Redness and itchy skin can be uncomfortable and can occur at anytime and anywhere on the body. Dry skin is the most common cause of itchiness. The body produces natural oil called sebum. When sebum is depleted, skin becomes dry and itchy. There are many causes for itchy skin and redness, including environmental and internal factors. It is important to know that redness and itchy skin is not typically a sign of anything serious, but in some cases, it could indicate an allergic reaction.
Redness and itchy skin can be caused by a number of reasons, and can be categorized into two groups: environmental and internal causes. Environmental causes can include cold weather, hot showers, and washing too often with harsh soaps. Internal causes can include hormone fluctuations, eczema, psoriasis, thyroid problems, and allergic reactions. During menopause, itchiness is usually caused by hormonal imbalance, which is not a particular cause for concern beyond the general discomfort it brings.
There are helpful remedies for dealing with redness and itchy skin.
Staying hydrated not only helps keep bodily functions running smoothly, but it also helps keep skin healthy and moisturized. The recommended amount of daily water consumption is the equivalent of eight glasses. It is helpful to keep a reusable water bottle with you at all times to remind you to keep drinking throughout the day.
Coconut oil, lavender oil, and other natural moisturizers are effective for hydrating skin and soothing redness and itchiness. It is recommended to generously apply moisturizer to the entire body after showering for optimal absorption, using a good moisturizer help keep your skin hydrated. It is also helpful to wear socks and cotton clothing to bed to help retain moisture, especially during cold winter months.
Use warm water
Hot showers should be avoided in order to prevent dry, itchy skin, as the hot water severely dries it out. Adding raw, ground oatmeal to a warm bath is also helpful for improving skin health and soothing redness and itchy skin.
When to See a Doctor
See a doctor or a dermatologist if the itching lasts more than two weeks and doesn't improve with any moisturizes, if it's so severe that it affects your sleeping cycle and also during the day, or if it is accompanied by other symptoms like extreme tiredness, weight loss, and digestive problems.
While redness and itchy skin can be irritating, it should not be a serious cause for concern. However, it can be beneficial to go see a dermatologist to determine if you have any skin conditions or skin allergies. Staying hydrated, moisturizing often, and avoiding things like hot showers and harsh soaps can be beneficial for preventing redness and itchy skin. Above all else, protecting skin is the best way to prevent itchiness. Dermatologists generally recommend wearing sunscreen every day, even when it is not sunny.
- Mayo Clinic Staff. (2014). Itchy skin (pruritus). Retrieved December 11, 2014, from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/itchy-skin/basics/causes/con-20028460
- National Health Service UK. (2014). Itching Causes. Retrieved December 11, 2014, from http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Itching/Pages/Causes.aspx
- University of Washington. (n.d.). Maintaining Healthy Skin - Part 1. Retrieved December 11, 2014, from http://sci.washington.edu/info/pamphlets/skin_1.asp