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Causes of Dry Itchy Skin and Ways to Avoid It

Updated on June 2, 2013

This page is especially for those who hardly can sleep at night due to itching of skin. Usually people who have dry skin suffer most from itching. It also can be accompanied by other skin problems like rashes, redness, xerosis etc. Obviously the main reason of dry itchy skin is the extreme cold weather during winter. In winter, the presence of less humidity in the air and the harsh wind extracts moisture from the skin by destroying the natural lipid layer and making it dry. There are some other agents that often contribute to dry itchy skin such as long term use of AC, Room heater, unnecessary washing and bathing, sorts of medication and some diseases. And dry skin is very much prone to itching. Prevention is better than cure and with right initiatives you can avoid dry itchy skin.

Dry itchy skin
Dry itchy skin

Causes of dry itchy skin

Dry skin itching may result from several skin disorders like internal diseases, allergies and medication. The worst kind of skin itching diseases are eczema, psoriasis, scabies, lice etc. These itching produce spores, bumps and blisters on the skin and affects some specific areas of the body. Dry itchy skin may also result if you are suffering from diabetics, liver problems, kidney diseases, anemia (leukemia and lymphoma) or cancers.

Various disorder of nervous system like multiple sclerosis, pinched nerves and shingles may also cause itching of skin. If you are using any allergic materials like woolen cloth, chemical soaps, cosmetics or allergic foods then you may experience itchy skin reactions. Several drugs like antibiotics, antifungal medicines, pain killers are also responsible for skin itching. Pregnant women sometimes experience itching on their abdomen, arms, thighs and breasts.

Avoiding dry itchy skin (9 tips you should know)

Well, you can use your doctor prescribed medicine to treat the itching problem but we all know that prevention is better than cure. Here are some tips that you can adopt to avoid dry itchy skin.

  1. Avoid using soap. Excessive use of soap destroys the natural oil protection of your skin. Instead of soap you can use cleansing creams, lotions, gels that contain moisturizer. Make sure that your cleanser doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals for your skin.
  2. Enrich your skin condition with moisturizer. Use moisturizer every time you wash your face and after bath. Do not forget to moisten your face before you go to bed. It says that moisturizer traps water in the surface cells of the skin and prevent the dryness. Remember, dry skin tends to become itchy skin. Keep your skin moist and itchiness will stay away from you.
  3. Make a routine of cleaning your face. It is better to wash your face with cool water. If you are using soap free face wash then scrub it gently in a circular motion to clean out the dirt.
  4. If your skin is extremely dry then you should use almond oil or vitamin E oil daily on your face. Oil stays on the skin longer than water while water easily evaporates in low humid air. Natural oils prevent the evaporation of the water from the skin. Even if you already have dry itchy skin condition, applying almond or vitamin E oil will reduce the symptoms.
  5. Using humidifier during winter season gives good result to maintain the moisture level of your room. Some air conditioning systems come with built-in humidifier.
  6. Wear skin friendly cloths. Cotton and natural silk fiber clothing are best for use. Those allow the breathing of the skin. Woolen cloths keeps you warm but may also create itching problem due to allergic reactions.
  7. Avoid direct exposure of the sun over your skin during the day. Use sunscreen lotions or creams at least 30 minutes prior to getting outside. The direct sunlight contains harmful UV rays that cause dryness, wrinkles, rashes, blisters even cancer. Use sunscreen products that contain titanium oxide, moisturizer and SPF value of 15 or higher.
  8. Your food habit directly reflects on your skin. Decorate your food list with vegetables and fruits. Vitamin A, C and E are necessary to maintain a good condition of the skin. So eat foods that contain those essential anti-aging elements.
  9. Avoid bad practices like taking alcohol, smoking, consuming excessive caffeine. All these interrupt the blood circulation to the skin. Exercise regularly. It helps blood circulation of your body and makes you feel better.

If above tips do not work alt all, then immediately consult with a certified dermatologist. Describe all the difficulties and symptoms to the doctor and find out if your itching is due to any underlying disease like kidney or liver problem, cancer etc. Getting to the root of the problem is the key to solve dry itchy skin problems and after that all you have to do is to spend a little time everyday for your skin and no skin problems will bother you again.

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    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      4 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Great article and tips. ^+

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