caused by something simple like dry skin. However, they can also point to serious conditions like kidney or liver damage. Here are some of the common forms of skin rash, as well as what you can do about them.
Dry skin is the most significant cause of itchy skin. If there are no visible and sudden changes in your skin, but it is still itchy, you probably have a dry skin problem.
All sorts of different factors can cause the issue. The weather can be responsible for dry skin, as extreme temperatures and low humidity create a perfect setting for your skin to become dehydrated. You can also dry your skin out by excessive washing.
The skin becomes thinner and drier as we age, so that can be the cause of this change as well. You can live for decades with perfectly soft skin and suffer from dry skin later on in your life.
When it starts to itch a great deal, it’s time for you to get a good moisturizer that can help you repair your skin. If your skin is extremely dry to the point where it starts to peel, you could be suffering from dermatitis. If that’s the case, make sure to visit your dermatologist before things get any worse.
The symptoms of dry skin are the following:
- Scaly, flaking skin
- Cracks in the skin that bleed easily
- Cracked skin or lips
- Grayish skin in people with a darker skin tone
You could experience all kinds of complications due to this issue. When your skin cracks, microscopic germs and bacteria can make their way inside, and they can cause an infection. The sore spots and red skin you could be experiencing are early signs of a skin infection.
Visit your dermatologist, who will prescribe you a medical moisturizer that should make your skin soft and elastic once again.
Also known as atopic dermatitis, eczema is one of the common reasons for skin rashes that itch in children. It can happen to grown-ups too, but the chances are ten times lower in adulthood.
The exact cause is still not known, but it’s linked to the leakiness of the skin barrier. It lets too much moisture escape the skin, and that leads to dry patches that are prone to inflammation and irritation. It tends to get better with time, but people who suffer from this condition have to be very careful because they can get a skin infection quickly.
Allergies are another widespread reason for skin rashes that itch. They can be caused by direct skin contact with an allergen, but drug and food allergies are common as well.
Allergic reactions will turn the skin red, which is then followed by itchy sensations. Blisters and bumps can also show up in some severe cases. The skin will become red when it comes into contact with the allergen because your immune system is trying to fight it off. The reaction usually occurs sometime after you come in contact with the allergen. You could be allergic to pollen, soaps, cosmetics, pet dander, clothing, food, and so on.
Nickel is a common allergen too, and most people find out that they’re allergic to it after trying on jewelry that contains this metal. The skin turns red, itchy, and bumpy almost immediately. Food allergies can cause symptoms all over your skin.
A natural chemical called histamine can cause the small blood vessels under your skin to leak. This leads to tiny swelling points on the skin, which are called hives. There are two types of hives – acute and chronic hives, and both cause skin rashes that itch.
Acute hives are usually triggered by an allergic reaction to a specific food type or extreme weather. Excessive exercise and prolonged sun exposure could also trigger the formation of hives.
It’s still unclear what causes chronic hives. They can show up and stay on your skin for months and even years. They are often itchy and can also be painful to touch.
Sometimes, stress can cause an itching sensation on the skin. Unfortunately, psychosomatic diseases can be difficult to treat, as many different states of mind cause them and the mechanism is not always clear. Some psychological problems can cause a feeling like your skin is crawling, and patients can even scratch themselves until they cause skin damage and bleeding. Compulsive scratching can be caused by depression, anxiety, OCD, etc.
Many other causes can lead to itchy skin and rashes, and here’s a list of conditions you may want to look into:
- Flea bites
- Fifth disease
- Contact dermatitis
- Allergic eczema
- Hand, foot, and mouth disease
- Diaper rash
- Systemic lupus erythematosus
- Drug allergy
- Seborrheic eczema
- Scarlet fever
- Kawasaki disease
There are many more possible causes for itchy skin rashes, but these are the most common ones.
What Can You Do?
If you ever get an itchy rash that doesn’t go away in a few days, you should do everything you can to stop it. If the problem is not severe, you can try using some home remedies to make things better.
But if the issue persists, the only solution is to go to the doctor and explain your symptoms. Your doctor will prescribe a lotion or drugs to make it go away. If that doesn’t fix things, you may need to go to a dermatologist for further testing.