What Causes Itchy Skin

What Causes Itchy Skin?

Be it itchy arms, or just itchy skin in general we've got causes & treatments to help.

Why Is My Skin Itchy?

Are you wondering - why is my skin itchy? Well itchy skin can be caused by a multitude of things, read on to find out possible causes and how to prevent/treat itchy skin:

  • Bug bites: One of the most common causes of short-term itchy skin is due to bug bites, leaving us with an unbearable desire to itch our skin for a moment's satisfaction. Itchy skin can be more long term depending on the insect, for example, bed bugs.
  • Allergies: Preservatives, chemicals that produce fragrances or those used to colour or thicken cosmetic products can often cause allergic reactions, as well as certain materials such as wool, polyester or nickel - often found in jewellery. Even hay fever can cause you to have itchy skin depending on how severe your allergy is.
  • Sun Exposure: Itchy skin after sun exposure can be due to having an allergic reaction to UV rays resulting in a rash or bumps.
  • Shaving: When you shave as a form of hair removal, you can get micro-lesions in your skin which can easily become inflamed if your skin is not used to shaving. If you're using a dull razor, sometimes the hair can twist and get stuck under the skin, causing ingrown hairs resulting in itchy skin. Itchy legs post shave? It’s possible that your clothes are rubbing against your sensitive skin causing soreness and redness.
  • Perspiration: Particularly in your underarm areas as well as your more intimate areas, a build-up of sweat during the day can cause bacteria to thrive in the damp conditions, causing itchy skin. Additionally, when sweat sticks to your clothes it creates the perfect conditions for chafing to add insult to injury.
  • Menopause: Itchy skin can be a result of hormonal changes in women experiencing menopause. This is due to the reduced levels of collagen meaning the skin becomes less elastic and more dry. 

Dry or Sensitive Skin: – The cold and hostile winter can cause your skin to become dehydrated and if the moisture is not replaced scaly, flaky skin can appear around your face or body which can turn into itchy skin if left in poor condition. The heat can also dehydrate your skin through water loss as you sweat more to regulate your core temperature. Sensitive skin can occur after shaving, as well as after handling cleaning chemicals causing skin to dry out, resulting in people pondering - why is my skin itchy?
Skin conditions: e.g. eczema or psoriasis - eczema can cause patches of the skin to become dry, itchy and sore while psoriasis creates flaky, red, patches of skin due to the skin cells trying to rapidly replace themselves in a short amount of time (usually 3 – 7 days) instead of gradually (3 – 4 weeks).


Treating itchy skin

Common symptoms that come with having itchy skin are your skin becoming red, dry and sore, which makes it even more important for you to keep your skin moisturised and hydrated. This helps combat itchy skin as well as providing your skin with an extra layer of protection. Try our range of products specially designed for sensitive skin and formulated to soothe your skin with 0% perfume and 0% alcohol to avoid reactions from your skin and dehydration.

  • Medical skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis are best looked at by a medical professional, so if your itchy skin could be caused by this we recommend booking an appointment. Once you are diagnosed, your local pharmacy will have the remedies to help; your doctor may even prescribe you a specific treatment. 
  • Reduce your bath or shower time and decrease the temperature from hot water to lukewarm water so as to not dry out your skin. Find out the perfect shower routine from our experts. We recommend that if your skin is sensitive to chemicals used in bath and shower products to change to a sensitive, fragrance-free shower gel or body wash such as the NIVEA Rich Moisture Sensitive Shower Cream which contains chamomile extract which has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties as well as being hypoallergenic. You should also try our NIVEA Men Sensitive Shower Gel which contains bamboo extract which heals and nourishes the skin as well as being rich in natural compounds such as amino acids which helps to shield the skin from environmental damage.

  • Try to wear loose clothing that isn't made of synthetics such as cotton, which is soft on your skin and won't irritate it like other materials such as wool.
  • If you're suffering from itchiness due to razor burn, try the NIVEA Men Sensitive Shaving Gel which lubricates your skin and facial hair to provide the perfect glide. We recommend using shaving gel over foam if you have itchy skin as it tends to be a thicker consistency, which provides a better layer of protection for your skin. Post shave? Slather on some NIVEA Men Sensitive Daily Skin & Stubble Lotion which instantly relieves itchy skin from stubble while being perfect as a daily moisturiser, stubble softener or as an after-shave salve.
  • Protection against the elements is essential and we recommend that you use sun cream throughout the year because no matter the season, UV radiation finds its way to your skin, causing it to dry out and prematurely age. Our NIVEA Daily Essentials Rich Moisturising Day Cream SPF15 and NIVEA Daily Essentials Sensitive Day Cream SPF15 both provide light daily protection without having to worry about slathering a thick layer on your skin that can feel heavy and greasy. However, it is recommended that you typically use SPF 30 as the minimum as it blocks out 97% of the sun’s UVB rays. Our NIVEA Sensitive Immediate Protect Lotion SPF 30 is perfect with Aloe Vera and Jojoba oil to soothe itchy skin and reduce redness. While our UV Face range is features SPF 30 to 50+ which is perfect for protecting your face from most UV radiation while keeping your face hydrated throughout the day. We recommend reapplying sunscreen every few hours to fortify your sun protection.
  • Stay Hydrated: Moisturising after you shower or bathe whilst your skin is still damp is a great way to lock in moisture and prevent dry skin. Moreover, drinking the outlined number of litres a day (2.7 for women and 3.7 for men) will keep your skin hydrated and nourished. Finally, a humidifier, which emits water vapour into the air is another method to retain moisture in turn preventing itchy skin.