Dry, itchy skin can be one of the most uncomfortable sensations. Often times, the itchiness persists even after applying moisturizer. This is because the problem lies beneath the skin. Women may experience itchiness during many different stages in life. Read on to learn about the causes of itchy bumps on the skin.
Why Does My Skin Itch?
Changes in body chemistry can also have effects on the skin. The factors listed below can make the skin feel dry and uncomfortable.
Estrogen plays a vital role in the maintenance of skin health. During menopause, when there is a significant decrease in estrogen production in the body, skin cells suffer. Thus, it is very common dry and itchy skin during menopause. Low estrogen also decreases the body's ability to retain moisture and produce natural skin oils. In the years following menopause, skin thickness will decline, resulting in tingling, crawling sensations.
During pregnancy, as the body is preparing to create a human life, a woman's skin will inevitably stretch. 20% of women feel itchy skin and itchy skin bumps during pregnancy. The crawling sensation can also be felt in the palms and soles of the feet. The hormone fluctuation that occurs during pregnancy is to blame, and the stretching and thinning of the skin doesn't help either. Avoid wearing fabrics that may cause irritation, and take a break from hot showers or baths, as they will dry out your skin and cause itchiness.
With so many possible irritants floating around, allergies are more common than you may think. One's body can react to anything from tree pollen to jewelry metals to rubber. A sunburn, for instance, is a mild allergy - unless the skin becomes raised and inflamed. Regardless of the reason, allergies can lead to itchy skin and bumps all over the body.
What Can I Do?
While itchy skin may be a bother, there are ways to calm the sensation.
If you've grown accustomed to using a sweet-scented soap, it may be behind the problem. Soap that contains perfume can irritate the skin, causing you to feel itchy. Refrain from taking piping hot showers or baths as well. Warm water is a better choice, as it is most gentle on your skin.
Herbal supplements and conventional medicine
Natural supplements, such as extract of soy, help regulate hormones during menopause. Other herbs, like nettle or milk thistle, work well specifically for reducing itchy skin. If you are having an allergic reaction or simply writhing with itchy skin during menopause, over-the-counter anti-histamines are fast-acting and can provide relief.
Itchy skin during menopause, or any time in life, is an uncomfortable nuisance. With simple lifestyle changes like purchasing scent-free soap and drinking plenty of water daily, you can curb the severity of each scratchy episode. Also, natural supplements like soy and herbs such as nettle or milk thistle can help reducing dry itchy skin. Read more about relieving itchy skin.
- Chevallier, A. (2000). Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine. London: Dorling Kindersley Adult.
- National Health Service UK. (2014). Itching-Causes. Retrieved January 23, 2015, from http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/itching/pages/causes.aspx
- Office on Women's Health. (2010). Pregnancy. Retrieved January 23, 2015, from http://womenshealth.gov/pregnancy/you-are-pregnant/body-changes-discomforts.html#m