How To Stop Itching
Chronic itchy skin is a universal symptom of most types of eczema. It is especially common with those suffering from atopic dermatitis, the most common form of eczema. However those with contact dermatitis, another form of eczema, may also experience itchy skin. The scientific term for itch is pruritus.
Skin itch from eczema is different than itch from other common causes. Other causes of itchy skin can include insect bites, hives, poison ivy or other skin diseases like psoriasis . Because of this, common medications used for itch, such as antihistamines, do not work well on the itch associated with eczema.
For many people, chronic itch from eczema goes way beyond just dry skin. People with chronically itchy skin are more likely to experience poor sleep, liver disease and mental health issues such as depression and anxiety.
According to researchers, itch and pain have a yin-yang relationship. When pain is present, the feeling of itch subsides. Thats why scratching can relieve the feeling of itchy skin because it causes low-grade pain.
What Medicines Treat Itching
A moisturizer might be all you need to relieve itching. If a moisturizer does not help enough, you could try using 1 percent hydrocortisone steroid skin cream for a week. If this is not helpful, your doctor may prescribe stronger steroids or antihistamine pills.
If you use a steroid cream for itching, you should not use the medicine for longer than one to two weeks. Be very careful when you put a steroid cream on your face or genital area. Steroid creams may make your skin get very thin and may cause other skin problems. Be sure to talk with your doctor if you are using a steroid cream or ointment to treat your itching.
Treating Dry Skin On Dogs
Treatment of your dogs dry skin depends on the cause, so the first step is a diagnosis. While the Internet is full of valuable resources about canine health, consulting your veterinarian is the best way to determine the cause of your dogs skin problems.
In some cases, dry skin might be a symptom of a larger cause, in which case your vet will treat both the dry skin and the condition. Demadex mange is often associated with Cushings disease, which means your vet will need to treat both the mange and Cushings. Treatments and testing for these diseases vary, but most can be controlled with medication.
Treating allergies that cause dry skin on dogs can get tricky. For canine food allergies, your veterinarian might prescribe an elimination diet, as there is no reliable diagnostic test for diagnosing food allergens. The most common ingredients that cause food allergies in dogs are beef, soy, corn, wheat, dairy, chicken, and eggs.
Environmental allergies can be tested for, but there is no cure. The three common treatment options for allergies are:
- avoidance of the allergen
- immunotherapy options, such as allergy shots
Usually, veterinarians use a combination of these treatment options to control canine allergies.
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Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Dry Skin Problems
Each season has its own skincare demands that cannot be overlooked. As we grow older, our skin becomes more sensitive and demands everyday nurturing to keep it healthy. Dry skin, when ignored, can lead to flakiness, itching, bleeding, and scars. It is important to avoid aggravating dry skin and provide your skin with the care it needs.
Store-bought skin treatment tends to be expensive and, at times, does not always ensure the right results. Home remedies for dry skin are tried and tested methods that are known to improve the overall skin health. If your skin continues to be itchy and irritating, it is advised to visit a dermatologist for professional advice.
Apart from changing weather conditions, excessively warm showers and harsh soaps can trigger dry and itchy skin. Read on to learn how to prevent or treat dry skin in the comfort of your home.
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Bundle Up In Soft Cotton
Exposure to cold weather may worsen dry skin.
Try bundling a scarf around your face to prevent dryness. However, keep in mind that your skin may react to the materials in the scarf and the detergents you use to wash it.
Avoid rough, scratchy fabrics, tight clothing, and wool. Instead, try cotton.
Detergent should be hypoallergenic and free of dyes and fragrances. You may enjoy detergent formulated for sensitive skin.
When To See A Doctor
If your dry, itchy skin does not get better within two weeks, call your doctor or other health care provider. In some cases, dry skin and itching can be due to an allergic reaction or a skin disorder such as eczema or psoriasis, which may require specific treatments. Severe itching can sometimes be a sign of a more serious condition, including liver disease and cancer. That’s not likely, but it’s something that your doctor would check out.
Don’t scratch your itchy skin. Scratching can cause your skin to become infected. Signs of infection include redness, tenderness, swelling, and pus. Call your doctor if you have any of these symptoms. You may need antibiotics.
