Itchy skin, medically known as pruritus, is a common symptom distressing the lives of many women. There are many common causes for pruritus, including internal and external factors, and fortunately, just as many management and treatment techniques.
Continue reading to learn about common causes of itching so that you can delve into effective treatment options for the symptom that can bring you relief for years to come.
Common Causes of Itching
Several factors can lead to dryness and itchiness. The most frequent ones are:
Long, hot showers may feel good, but they can dry out skin. Washing your hands too often can also cause itchy, dry skin. Be sure to moisturize properly.
Nervous system diseases
Diabetes, shingles, and other maladies that negatively impact nervous system functioning are common causes of pruritus.
Cold urticaria is a skin reaction to cold weather that occurs within minutes of cold exposure. The areas affected develop red, itchy hives.
Parasites like scabies, pinworms, ringworms, head and body lice can all evoke symptoms of itching. If you suspect having contracted one, contact your doctor before it spreads.
Also called atopic dermatitis, eczema is a skin condition that causes itchy inflammation of the skin on the face, inside the elbows, behind the knees, and on hands and feet.
This skin disorder causes skin cells to multiply more quickly than usually, causing the affected are to develop bumpy red patches covered with white scales that usually itch.
Stress and anxiety
Stress or anxiety can increase histamine release and weaken the immune system, leading to heat rashes or stress hives, both of which cause itchy skin as well as swollen and red bumps. Prolonged stress can also worsen already existing skin problems, like psoriasis or acne.
The “squeaky-clean” feeling is not good for your skin. Irritating chemicals found in harsh soaps can strip your skin of natural oils, provoking itchiness.
Allergies to foods, cosmetic products, plants, insect bites, medications, and more can provoke allergic reactions and cause itchy, irritated skin.
Women passing through periods of reproductive significance, such as during pregnancy or menopause, may suffer from itchy skin due to drastic hormonal fluctuations taking place, which disrupt collagen and skin oil production.
Treatment for Itchy Skin
Finding permanent relief from itchy skin is possible by addressing the underlying cause. For menopausal women, this is hormonal imbalance.
Itchy skin treatments that encourage endocrine system health revolve around natural and effective lifestyle adjustments paired with alternative medicine for optimal results. Using a combination of non-invasive methods, women can stop the itch in its tracks.
On the other hand, itchy skin that is caused by other conditions will be treated on a case-by-case basis. Consult with your doctor for an appropriate treatment plan if need be.
- American Academy of Dermatology. (n.d.). 10 reasons your skin itches uncontrollably and how to get relief. Retrieved May 15, 2019, from https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/itchy-skin/skin-itches-uncontrollably
- Mayo Clinic. (2019). Psoriasis: Symptoms & causes | Cold urticaria: Symptoms & causes. Retrieved May 15, 2019, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/psoriasis/symptoms-causes/syc-20355840 | https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cold-urticaria/symptoms-causes/syc-20371046
- MedlinePlus. (2019). Eczema | Itching. Retrieved May 15, 2019, from https://medlineplus.gov/eczema.html | https://medlineplus.gov/itching.html
- Shah, M.G. & Maibach, H.I. (2001). Estrogen and skin. An overview. American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 2(3), 143-150. doi: 10.2165/00128071-200102030-00003