Itchy skin, also known as pruritus, is an irritating and uncontrollable sensation that makes you want to scratch to relieve the feeling. The possible causes for itchiness include internal illnesses and skin conditions.
- Dry skin
Dry skin usually results from older age or environmental factors such as long-term use of air conditioning or central heating, and washing or bathing too much.
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- Skin conditions and rashes
Many skin conditions itch, including eczema (dermatitis), psoriasis, scabies, lice, chickenpox, and hives. The itching usually affects specific areas and is accompanied by other signs, such as red, irritated skin or bumps and blisters.
- Internal diseases
Itchy skin can be a symptom of an underlying illness. These include liver disease, kidney failure, iron deficiency anemia, thyroid problems, and cancers, including leuke4 bad skin care habits you need to stop now4 bad skin care habits you need to stop nowmia and lymphoma. The itching usually affects the whole body. The skin may look otherwise normal except for the repeatedly scratched areas.
- Nerve disorders
Conditions that affect the nervous system — such as multiple sclerosis, diabetes mellitus, pinched nerves and shingles (herpes zoster) — can cause itching.
- Irritation and allergic reactions
Wool, chemicals, soaps and other substances can irritate the skin and cause itching. Sometimes the substance, such as poison ivy or cosmetics, causes an allergic reaction. Food allergies also may cause the skin to itch.
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Reactions to drugs, such as antibiotics, antifungal drugs or narcotic pain medications, can cause widespread rashes and itching.
During pregnancy, some women experience itchy skin, especially on the abdomen and thighs. Also, itchy skin conditions, such as dermatitis, can worsen during pregnancy.
Reference: Mayo Clinic