A persistent itch can keep you awake at night and drive you crazy when you are trying to concentrate on your day-to-day life. Scratching the area only seems to make it worse because your body instantly responds by kick starting its inflammatory response.
Everyone has suffered from insect bites, dandruff, and sunburn, which are just a few of the things that can make your skin itch. The urge to scratch is often overpowering, but it is imperative that you resist the urge and control yourself.
Yes, when you first scratch it feels incredibly good and you experience instant relief, even if there is a slight bit of pain. The reason for the response is that your brain starts to release the neurotransmitter serotonin to control the pain, which intensifies the need to itch. Sadly, as you try to bring yourself relief, the scratching damages your delicate skin. Below are some of the common reasons you may feel itchy and what to do instead of scratching.
10. Dry Skin
Any time your skin’s outer layer (stratum corneum) becomes dehydrated, you might become itchy. Your skin contains extraordinarily little ceramides, which are lipids that produce a protective barrier on your skin’s surface.
Scratching helps ease the itch, but the skin’s outer layer is already fragile from being dry, so your fingernails can cause cracks and openings in the skin’s surface, which can lead to infection. Detergents, beauty products, and other foreign substances often cause an allergic reaction to the delicate tissue.
Ways to avoid dry skin:
- Take warm showers and avoid hot water
- Apply a moisturizer when your skin feels dry
- Stay out of the sun
- Use a sunscreen
9. Insect Bites
When a bug bites you, your immune system reacts to the saliva, enzymes, or venom. The saliva of a mosquito causes the body to increase its histamine production, which spurs the itch. Chiggers release enzymes that make the skin’s tissue erode. Fire ants are venomous, and their bites cause pus-filled blisters.
Scratching an insect bite triggers further inflammation and can tear the skin’s surface, which puts the area at risk of infection. Apply a cool ice pack to the area of the bite and avoid scratching. You can also turn to over-the-counter anti-itch creams such as hydrocortisone to gain much-needed relief.