This Is Why Your Skin Itches

My sister had bought a new detergent, but her skin wasn’t happy with her new purchase. She got immense itching after using the detergent.

So she asked if I wanted to take the detergent from her. Okay, no problem.

I almost forgot about this incident, because when my skin started to itch too, I didn’t immediately make the connection with the detergent.

I thought my skin was dry again, although my skin didn’t look dry. Then I realized I was only itching where my clothes were. And suddenly I knew: it’s the detergent!

I became somewhat fascinated by itching and wondered what it is and why we have itching. I’d like to share this information with you!

What is itching?

Photo: Tharakorn via Getty Images

During a psychology class I once heard that itching is something that arises in your brain. When you have itching, you don’t see it on your skin. But the sensation is controlled by your brain. I thought this was very interesting, but unfortunately I can’t find any more information about this theory. Or maybe I remember it wrong.

But itching is indeed a feeling that induces a scratching reflex in you. Sometimes you feel it in one place and sometimes you feel it in several places on your body.

But something do happens in your skin. When your skin gets irritated, your skin barrier is damaged. Your skin cells then release histamine. Your skin receptore then send a signal to the brain that causes you to scratch.

Why do we scratch?

Scratching is a natural reaction. It gives you temporary relief. But unfortunately, it can also lead to more itching.

Scratching can damage your skin even more. This thickens your skin and your skin sends even more scratching signals to your brain. So you keep scratching and scratching.

Scratching can also damage your skin barrier, making it more susceptible for infections. Therefore, it’s better to quickly identify the cause of your itching so that you can avoid excessive scratching.

How do you get itchy skin?

There are several reasons why your skin itches. Yet if you have dry skin, you’ll suffer from it more often.

Reasons why your skin itches:

  • Skin aging
  • Hormonal fluctuations
  • Heredity
  • Skin conditions such as psoriasis and atopic dermatites
  • Diabetes
  • A dry air
  • Showering too hot
  • Sunburnt skin
  • Stress
  • Diet
  • Medication
  • Allergic reactions
  • Shaving
  • Insect bites
  • Poisonous plants

How do you take care of itchy skin?

It’s best to take care of itchy skin with a good urea cream. From my own experience I know that urea really helps against itching. Read my review about Shiseido Urea 10% body cream here.

Do you want to know more about urea? Read my article about urea here.

Front photo: Tharakorn via Getty Images

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