Whos Most Likely To Get Dry Skin
People who live in dry climates, work outside or wash their hands frequently get dry skin. Dry skin can be related to some health issues, like allergies, hormones, and diabetes.
Older people are more prone to dry skin for many reasons:
- Moisture-producing oil and sweat glands dry up.
- Skin becomes thinner.
- Fat and collagen, substances that gives skin its elasticity, decrease.
Tips For When You Itch
If you canât take it and you simply must scratch, try not to use your fingernails. Instead, rub, pat, tap, or tightly hold the itchy area. You can also gently pinch your skin.
It helps to keep your nails short so youâre less likely to break your skin if you do scratch. You can also try wearing gloves to bed to protect your skin while youâre asleep.
You can try a few other things to deal with the urge to scratch:
Avoid âitch triggers.â Whether itâs a wool sweater, hot room, or a certain cleaning product, know what sets off your skin, then try to steer clear.
Cool off. A wet compress or cold shower can ease the itching.
Take care of your skin. Dry skin will make itching worse. Donât take long, hot showers or baths. Use a gentle, scent-free hydrating cleanser, and stay away from perfumed products.
Apply lotion. At least once a day, use moisturizing cream to soothe your itchy skin. Your doctor may suggest something that has menthol or calamine in it to cool your skin.
Ask your doctor. If over-the-counter creams donât work, ask about prescription meds. For example, corticosteroids can help ease the itch from eczema and psoriasis. If itâs caused by nerve pain, like with multiple sclerosis, an antidepressant or anti-seizure drug might work.
Watch for infection. Call your doctor if your skin is tender to the touch, begins to smell, or oozes pus.
Washington University, St. Louis: âWhy scratching makes you itch more.â
Cleveland Clinic: âDry Skin/Itchy Skin.â
What Causes Allergic Contact Dermatitis
Every time your skin comes into contact with an allergen that it doesnt like, your bodys immune system responds. White blood cells are recruited into the skin, releasing chemical mediators of inflammation. This response causes the itchy rash. The rash may appear minutes, hours or several days after exposure.
Poison ivy is a top cause of allergic contact dermatitis. Other causes include:
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What Is A Skin Allergy
A skin allergy is when skin becomes irritated because the immune system reacted to something that is usually harmless. This is called an allergic reaction. An allergic reaction can cause rash, itching, burning, redness, bumps, hives, and swelling. Many different allergens can cause a reaction. Below are some of the most common allergic skin conditions:
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Causes Of Atopic Eczema
The exact cause of atopic eczema is unknown, but it’s clear it is not down to one single thing.
Atopic eczema often occurs in people who get allergies. “Atopic” means sensitivity to allergens.
The symptoms of atopic eczema often have certain triggers, such as soaps, detergents, stress and the weather.
Sometimes food allergies can play a part, especially in young children with severe eczema.
You may be asked to keep a food diary to try to determine whether a specific food makes your symptoms worse.
Allergy tests are not usually needed, although they’re sometimes helpful in identifying whether a food allergy may be triggering symptoms.
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Itching All Over The Body Due To Eczema
By | Submitted On November 23, 2009
Eczema is a condition of the skin characterized by inflammation and irritation in the affected areas. It can afflict nearly any part of the body, although commonly found in flexure areas, such as the knees, ankles, elbows, and fingers. The cause of eczema is thought to be a lack of immunity to certain elements in the general environment, along the lines of an allergy, and there is no known cure at this time. Those with a susceptibility to skin allergies will often suffer from this condition, which can lead to an itching all over the body due to eczema. This can be a very difficult syndrome to deal with, and can be very debilitative to the general integrity of the skin in those who suffer from chronic eczema.
There can be many reasons for itching all over the body due to eczema, and the symptoms will no doubt impel the sufferer to seek any kind of relief. The more severe outbreaks can be treated with steroidal compounds, but should be used lightly and only in the specific areas of affliction, and only for a very short period of time. General moisturizers that do not contain steroids may be more beneficial in the long run, especially when used on a regular basis. There are also other medicinal approaches to take that address the allergic symptoms of eczema. The advice of a qualified medical professional or allergist should be sought for further information.
How Is Contact Dermatitis Diagnosed
Clinical examination can reveal clues to the underlying diagnosis of irritant or allergic contact dermatitis. A careful history can uncover clues as to the offending agent.
With either type of contact dermatitis, you can avoid the substance for a while to see if the rash goes away. If avoidance is not possible or not sustainable, further diagnostic testing may be indicated.
For suspected cases of allergic contact dermatitis, a series of tests called patch testing can identify the underlying cause of allergic contact dermatitis.
With a patch test, you wear adhesive patches on your skin. The patches contain chemicals known to commonly trigger allergic reactions. After 48 hours, your healthcare provider checks your skin for reactions. Youll see your provider again in another 48-96 hours for one last skin check.
