Q:

Why does my skin itch?

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Quick Answer

Skin itching can be caused by several different conditions, such as eczema, allergic reactions to skincare products, dandruff, psoriasis or a fungal infection, notes the National Health Service. Parasitic infestations, such as lice or scabies, cause severe itching as do allergic reactions to insect bites and stings.

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Full Answer

The cause of itching depends on other factors, such as the location of the itching on the body and types of accompanying symptoms, explains the NHS. For example, fungal infections are very common on the undersides of the feet and between the toes. Prickly heat appears as a widespread rash that manifests when a person is exposed to intense heat and humidity. Folliculitis appears as several red bumps that sprout directly from hair follicles on the arms and legs. Psoriasis creates patches of flaky skin in various spots on the body and may result in shiny scales. Intense itching accompanied by clusters of fluid-filled red bumps may be caused by prurigo gestationis.

Sometimes it is difficult to pinpoint the source of skin itching, especially when it forms in response to an unknown underlying systemic health condition, such as a thyroid imbalance, leukemia, kidney failure, hepatitis or several forms of cancer. According to the NHS, skin itching sometimes also occurs during pregnancy and menopause in response to hormonal fluctuations.

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