Why is your skin itching?
Itchy skin can be worrying if you don't know what's wrong. Luckily we're here to help you identify the possible causes/conditions triggering your sensitivity.
Firstly there are skin conditions which cause irritation, such as eczema. "Eczema is a common skin concern which normally starts in childhood," Victoria Smith, Director at Absolute Aesthetics, tells Cover Media. "Characterised by dry skin, redness and itching it can be very uncomfortable, however there are a range of emollient and steroid creams available which help to treat the area.
"What a lot of people don’t realise it that eczema in adults is much less common and can easily be confused with contact dermatitis, a similar skin complaint which is triggered by certain substances coming into contact with the skin."
She recommends seeing a dermatologist who can conduct a patch test to determine the trigger in order to treat it properly.
Psoriasis also sees flakiness and redness, but you will notice your skin getting crusty and scaly at the same time.
Your itchiness may also be down to an allergy or skin reaction. If it arises suddenly, you may want to check your surroundings for any new products or materials that could have had a negative impact on you. This could be anything from certain metals in jewellery, like nickel, or fragrances in a washing powder used to clean your clothes. What you eat may be the reason too, as you might not realise you're allergic to a certain food.
John Tsagaris is an internationally renowned acupuncturist and the founder of SkinPointEight, a brand that mixes "the age-embracing holistic wisdom of Chinese medicine, western ingredient breakthrough science and intelligent formulation technology". He spoke to Cover Media about what itchy skin means from the perspective of Chinese medicine.
"From a Chinese medical perspective itchiness is a sign of imbalanced liver manifesting ‘wind’ either from deficiency (internal causes, iron deficiency, skin conditions, thyroid and other hormonal issues, anxiety, depression) or directly related organ conditions e.g.; liver, pancreas, gall bladder or kidneys or the most common cause, allergies and immune system reactions."
While serious issues require professional investigation, he has some suggestions to cure seasonal allergies like hay fever.
"Burdock (Arctium lappa) is a very effective Chinese blood detoxifying herb that assists in clearance of cellular and lymphatic systems, reduces tissue and skin inflammation alleviating problems with allergies of any kind and calms the nervous system," he noted. "Chinese Skullcap (Scutellaria baicalensis) contains anti-inflammatory actives that are anti-allergic and sedative to ease the urge from itching."