There isnt a test for irritant contact dermatitis. Your healthcare provider may be able to determine whats causing the rash based on the types of irritants or chemicals youre exposed to regularly.
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When To Seek Medical Advice
See a GP if you have symptoms of atopic eczema. They’ll usually be able to diagnose atopic eczema by looking at your skin and asking questions, such as:
- whether the rash is itchy and where it appears
- when the symptoms first began
- whether it comes and goes over time
- whether there’s a history of atopic eczema in your family
- whether you have any other conditions, such as allergies or asthma
- whether something in your diet or lifestyle may be contributing to your symptoms
Typically, to be diagnosed with atopic eczema you should have had an itchy skin condition in the last 12 months and 3 or more of the following:
- visibly irritated red skin in the creases of your skin such as the insides of your elbows or behind your knees at the time of examination by a health professional
- a history of skin irritation occurring in the same areas mentioned above
- generally dry skin in the last 12 months
- a history of asthma or hay fever children under 4 must have an immediate relative, such as a parent, brother or sister, who has 1 of these conditions
- the condition started before the age of 2
When Is The Right Time To See Your Gp
In most cases skin irritation subsides after short duration. But you should immediately consult your physician if your itching is:
Very serious and grave
It keeps on itching for an extended period of time
The itching never completely subsides
There are additional symptoms like swelling or bumps or spots or jaundice.
You must also visit your physician if you have the feeling that Im itching all over my body for no clear reason. It can be a sign of a gravely complicated condition.
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What Are The Causes Of Breaking Out Itching Skin
10 Common Causes of Itchy, Red Bumps and Skin Rashes Contact dermatitis. This is a type of skin rash that happens when you touch a certain chemical or substance that youre sensitive to that may be lurking in cosmetics, Allergic reactions to food or medicine. Eating a food or medicine youre allergic to can cause you to break out in hives , an itchy red rash. Rosacea. More items
Eczema In Infants And Children
It is very distressing for parents to see their toddlers and infants suffer from eczema. According to the National Eczema Association, around 10% of all infants in the U.S. suffer from some form of infant eczema.2
The appearance of infant eczema is different from eczema in older children and adults. Depending on the age of your infant, patches of eczema appear in different places. According to the National Eczema Association, the stages of infant eczema are as follows:2
- Babies under 6 months. Red patches of weepy skin around your babys face and on the scalp.
- Babies from 6 to 12 months. Patches of eczema develop around the elbows and knees. If these patches become infected, then pus bumps can occur which turn crusty when the pus dries.
- Toddlers from 2 to 5 years. Your toddlers eczema thickens and have the appearance of dry, scaly, and inflamed skin. Outbreaks of eczema may be more common around the mouth and eyelids.
Why Am I Itching All Over My Body
Itching all over the body can be due to several causes — bacterial and fungal infections , eczema , liver and kidney disease , etc. Itching may be accompanied by a rash, flaky and cracked skin, a flaky scalp, spots or bumps on the skin, and redness. Not all kinds of itches can be cured with home remedies. Depending on the cause, treatments should be taken.
Here are some of the most common causes:
This Woman Thought Her Itchy Skin Was A Sign Of Eczema Until She Was Diagnosed With Cancer
26-year-old Eleanor now wants to raise awareness of the lesser known symptoms of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
When 26-year-old Eleanor Rooney noticed her whole body becoming itchy in early 2016, she went to the doctor. What she didn’t realise at the time, however, was that an initial diagnosis of eczema would later turn into the discovery that she had stage 2 cancer.
Having suffered from severe eczema in her last year of university back in 2014, Eleanor wasn’t too concerned about her latest bout, but because there were quite bad patches she thought she’d go and get it checked out anyway. “I would show my arms and legs where my skin had got infected, so they were prescribing me lots of different creams and shower treatments to deal with it,” Eleanor told Cosmopolitan UK.
Despite mentioning that she felt itchy everywhere – “even in areas where eczema didnt typically affect” – she was reassured it was all down to her dry and sensitive skin.
But later that year, in September 2016, Eleanor felt a small, almost unnoticeable lump under her collarbone. Initially she wasn’t too concerned. “I suppose discovering a lump in your collarbone is a bit different to, say, your breast – or somewhere that we have grown up knowing is a warning sign and an indication of cancer,” she said. But also of the mind-set that there was no harm in getting it checked out, she went to the doctor nonetheless.
“I thought I was healthy”
“I would feel ‘normal’, but I knew I would go back down again”
Follow Cat on .
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How Is Eczema Diagnosed What Tests Are Done
Your healthcare provider will take a close look at your skin. They will look for classic signs of eczema such as a redness and dryness. They will ask about the symptoms youre experiencing.
