Why and how can the skin itch

Itching: what helps with itchy skin?


The causes of itchy skin

A healthy protective skin barrier ensures our body's natural defenses. It fends off harmful influences and maintains the moisture in the skin - so it prevents the skin from drying out. However, if the protective layer is disturbed, it can no longer perform some tasks. As a result, dry and itchy patches of skin can develop.

There are various reasons for damaging the protective skin barrier: The barrier, which mainly consists of the outermost layer of the upper skin layer (epidermis) and its skin fats (ceramides), is required around the clock. Climate pollution such as cold or heating air, too frequent showering or the wrong cleaning agents can damage sensitive skin and negatively affect moisture retention. This creates fine and brittle cracks through which pollutants and microorganisms can more easily get into the body. As a reaction to the intruders, the skin can also become inflamed, which can also manifest itself in redness and itching. This itching leads to scratching and is usually aggravated - there is often a vicious circle of itching and scratching.

Allergies, neurodermatitis and other causes

Responsible for a very strong itch, e.g. in a allergy, is an excessive immune system and the tissue hormone histamine. With its emission, the irritated skin reacts to actually harmless substances, which are referred to as allergens. Typical triggers for contact allergies are fragrances and dyes, latex, metals or animal hair. In people with Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a common damage to the skin barrier. Acute phases of this chronic and inflammatory skin disease, which are characterized by redness and itching, can be triggered by stimuli such as psychological stress, climatic conditions that additionally dry the skin, or various allergens. Several main parts are often affected at the same time.

If the skin is itchy all over the body without any redness or flaking, those affected should definitely consult a doctor. Possible reasons for chronic, whole-body itching can also be diabetes mellitus, hyperthyroidism or hyperthyroidism, or iron deficiency anemia, although a doctor should diagnose this. Some hospitals such as the Münster University Clinic or the Charité in Berlin offer help in special itching consultation hours.

This helps with itchy skin

Although itching is often a superficial reaction to dry skin, for example, those affected should first investigate the cause of their skin condition. In most cases, however, the dryness and reddened and itchy skin can be treated well. Soothing and healing aids are special creams and lotions that regenerate, stabilize and care for the skin. These not only donate moisture but also repair the skin's protective barrier with skin-like lipids such as ceramides. Light lotions with dexpanthenol can also be used for daily care. The moisturizing ingredient supports and helps maintain a healthy protective skin barrier.

If the itching is more pronounced due to allergies or neurodermatitis, preparations containing cortisone usually help. The endogenous hormone cortisone has an anti-inflammatory effect and dampens the excessive defense reaction of the body. It is advisable to talk to the doctor in advance.