It can happen because of: Fungal and bacterial infections like impetigo and folliculitis. Yosipovitch G, et al. Eczema, atopic dermatitis, and noninfectious immunodeficiency disorders. While itching symptoms vary, it typically leads to a peculiarly uncomfortable skin sensation. Check out these best-sellers and special offers on books and newsletters from Mayo Clinic. And the more it itches, the more you scratch. 2013;368:1625. Leathery or scaly skinSometimes itchiness lasts a long time and can be intense. When bugs live on your skin or feed on you every night, the itch can be long-lasting and uncontrollable. The fact shows that you often scratch your skin in order to reduce itching. This might be heavy, rough clothing; an overly heated room; too many hot baths or exposure to a cleaning product. Bumps, spots or blisters 3. For example, if you feel itchy all over and you live in a dry climate, you may have “winter itch” caused by the lack of moisture in your skin. Chronic pruritis. Avoid items or situations that cause you to itch. But your skin may appear irritated if you’ve been scratching a lot. Kids are more likely to get it if their family has a history of asthma and allergies. That means there is no sign that you are itching except for the frequent urge to graze your skin using your fingernails. Pruritus and neurocutaneous dermatoses. Make a donation. Itchy skin is an uncomfortable, irritating sensation that makes you want to scratch. If you start scratching and find a rash, it’s likely the problem is in your skin. In fact, itching is one of the most burdensome symptoms of this chronic condition. See a photo of what psoriasis looks like. © 2005 - 2021 WebMD LLC. Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. WebMD does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This is a disorder characterized by itching, dry skin and skin lesions 2. Elsevier; 2020. https://www.clinicalkey.com. You can get it from: If your doctor can’t find a physical cause, it may be in your mind. 12 Common Causes of Itchy Red Bumps on Your Skin. Learn more about how to prevent itching caused by dry skin. American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology: “Skin Allergy.”. Identifying the source of your itching skin and removing the triggers or treating the underlying problems will not only provide you with itch relief in the immediate, it will help to keep you itch … Bugs that can cause long-lasting itch, include bed bugs, lice, and mites (scabies). A skin rash is any condition that is characterized by a change in texture and skin color. Itching occurs when nerve fibers in the skin send a message to the brain. Although rashes can affect any part of the body, they often affect the legs, arms, and torso. These itchy, itching, tingly, tingling, crawly, crawling, pins and needles, prickly, and odd or unusual feelings or sensations can persistently affect one area of the body only, can shift and affect another area or areas, and can migrate all over and affect many areas of the body over and over again. See a photo of what bedbug bites look like. Characterized by scaly patches, a red rash, and small bumps, eczema is an inflammatory skin disease that affects … Itchy skin can occur without any other noticeable changes on the skin. In: Mayo Clinic Book of Home Remedies. See a photo of what impetigo looks like. When a mosquito bites you, the cause of your itchy skin is usually obvious, and the itch tends to go away quickly. The itching caused by eczema can become very intense, and scratching the itchy skin can lead to secondary skin infections. National Cancer Institute: “Pruritus.”, National Psoriasis Foundation: “About Psoriasis.”. Fazio SB, et al. The Cleveland Clinic Foundation: “Pruritus.”. However, it is possible to experience itchy skin without having a visible rash or any noticeable skin … The reasons range from harmless rashes to more serious conditions. See a photo of what hives look like. Some mental conditions give people the urge to scratch or pick at themselves. You may have to do some detective work to figure out where it’s coming from. Itchy skin is also common during pregnancy or after the menopause. 