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Times You Should Never, Ever Scratch an Itch

Dry pores and skin

Close-up Of A African Woman Suffering From ItchingAndrey_Popov/ShutterstockThe maximum commonplace reason why for itching happens when your pores and skin’s protecting outer layer, the stratum corneum, will get parched. Ceramides, particular lipids that act as a barrier in your pores and skin (each through holding hydration in and overseas fabrics out), are most probably briefly provide. Scratching might supply quick gratification, however it could possibly wreak havoc in your pores and skin’s already-compromised floor layer. “Your skin can form cracks and openings, which in turn can lead to infection,” says Sylvia Hsu, MD, chair of dermatology at Temple University Lewis Katz School of Medicine in Philadelphia. What’s extra, harsh components from detergents or good looks merchandise may just seep in and doubtlessly make you allergic to formulations that you were not to start with allergic to. Itch repair: Keep showers heat however no longer sizzling and seal up hydration on your pores and skin through making use of a moisturizing ointment or cream when your pores and skin continues to be reasonably damp. Here’s what else you must do you probably have dry pores and skin.

Insect bites and stings

Mosquito sucking bloodLab Photo/ShutterstockWhen a mosquito dines on you, the immune machine detects its saliva and launches an assault with a liberate of histamines—and it is the latter that’s the direct reason behind the itching. Another commonplace itch perpetrator is the chigger, a child mite present in forests or grassy spaces. Chigger bites liberate an enzyme into the outside to erode tissue; this reasons the outside cells at the outer edge to harden and itch. Finally, watch out for the fireplace ant, infamous for attacking unsuspecting picnickers. A fireplace ant’s sting releases venom, which in flip triggers the eruption of itchy pus-filled blisters. Don’t scratch! In every case, says Dr. Hsu, “scratching can cause more inflammation.” Making issues worse, any time you nick the outside, micro organism can sneak in, leaving you open to an infection. Itch repair: Chill out with an ice pack at the offending house. Over-the-counter anti-itch lotions (like hydrocortisone) can assist. And do not disregard to try the following pointers for fending off insect bites and stings earlier than the following time you challenge outside.

Wounds which are virtually (however no longer moderately) healed

Close up blood scab of biopsy wound and female finger holding band aid on skin, precautious medical treatment and preventive cancer therapy.Rob Bayer/ShutterstockHere’s the article about cuts and scrapes—simply as you might be at the mend, the spot in query begins to itch like loopy. It’s a part of the inflammatory reaction, says Brian Kim, MD, co-director at Washington University School of Medicine Center for the Study of Itch, in St. Louis. But additionally, “when you break the skin, you also damage the nerves—and as they try to heal, their wires get crossed, which can cause the itching sensation.” If you scratch, you tear the subtle pores and skin that is looking to heal itself and also you extend the therapeutic procedure or irritate scarring. More troubling, your nails space micro organism, which is able to move slowly into the wound and result in an an infection. Itch repair: Cool sensations can assist calm the itch, so check out a cooling topical menthol, just like the product Sarna.


peeling skin at back and shoulder from sunburn effect on body of young man from sunbath at summer. dangerous sunburn conceptasiandelight/ShutterstockAs if the searing ache of sunburn is not punishment sufficient for failing to make use of sunblock, the itch units in—an itch so disturbing, it is often referred to as hell’s itch. As with different wounds, a sunburn additionally sends your frame’s inflammatory reaction into top equipment. While the nerves don’t seem to be outright severed on this case, they do get riled up—which, in flip, results in that dreadful itching. Scratching may just destroy the outside, gradual the therapeutic procedure, and irritate the itch. Itch repair: Cool compresses and aloe gels can calm the itch from a sunburn, whilst cortisone cream is helping ease irritation.

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Close up dermatitis on skin, ill allergic rash dermatitis eczema skin of patient , atopic dermatitis symptom skin detail texture , Fungus of skin ,The concept dermatology, treatment fungal and fungalTY Lim/ShutterstockThis umbrella time period describes dry, tough, infected pores and skin. Typically, although, it refers to atopic dermatitis, a situation through which the outside barrier fails to paintings correctly. Whatever the motive, the impact is identical: That patch of pores and skin will get ornery within the presence of positive triggers—material, perfume, airborne allergens—and it is going bonkers with itchiness. Ignoring it’s onerous, however relentless scratching will handiest—you guessed it—make issues worse: specifically, you should finally end up with one thing referred to as lichen simplex chronicus. “The skin gets thicker, darker, and more wrinkly,” says Dr. Hsu. And it feels even itchier and turns into even more difficult to regard. While this may occur with any type of itch, it is particularly most probably with eczema, when the itch (and due to this fact the scratching) is continual. You can also be hit with prurigo nodularis, through which the scratched or picked pores and skin develops into itchy bumps. Itch repair: Cool compresses and thick hypoallergenic lotions can assist, but when the itch is an excessive amount of to undergo, see your physician. She can give a powerful topical steroid (to wreck via tough pores and skin) and likewise recommend antihistamines to calm the irritation and will let you sleep at night time. You must additionally do this miracle eczema repair.


