What's Making You Itch?

Many things can cause you to itch.  When nerves called C fibers just below your skin’s surface are stimulated, they cause itching.  This can be triggered by chemicals that are released during an allergic reaction.

Lifescript explains some of the causes of itching, and what you can do about it.  Here are a few of their examples:

Dry Skin

Dry skin diminishes the natural barrier between the skin and environment. Adding moisture to the air, or getting enough fat in your diet, can help with this.

Soap

Soap strips skin of its natural oils.  Look for soap-free cleansers, and avoid antibacterial cleansers, which contain triclosan, a chemical that strips and irritates skin, according to Frank.

Eczema

Common spots for this inflammatory skin condition include the eyelids, elbows, back of the arms, knees and hands.  Don’t scratch; it will only make the itching worse.

Fragrance

If you have an allergic reaction to these chemicals, you could end up with itchy, inflamed skin.  Choose products marked “unscented” or “fragrance free”.

Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that develops because new skin cells grow more quickly than your body can shed them. For mild cases, a good moisturizer can help; phototherapy with UV light can be used for moderate to severe psoriasis.

Dandruff

Dandruff is an inflammatory condition of the scalp and the area between the eyes. It’s caused by yeast in some people and oils in others.  Try rinsing with cold water -- chemicals in your blood cause some of the itch, so constricting blood vessels with cold water helps reduce this.

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