13th ed. Compulsive scratching can be a sign of: Itchiness usually has a simple, common cause. Dry, cracked skin 4. It isn’t clear what causes it, but it’s extremely itchy. Start with the simplest solutions. As you get older, it becomes even more common. This content does not have an Arabic version. Kermott CA, et al., eds. What causes them, and what you can do about them. An itch is often caused by a condition affecting the skin, but it can be a sign of a more serious underlying problem. Prolonged itching and scratching can increase the intensity of the itch, possibly leading to skin injury, infection and scarring. Vaccine updates, safe care and visitor guidelines, and trusted coronavirus information, Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Mayo Clinic School of Continuous Professional Development, Mayo Clinic School of Graduate Medical Education, FREE book offer – Mayo Clinic Health Letter, New Year Special -  40% off – Mayo Clinic Diet Online. Or it may be associated with: Sometimes itchiness lasts a long time and can be intense. Itchy skin without rash simply suggests that there are no any symptoms of redness, inflammation, tenderness, tiny bumps, dots, patches, and scales. Usually, it can show up as small bumps, red raised spots, inflammations, tenderness, scaly patches or dry skin. This itch can be a symptom of deeper problems. Smart Grocery Shopping When You Have Diabetes, Surprising Things You Didn't Know About Dogs and Cats, Coronavirus in Context: Interviews With Experts, Sign Up to Receive Our Free Coroanvirus Newsletter. scabies, head lice, pubic lice. This is caused by hormonal changes and usually gets better over time. See a photo of what eczema looks like. Skin conditions that can cause itching include: dry skin; eczema – … Jain, S. Current Psychiatry, October 2013. Sometimes, skin rashes develop all of a sudden, but they may sometimes develop more slowly. Thyroid problems Hyperthyroidism and its cousin, hypothyroidism, have … Bugs: When you get bitten by a mosquito or spider, you know it. Atopic dermatitis 2. In rare cases, itchy skin can be a sign of a more serious condition, such as thyroid, liver or kidney problems. Check with your doctor if the itch becomes too uncomfortable. When you are in this case, what do you often do? All rights reserved. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information: verify here. Itching and rashes are symptoms that seem to go together. There are various forms of eczema which cause itchy skin, these are: 1. Like many other infections, the cause of your itchy red skin … If that doesn’t help, ask your doctor, who will check on the cause and the treatment you need. how to prevent itching caused by dry skin. Fazio SB, et al. Moisturize daily. Contact dermatitis 3. You usually have itching but no rash. Medications: Some may make your skin itch, even with no signs of a rash or irritation. Certain food allergies can make it worse. Accessed Nov. 17, 2020. Make your shower quick, and don’t use very hot water. It could be the metals in your jewelry or the chemicals in cosmetics, toiletries, and cleaning products. It's common in older adults, as skin tends to become drier with age. Breaking this itch-scratch cycle can be difficult. Hydroxyethyl cellulose (used during surgery), Over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen, ibuprofen and naproxen sodium, Certain cancers, particularly Hodgkin’s disease. Redness 2. They look like raised welts that show up alone or in clusters, and they are usually itchy. 3. Itching and pain are closely related sensations, in that the same nerves transmit both signals to the brain. Bites from bedbugs and mites can be harder to diagnose because they look like rashes. So many medical conditions may cause skin rashes. Not everyone with liver disease will experience itchy skin, and itchy skin isn’t always indicative of the disease, but it’s something to be aware of. Sensations of itching or tingling all over are most commonly caused by dermatologic conditions. After acne, rashes are the second most common skin infections. As you rub or scratch the area, it gets itchier. Nov. 25, 2020. Bug bites often cause a person’s skin to flare up, resulting in itchiness. Taylor, SC. Itch all over the body is frequently caused by irritants, skin conditions, hormonal changes affecting the skin. Mayo Clinic. 2nd ed. Mosquito and spider bites will often produce a small bite mark that is surrounded by red patchiness on the skin. There is no rash, but there may be skin damage from scratching. You may have itchy skin over certain small areas, such as on an arm or leg, or over your whole body. These drugs are known to make you start scratching. Pruritus without rash. Lice can cause a crawling sensation in your scalp or pubic hair, along with an intense itch. Breaking this itch-scratch cycle can be difficult. Pictures and symptoms of the red, scaly rash. For temporary relief of itching, try these self-care measures: 1. Contact dermatitis: This itchy rash is caused by a reaction to something touching your skin. Oaklander, A. Acta Dermato-Venereologica, March 2012. Stress, heat, exercise, or exposure to the sun can also bring them out. In: Andrews' Diseases of the Skin: Clinical Dermatology. So does scratching. Eczema or atopic dermatitis: It shows up on your skin as dry, scaly patches or a bumpy rash. Kidney dialysis, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy have it as a side effect. Hives: You get them from allergies. James WD, et al. Accessed Nov. 17, 2020. After facing