Causes of Itchy Skin and Ways to End That Misery

Causes of Itchy Skin and Ways to End Misery Itchy Cat
Though your itchy skin isn’t from fleas like this poor guy, it can be just as annoying. Here are some causes and ways that could help end your misery.


Itchy skin can drive you crazy besides lead to infection from scratching the skin until it is raw. I should know as one having allergies for most of my life. There are a lot of other causes that can account for itchy skin, but I am going to discuss a few common ones here in case you’re prone to itchy skin as well and seeking some possible solutions.

My itchy skin problem developed when I was just a child. My mother used to have a tendency to make me wear tights and dresses when shopping. Her thought was dressing me that way would keep me warmer during cold days. However, her good intentions always backfired.

Those tights never lasted long on my tiny legs because I would start scratching through that material. We wouldn’t get far until the itching got so bad that those tights needed to come off. Instead, I always would get a new pair of cotton socks time and time again. Needless to say, my mother finally got the message after I accumulated a sizeable sock collection. After that, I happily remembered wearing pants on cold days and socks on warmer ones instead of those dreaded tights.

Tights or leggings can cause itchy skin not only from a textile component in the fabric like lycra, latex, nylon or spandex, but also from dry skin beneath. As young children, we typically don’t use a body lotion or moisturizer. Therefore, the problem that I had could have resulted from the legs being dry and later sweating from walking to irritate that enclosed skin.

Another explanation for such itchy skin could be detergent. Troublesome ingredients range from lye, oil, fragrances to colors. While blaming detergent as the culprit may be true for other clothing, my mother washed tights by hand, being a delicate fabric. She always used a gentle soap like Woolite without scent to be on the safe side.

Besides detergents and fabrics, you can also get itchy skin from lotions and moisturizers. Just because skin care products are labeled hypoallergenic, dermatologist-approved or fragrance-free doesn’t give them a clear pass. Those labels mean that you stand a better chance of avoiding an allergic reaction due to their formulas. It does not rule out that there will be an ingredient that can still cause you a skin problem.

Another point that I want to make is that just because you’re using an organic skin care or a natural skin care product doesn’t put you in a completely better safety position either. You can always become allergic to ingredients like essential oils to various herbs, etc.

Some likely product offenders that can cause itchy skin are perfumes, preservatives, lanolin, sulfates, parabens, benzyl alcohol, propylene glycol, alpha hydroxy acids, glycolic acid, lactic acid, forms of retinol, BHA, and mineral oil are among primary ones to be aware of. If after using the product, you notice itchy skin, redness or swelling, stop using it. Each time that you use something that may have caused an allergic reaction, the more you can increase severity of the problem.

Ingredients are less likely to pose an itchy skin problem are ones such as glycerin, hyaluronic acid (believe it or made from a rooster’s comb) and ceramides.

Another way to steer clear of itchy skin or experiencing an allergic skin reaction is to shop for skin care products with as few ingredients as possible. Although you can become allergic to any ingredient at any time even if you used it many times before without a problem, you drastically cut that risk the more that you narrow the number of ingredients down.  Keeping this in mind is especially helpful if you have sensitive skin.

Itchy skin can also come from exposure to external influences such as environmental ones like trees, plants, grass, flowers, pets, etc. Jewelry also can cause grief with itchy skin that you want to be careful with.

Allergic problems such as itchy skin also can occur internally. You can eat a certain food that can trigger high levels of histamine resulting in a rash, itchy skin, hives, swelling, redness to taking a medication or even vitamin supplement like a horrible experience I went through.

Trying to pinpoint an itchy skin problem might lead you to an allergist, but hopefully these skin care tips can help stop your scratching. Take care and remember that you are not alone!



  1. ellen beck
    October 11, 2018 / 6:43 pm

    Itchy skin also can come with aging. Since I have gotten older my skin is drier and tends to itch and no matter how much moisturizer or the type, relief doesnt last long. It is especially bad on my legs and arms. It is odd as I had never had the problem before.

    • nuts4stuff
      October 12, 2018 / 2:56 am

      Hi, Ellen! Have you tried changing bath soaps or laundry detergent? Another thing that could help is making sure to moisturize almost immediately after drying off while the skin is still damp. You’ll seal in the remaining moisture this way before it has a chance to disappear. When you wait longer to get dressed or do your hair, then you don’t replace that moisture as you should. This makes any body lotion or moisturizer less effective for you.

      • ellen beck
        February 17, 2019 / 7:59 pm

        Yep I do that! I think som ha come with age :/

  2. Heather!
    October 12, 2018 / 5:12 am

    My number one trick for itchy skin is heat! I use my hair dryer. Heat the itchy area at the highest heat and for long as you can stand it (don’t burn yourself, obviously). The heat causes pain which triggers the body’s release of endorphins (I think?). Since itch travels along the same nerves as pain, it basically numbs or quiets any sensation in that area. It is a godsend for me, and it lasts about eight hours–with no medication! I am so grateful to the guy who suggested it to me years ago. I thought he was crazy…until I tried it myself.

    • nuts4stuff
      October 12, 2018 / 5:35 am

      Hi Heather,Thanks for sharing that about what heat can do to help itching. I never heard of that before and definitely will try that the next time I get an itch.

  3. Lynne B
    November 13, 2018 / 10:44 am

    I get itchy on extremities sometimes but apparently not due to dry skin. I take daily med to control it.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.