Usually your healthcare provider will be able to diagnose eczema based on examining your skin. However, when there is doubt, they may perform the following tests:
- An allergy skin test.
- Blood tests to check for causes of the rash that might be unrelated to dermatitis.
- A skin biopsy to distinguish one type of dermatitis from another.
Less Common Causes Of Itching All Over The Body
There are some less common reasons why some people experience itching all over their body.
The charity Cancer Research says that some cancer tumors can cause itching all over the body. Doctors think this could be the bodys reaction to the tumor and the itching should go away when treatment starts.25
According to the National Health Service in the United Kingdom, an overactive or underactive thyroid can cause itchy skin.26
Chronic kidney disease can cause daily episodes of severe itching caused by too much urea in the blood. The itchy skin is usually on the upper half of the body. People undergoing hemodialysis usually have uraemic pruritus chronic itching associated with kidney disease.27
Dr. Adam Husney on WebMD says that one of the symptoms of cirrhosis of the liver is itching. This is usually accompanied by yellowing of the skin, fatigue, weight loss, belly pain, and frequent infections.28
Read these related articles:
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What Medicines Treat Itching
A moisturizer might be all you need to relieve itching. If a moisturizer does not help enough, you could try using 1 percent hydrocortisone steroid skin cream for a week. If this is not helpful, your doctor may prescribe stronger steroids or antihistamine pills.
If you use a steroid cream for itching, you should not use the medicine for longer than one to two weeks. Be very careful when you put a steroid cream on your face or genital area. Steroid creams may make your skin get very thin and may cause other skin problems. Be sure to talk with your doctor if you are using a steroid cream or ointment to treat your itching.
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What Autoimmune Disease Causes Itchy Scalp
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that causes itchy scalp. Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune disorder causing reddish and scaly patches in the skin or scalp. The exact causative factors of this disease are unknown, but psoriasis is not contagious. A family history of psoriasis is a risk factor.
Physicians recommend medicated shampoos containing salicylic acid or coal tar to treat scalp psoriasis. If psoriasis doesnt respond, topical cortisone is the treatment.
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What Else Can Cause Itchy Skin At Night
Stress and anxiety can make you feel like scratching, though there may be no cause behind it. Some nerve disorders also trigger a feeling of itchy skin. The nerve disorder itch could be indicative of other ailments like multiple sclerosis, diabetes or shingles.
In rare cases, an itch that wont go away with every other treatment could be an early symptom of cancer. But, this holds true only if it is accompanied with other symptoms such as low grade fever, sudden weight loss and night sweats.
While itchy skin all over the body at night occurs mostly due to dry skin, there are other causes and medical conditions that can cause it. Preventive measures work best in keeping itchy skin at bay. However, there are several home remedies and topical creams you can apply if your skin starts itching every night. Dont forget to consult your doctor in case the problem persists for too long.
Did You Know?
- Those with eczema are more likely to suffer from this condition.
- If you have hypothyroidism, you could have dry skin that leads to itching all over the body.
- With age, the skin gets drier, hence older people are more prone to itching all over the body.
- People living in colder and drier climates have dry skin which is a cause for itching.
Signs Of An Infection
Occasionally, areas of skin affected by atopic eczema can become infected. Signs of an infection can include:
- your eczema getting a lot worse
- fluid oozing from the skin
- a yellow crust on the skin surface or small yellowish-white spots appearing in the eczema
- the skin becoming swollen and sore
- feeling hot and shivery and generally feeling unwell
See a doctor as soon as possible if you think your or your child’s skin may have become infected.
Page last reviewed: 05 December 2019 Next review due: 05 December 2022
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How Is Atopic Dermatitis Treated In A Child
Treatment will depend on your childs symptoms, age, and general health. It will also depend on how severe the condition is. There is no cure for atopic dermatitis. The goals of treatment are to ease itching and inflammation, add moisture, and prevent infection.
Treatment of atopic dermatitis includes:
Staying away from irritants, as advised by your child’s healthcare provider
Bathing with a gentle cleaner or body wash advised by the healthcare provider
Keeping your child’s fingernails short, to help prevent scratching that can cause skin irritation and infection
Using moisturizing lotion advised by the healthcare provider
Your child’s healthcare provider may also prescribe medicines. They may be used alone or together. The following are most commonly used to treat atopic dermatitis:
Use A Moisturizer On Your Skin Every Day
Moisturizers help keep your skin soft and flexible. They prevent skin cracks. A plain moisturizer is best. Avoid moisturizers with fragrances and a lot of extra ingredients. A good, cheap moisturizer is plain petroleum jelly . Use moisturizers that are more greasy than creamy because creams usually have more preservatives in them.
Regular use of a moisturizer can help prevent the dry skin that is common in winter.
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