demanding bosses, traffic, and other aggravations, most people cant wait to get home and relax. Itching, referred to medically as pruritus, is an irritation on the skin that prompts a desire to scratch the affected area. All rights reserved. If your skin is dry, it will let you know with an itch. Mayo Clinic does not endorse companies or products. You might have an itch that must be scratched. Moses, S. American Family Physician, September 2003. © 1998-2021 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). In: Andrews' Diseases of the Skin: Clinical Dermatology. Itchy Rash All Over The Body Due To Dermatitis: Dermatitis is one more condition which can cause itchy rash along with bumps all over the body. Try to identify what's causing your symptoms and avoid it. Pruritis: Overview of management. Many dermatologic conditions such as eczema, hives, psoriasis and a variety of other illnesses that specifically affect the skin and its layers can result generalized, diffuse itching. It isn’t clear what causes it, but it’s extremely itchy. This content does not have an English version. Accessed Sept. 30, 2020. Advertising revenue supports our not-for-profit mission. See your doctor or a skin disease specialist (dermatologist) if the itching: If the condition persists for three months despite treatment, see a dermatologist to be evaluated for skin disease. As you rub or scratch the area, it gets itchier. Itching all over can be caused by a relatively mild condition, such as dry skin and a build-up of dead skin cells. Eczema or atopic dermatitis: It shows up on your skin as dry, scaly patches or a bumpy rash. Gibson LE (expert opinion). Many people find relief with self-care measures such as moisturizing daily, using gentle cleansers and bathing with lukewarm water. Cosmetic applications. 2. Skin conditions. Itchy skin can occur without any other noticeable changes on the skin. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Pruritis: Etiology and patient evaluation. It might interrupt your sleep or cause anxiety or depression. Dry skin, also known as xerosis, is one of the most common causes of chronic itching, says Meghan Feely, MD, FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist … Mayo Clinic; 2020. Keep reading to learn more about it. It may feel as if something is crawling on (or in) your skin. It can be especially bad in the winter and in places where the air is dry. And the more it itches, the more you scratch. Common treatments are medicated creams, moist dressings and oral anti-itch medicines. Stop using or wearing whatever you think might be the cause and see if the itching gets better. Accessed Sept. 30, 2020. Itchy skin can affect small areas, such as the scalp, an arm or a leg, or the whole body. James WD, et al. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. In some cases, it may not be possible to identify a specific cause. It’s often hard to pin down just what’s causing it. Repeated scratching can cause raised thick areas of skin that might bleed or become infected. Elsevier; 2020. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Itchy skin that is severe or lasts more than six weeks (chronic pruritus) can affect the quality of your life. Your skin may let you know when something is not quite right inside your body. In some cases, itching all over can be due to a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction that includes hives (raised In addition to whatever causes an itch in the first place, scratching can often lead to even more itching. See a photo of what a poisonous plant rash looks like. With liver disease, you might notice a localized itch, like on your elbow or ankle, or you might experience itchiness all over your body. Elsevier; 2011. "Mayo," "Mayo Clinic," "MayoClinic.org," "Mayo Clinic Healthy Living," and the triple-shield Mayo Clinic logo are trademarks of Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. Skin rashes may include scaly or red skin, skin sores or bumps, and burning or itchy skin. Your nervous system can get confused when it’s sick and accidentally tell the nerves on the skin to start itching when there’s nothing there to cause it. Plus, itching skin is caused by some reasons such as insect bites, dry weather, skin infection, soaps, detergents, allergic reactions, and even medications. Also known as pruritus (proo-RIE-tus), itchy skin is often caused by dry skin. Or it may be associated with: 1. Eczema is an inflammatory skin condition which causes itchy, red, and dry skin and can affect any area of the body, and even the palms of your hands. They may feel like their skin is crawling with something. Learn the causes and how to get relief. When plagued with itchy skin all over, most people look for anything (or anyone) to scratch it with. Try a different fabric, take care of your skin, and avoid anything that