Many people experience itching all over the body. No matter how many times they scrape their fingernails against their skin, the constant itching all over just won’t go away. For some people, the itching their whole body feels drives them crazy, especially when there is no visible rash or skin reaction that accompanies the itching. If itchy skin is a condition you battle all the time, read on to find out how to make the itching stop once and for all.
Causes Of Itching All Over The Body
There are many causes of itching all over the body, most of which are temporary. You may have a bug or an insect sting, or you may be dealing with a rash or the hives. If you’ve experienced sunburn recently and the skin has started to peel, that may be the cause of the itch. If you’ve come into contact with an allergen, you may have had an allergic reaction, which also causes itchy skin.
However, if you can safely rule these things out, or you don’t see any signs of a rash or hives, it may be another problem altogether. Here are some of the other health conditions that can cause itchy skin:
- Folliculitis and other skin infections
- Pityriasis rosea
- Kidney or liver disease
Some of these listed conditions are more serious than others, but don’t panic. Just because itchy skin is associated with these conditions, doesn’t mean that they are always the cause. In fact, the most common cause of itchy skin is actually dry skin. Dry, itchy skin is also known as pruritus and it can be caused by a number of things, including dry air.
How To Stop The Itching
Although itchy skin all over the body can drive you to the brink of madness, there are quite a few remedies that you can use to quell the itching. Here are a few of those remedies:
- Moisturize – This may seem obvious, but if your itching is caused by dry skin, the best way to put an end to it is to moisturize your skin with a lotion or cream.
- Cold compresses – Applying cold compresses to itchy skin can soothe the areas that are itchy while keeping the skin cool and moist.
- Take lukewarm baths – Use a skin-soothing soap that contains Aloe vera or sprinkle some baking soda in the water to relieve the itching.
If the itching is severe, you may want to use a hydrocortisone cream or take an antihistamine to help stop the itching. For more remedies, see: Best Home Remedies For Itchy Skin.
What you don’t want to do is scratch the itch. No matter how tempting it is, stop yourself from scratching as it can damage your skin, particularly if you have long nails. Here’s what else scratching can do:
- It can make the itch worse – If you scratch for a prolonged period of time, this can make the itching feel more severe.
- It can lead to neurodermatitis – This is a condition that causes the scratched area of skin to become thick and leathery. The skin can become red and raw and may even look darker than the rest of your skin.
Scratching can also cause scarring and it can possibly lead to infection. If you just can’t resist scratching because the itching is so severe, or if the above remedies don’t work, visit your doctor.
What The Doctor Can Do For You
Itching doesn’t usually warrant medical attention, but if it lasts for more than six weeks, becomes more and more severe, occurs with other symptoms, or if you can’t readily identify the cause, it’s time to visit the doctor.
At the doctor’s office you’ll be asked questions about how long you’ve felt the itching, if the itching has worsened and what, if anything, you believe to be the cause. One the doctor has gathered the appropriate information, he or she may prescribe a blood test, a skin biopsy or an X-ray. If the itching is a symptom of a more severe condition, a medication or further treatment may be prescribed.
Skin Care To Prevent Itching
If the cause of your itching isn’t something serious, you may be able to prevent it by making a few lifestyle changes. Here are a few tips on how you can prevent itchy skin in the future:
- Avoid skin irritants – This includes fragrances, dyes and other chemicals that may cause an allergic reaction.
- Wear loose, comfortable clothing – Clothing made of wool and other textured materials can rub up against your skin, causing it to itch or at lease feel irritated.
Try as you might, you’re bound to feel another itch at some point. If you do, remember not to scratch it. Also, try engaging in activities that take your mind off that relentless itch. Just as you had to distract yourself from the itching when you had the chickenpox, try to occupy your mind – and your hands – so you don’t think about scratching. The less attention you give to the itching all over your body, the less likely they are to drive you crazy.