One Caucasian woman with psoriasis, eczema, atopic dermatitis on the skin of leg. Skin rashes from contact allergic reactionTernavskaia Olga Alibec/ShutterstockIn this situation, an overactive immune machine reasons the frame to provide pores and skin cells in warp velocity, in order that new cells are driven to the outside in as low as 3 days versus the standard 28 to 30. Because the outside can not shed rapid sufficient to maintain, lifeless pores and skin cells, that are purple, flaky, and from time to time itchy, pile up. Fight the urge to scratch. “The parts of the epidermis that are above the dilated blood vessels can bleed when the scale is scratched or picked off,” says Dr. Hsu. Itch repair: As with different itchy stipulations, moisturizing is helping, however your physician too can prescribe particular psoriasis therapies, together with ultraviolet mild treatment and prescription medicines. Avoiding those meals too can restrict psoriasis flareups.

Contact dermatitis

Hands of an adult woman with a problem of dermatitisEnrique Ramos/ShutterstockA sub-category of eczema, this itchy situation erupts from both irritants (akin to rubbing alcohol) or allergens (akin to oils in poison ivy). Irritants destroy throughout the pores and skin barrier and inflame it straight away. Allergens key up the immune machine, and a purple, itchy rash develops handiest days later, most often on the level of touch, however from time to time additionally in other places at the pores and skin. Don’t scratch! You’ll possibility the similar unpleasant issues that crop up with different itchy stipulations—particularly, bleeding, an infection, and a extra intense itch. Itch repair: Wash away the offending substance (this contains laundering your garments, too) in a detergent that you’ve got no longer reacted to prior to now, and keep away from the substance sooner or later. Soothe the itch with a groovy compress, over the counter hydrocortisone cream, and over the counter hypersensitivity medicine. If you might be no longer certain what the cause was once, your physician can do a patch check.


women having dandruff in the hair and shoulder. Women have itchy scalp fungus. Dander that causes itching scalpElvira Koneva/ShutterstockThe white flakes is also embarrassing, however it is the itchy scalp that may force you mad. Technically, dandruff refers back to the situation led to through a fungus referred to as malassezia. It lives in everybody’s scalp, however for dandruff-prone people, malassezia reasons inflammation and extra skin-cell enlargement. Scratching can irritate the inflammatory procedure already activate through malassezia, explains Dr. Kim. Itch repair: This one’s a in most cases easy repair. Shampoo with over the counter dandruff shampoos; they comprise selenium or zinc pyrithione, which assist organize that pesky fungus. If the ones do not paintings, your dermatologist can counsel one thing more potent. Have an itchy scalp however no flakes? One of those 21 reasons of itchy scalp is also the perpetrator.

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Athlete’s foot

finger scratching at a medical symptom called "Athlete's foot". It is a common skin infection of the feet caused by fungus. Terence Toh Chin Eng/ShutterstockThat burning itchiness you are feeling within your shoe-turned-torture-chamber may be the paintings of a fungus—most definitely picked up from the damp flooring of a bath, gymnasium locker room, or swimming pool deck. In addition to scaly pores and skin, particularly between the feet, the soles get dry and your toes flip purple. You truly do not wish to scratch this one. Besides inflicting fissuring and most likely an infection, you should doubtlessly unfold the fungus—and the brutal itch—to different portions of your frame you inadvertently contact straight away after scratching, together with the groin (jock itch, any person?). Itch repair: Treat with an over the counter antifungal cream, and, if that does not paintings, communicate in your physician about stronger answers.


Cropped image of handsome Afro American man sitting on toilet. His jeans is hanging on his legsVGstockstudio/ShutterstockThis difficult-to-discuss situation refers back to the vein clusters that lie slightly below the outside of the decrease rectum’s mucus membrane and the anus. Sometimes those veins turn into swollen (in most cases from being pregnant or weight or straining throughout a bowel motion) and so they depart extra itchy pores and skin as they dissolve. Scratching handiest makes issues itchier. Itch repair: Over-the-counter hemorrhoid lotions, witch-hazel pads, or ice packs can assist. So can a sitz tub, through which you submerge your itchy backside in heat water within the tub bathtub, particularly after a bowel motion. Gently pat—do not wipe—your self dry. Excessive wiping and cleansing could cause itchiness within the house across the anus (a situation referred to as pruritis ani). If it is a rash that is inflicting your itch, it would be best to learn those house treatments for itchy pores and skin.

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