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How Natural Remedies Can Help Soothe Dry Irritated Skin
Your skin naturally produces oil, called sebum, which helps protect the skin from moisture loss, but everyday actions such as forgetting to put on moisturizer or washing your hands with a drying soap can strip natural oils from your skin.
For people without acne, which the American Academy of Dermatology notes involves overproduction of sebum , using oils can help restore skins sheen and protective moisture barrier. If you do have acne-prone skin, there is some evidence to support the idea that tea tree oil may improve mild to moderate acne including a previously published double-blind, randomized, controlled study and an August 2017 uncontrolled pilot study published in the Australasian Journal of Dermatology though youll want to consult with a dermatologist before beginning a new acne treatment.
There are many ways to reap the moisturizing benefits of oils, either on their own or with other ingredients, to make a DIY nourishing mask or an exfoliating rub. Poblete-Lopez suggests that castor oil, lavender oil, and avocado oil may be good natural remedies for dry skin, again, so long as you do not have acne-prone skin.
Vitamin Or Mineral Deficiencies
If youre not getting enough of certain vitamins or minerals, that may be causing your dry skin. Make sure you get plenty:
If you suspect youre not getting enough, you may want to take a supplement for dry skin. However, always talk with a doctor before adding supplements to your diet.
Before you start switching up your products, there are several simple things you can try to ease dryness. Most are basic lifestyle changes that can be used together to alleviate your symptoms.
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How To Treat Itchy Dry Skin
Dry skin is a common cause of itchiness, but the good news is that its simple to soothe and minimize discomfort caused by dryness. Scratching the itch may be the first thing you want to do, but think again this temporary relief can actually damage your skin further. Instead, try these tips on how to relieve itching skin all over your body that is caused by dryness.
Take A Lukewarm Oatmeal Bath
Sure, an oatmeal soak is far less luxurious than a steamy bubble bath, but it might help soothe your itchy skin, says Dr. Kanchanapoomi Levin.
Colloidal oatmeal has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities that can rehydrate your skin and dial down the intensity of an itch, per a small study published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology.
Not a fan of baths? Colloidal oatmeal is also available in a number of OTC creams and lotions, like Aveenos Skin Relief Moisturizing Lotion.
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Apply Coconut Oil Before Bedtime
Coconut oil becomes a solid at room temperature, so use it as a moisturizing cream at bedtime or anytime, recommends Tsippora Shainhouse, MD, a board-certified dermatologist at SkinSafe Dermatology and Skin Care in Beverly Hills, California. For chapped heels and hands, apply the oil, then layer with thick socks or nonlatex gloves.
What Is Dry Skin
There are many causes of dry skin — from the temperature outside to how much moisture is in the air — and many types.
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Other Tips For Preventing Dry Skin
- Do not use cleansing toners, colognes, body mists and splashes, aftershaves, or similar products that contain alcohol. Alcohol dries out skin.
- Avoid coarse, scratchy, or rough fabrics, such as wool, which can make skin feel itchy. Choose softer fabrics, like 100% cotton or silk. Keep this in mind when choosing bedding as well.
- Dry air and low-humidity can pull water from your skin. Running a humidifier in your home, particularly when you have the heat on, can restore moisture to the air. Aim for a humidity level of about 45% to 55%.
Chamomile Or Green Tea Bath
Chamomile and green tea help soothe irritated and inflamed skin. Brew a single tea bag in an 8-ounce glass of water, then let the tea bag cool. The tea bag can then be applied to hot spots or itchy, dry patches as needed.
If your dog has dry, itchy skin all over their body, you can run a warm bath and steep several bags of tea in it. After a few minutes, remove the tea bags and let your dog soak for 5-10 minutes.
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What Do I Do If My Itchy Skin Wakes Me Up
Many people feel their skin itch a lot more when they are asleep. In particular, you must see a dermatologist if the itching comes on suddenly and impacts your quality of sleep. You should also see a dermatologist if it is beginning to affect your whole body, as this may be more of a serious condition.
