8. Healing Wounds
Any time your skin’s surface is compromised by a wound, it is unpleasant. The area bleeds and hurts, but that is only the start. As the wound heals, the itch becomes worse. In fact, a healing wound can itch like crazy.
Wounds itch when they are healing because the response is a natural part of the way the body heals. Brian Kim, MD, co-director at Washington University School of Medicine Center for the Study of Itch in St. Louis, states, “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.”
Sadly, a wound that itches is susceptible to infection. When you itch the area, you can cause harm. Your fingernails are brimming with bacteria which will invade any tears you make in the skin’s surface. When the area becomes repeatedly infected, it might scar.
To soothe a healing wound, apply a cooling topical such as menthol to the region to gain relief.
An itching sunburn is often referred to as “hell’s itch”. The sunburn spurs the body’s inflammatory response and the irritated nerves in the burned area cause extreme itching. The area of sunburned skin is extremely sensitive and can easily break if you scratch the region, which slows the healing process.
To gain relief from a sunburn itch, apply a cool compress or aloe gels. Cortisone creams can also bring much-needed comfort.
Eczema is an umbrella term that denotes areas of dry, rough, skin. Usually, it is used to describe atopic dermatitis. The skin can be affected by allergens, fragrances, certain types of fabric, and other irritants. The region will start to itch badly.
With eczema, the more you itch, the worse it gets. As you itch, the afflicted area starts to thicken and become dark and wrinkly. If you continue to itch, it could turn to lichen simplex chronicus, which is often difficult to treat.
Cool compresses help ease the itching. Hypoallergenic creams can also bring relief. However, with eczema, you might have to visit your physician for a prescription for a strong topical steroid. In some situations, a physician might also suggest antihistamines.Related: When and When Not to Scratch an Itch