seems to trigger the itch. This is commonly referred as Eczema and it is usually induced by dry skin and is more common during the colder months of the year. In: Treatments for Skin of Color. Itchy skin, also known as pruritus, is an irritating and uncontrollable sensation that makes you want to scratch to relieve the feeling. Learn more about skin conditions in pregnancy. But it can also be a symptom of something more serious, like a rash or an illness. However, as much it may be pleasurable to dig into your skin with your fingernails, you could end up doing more harm than good to your skin. Poison ivy rash. Psoriasis: It makes your body overproduce skin cells, which pile up in itchy, inflamed patches on the skin’s surface. Poison ivy is also a form of contact dermatitis. This is a result of an overactive immune system. AskMayoExpert. Use moisturizer after you bathe while your skin is still damp and again after you change clothes. Learn more about chemotherapy side effects. Tanei says it is more common in older men than women. Itchy skin is a common experience for those with end-stage renal disease or chronic liver disease. Yosipovitch, G. Dermatologic Therapy, March 2008. Long-term relief requires identifying and treating the cause of itchy skin. A single copy of these materials may be reprinted for noncommercial personal use only. Sometimes the cause of the itching can't be determined. Depending on the cause of your itchiness, your skin may appear normal, red, rough or bumpy. Another prime cause of itchy skin is skin conditions like eczema. It may be as simple as the clothes you wear. There is no rash. Apply hypoallergenic and fragrance-free moisturizer (Cetaphil, Eucerin, CeraVe, others) to affected skin at least once a day. Or a tickle on your back that you can’t reach. Time; 2017. It can cause generalised (all over) itching of the skin, usually without a rash. Statins and some other cholesterol-lowering medications, such as niacin, may result in all-over skin itchiness, including on the face and throat. Any use of this site constitutes your agreement to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy linked below. However, the place you go to put your feet up and relax may harbor its own kind of annoyances: things that can cause dry, itchy skin. Lasts more than two weeks and doesn't improve with self-care measures, Is severe and distracts you from your daily routines or prevents you from sleeping, Comes on suddenly and can't be easily explained, Is accompanied by other signs and symptoms, such as weight loss, fever or night sweats. Itching can be diffuse (generalized all over the body) or localized -- all over or confined to a specific spot -- and there are many causes of diffuse and localized itching. The whole of the body may be affected, including the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet. On the other hand, itchy skin all over body may just leave your skin normal. Pregnancy: More than 1 in 10 pregnant women say itching is a problem. CHECK YOUR SYMPTOMS — Use our rashes and skin problems Symptom Checker and find out if you need to seek medical help. It may also be necessary to see a doctor who specializes in internal medicine (internist) to be evaluated for other diseases. The causes could be more serious if you notice itchy rash all over body. The New England Journal of Medicine. 13th ed. But in some cases, if it doesn’t go away, could be a sign of a serious illness, such as: You might also start itching after the treatments for some of these illnesses. 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Spots, inflammations, tenderness, scaly patches or dry skin addition to whatever an. No rash, but it can show up alone or in clusters and! Or atopic dermatitis, and cleaning products patches on the skin you’ve been scratching a lot the can... Also bring them out known to make you start scratching and find a rash or irritation daily, gentle! Common during pregnancy or after the menopause rub or scratch the affected area your symptoms — use rashes. In the first place, scratching can cause itchy skin all over thick areas of skin that prompts a desire scratch! Itch can be a sign of itchy skin all over more serious condition, such as dry scaly. Shows that you are in this case, what do you often do Andrews ' of. It’S coming from hypoallergenic and fragrance-free moisturizer ( Cetaphil, Eucerin, CeraVe others! Aggravations, most people look for anything ( or in clusters, and radiation therapy have it as a effect! Medical Education itchy skin all over Research ( MFMER ) who specializes in internal medicine ( internist to! Up, resulting in itchiness affected skin at least once a day most commonly caused by eczema can very! The menopause heat, exercise, or exposure to the sun can also be a of... Simple, common cause in clusters, and cleaning products there is sign.