Fortify Your Skins Microbiome
Your skin has a diverse community of good and bad bacteria that make up its microbiome. Healthy-looking skin has a balanced microbiome and preserved skin barrier. Dry Itchy skin has an unbalanced microbiome and altered skin barrier. Much like our gut relies on active probiotics and other gut bacteria to restore health, the biome of the skin needs to maintain certain bacteria to keep the skin looking healthy. Prebiotics are food for probiotics and the microbiome. In skincare, prebiotics like colloidal oatmeal encourage the presence of good bacteria, which can help create a healthy environment for the skin microbiome
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Avoid Washing Your Face Multiple Times A Day
If youre experiencing dry skin, it may be best to only wash your face at night, unless youre working out.
This cleanses your face after a long day of collecting dirt and helps prevent you from eliminating necessary oils from the skin.
Dont exfoliate your skin on a daily basis. Instead, try just once per week. This can reduce irritation associated with harsh scrubbing.
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Chamomile Or Green Tea
Chamomile or Green tea is one of the best dog dry skin home remedy options, and many pet owners have it right in their kitchen cupboards.
Steep the tea bag in about 8 ounces of water and allow it to cool.
You can apply the wet bag directly to the affected area or use a cotton ball to apply the tea to the hot spot.
Apply it 3-4 times per day until the affected area has healed completely.
You can also give your Fido a bath in chamomile or green tea. Steep 6-8 tea bags in a bathtub filled with about 6 inches of warm water.
Bathe your pet following the same instructions I listed in the colloidal oatmeal section above.
Exfoliate Your Face With A Homemade Oatmeal Honey Mask
Oatmeal also makes a great exfoliator or mask. Mix 2 tbsp of oats with 1 tbsp of honey and a dash of water. Crompton suggests warming up the mixture, then rubbing it into your skin. You can use it just to exfoliate and wash it off right away, or leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes as a soothing, hydrating mask.
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Factors Affecting Your Dry Itchy Skin
When youre assessing why you have dry itchy skin, consider your overall nutritionincluding your diet and water intake.
1. Your water intake
In terms of water intake, if your skin is itchy and dry, your body is likely not getting the hydration it needseither by lack of drinking water, nutrient deficiencies affecting your skin, or possibly due to an overload of toxins in your body. I would argue that one of the major factors contributing to your dry itchy skin is likely a lack of water intake , and scientists agree.
A 2015 study conducted on 49 healthy female adults revealed that those who consumed more water experienced significant improvement in both superficial and deep skin hydration. In the study, those who increased their water intake drank about an extra 68 ounces each day.
I typically recommend that you drink half your weight in ounces, so someone weighing 170 pounds would drink approximately 85 ounces of water daily. If youre suffering from dry itchy skin, make sure youre at least drinking this recommended amountand perhaps a little more. Itll also help to eat healthy plants, nuts, and seeds. Not only will it help keep your bodyand skinhydrated, but it will also help your body to more easily eliminate toxins that may be causing your dry itchy skin. I know this from personal experience.
2. Your diet
Moisturize Throughout The Day
Moisturizing consistently throughout the day can help to prevent your skin from drying out, which will also help your skin from feeling itchy.
If your skin is sensitive, be sure to use a moisturizer designed for sensitive skin .
Moisturizing after a shower or bath is also important, as your pores are more open and more receptive to moisturizer at this time.
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Simple And Inexpensive Ways To Moisturize Itchy Dry Skin
Dry skin occurs when skin doesn’t retain sufficient moisture. This can happen as a result of frequent bathing, use of harsh soaps, aging, or certain medical conditions. And for those in colder climates, it can stem from cold, dry winter air.
During winter months in the Northern Hemisphere, you may suffer from red, rough, raw, and itchy skin. This is because cold winter air means low humidity, both outdoors and indoors. The water content of the epidermis tends to reflect the level of humidity around it. Fortunately, there are many simple and inexpensive things you can do to relieve winter dry skin, also known as winter itch or winter xerosis.
Even if you live in a part of the world where cold winter air is not currently or ever a concern, most people will need to manage dry skin at some point. These tips for keeping skin soft and healthy can help all who battle dry skin, from chilly New England to balmy Hawaii and beyond.