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why does my body itch after i take a shower

Itching, burning and tingling of the skin after exercising and taking hot baths can be caused by a condition called cholinergic urticaria. This is a sensitivity to sweat or heat. Symptoms are sometimes followed by an itchy rash. This condition is more common in people with allergies, asthma and atopic dermatitis. People without these conditions can have cholinergic urticaria, too. There is also a rare form of cholinergic urticaria that is inherited. Men and women can have this condition, but it seems to be more common in men.

It is most common between ages ten and thirty. Episodes are usually brief. They can last from half an hour to an hour. In severe cases there may be abdominal cramping, diarrhea, headaches and other symptoms. Cholinergic urticaria is a form of physical urticaria. Aquagenic urticaria appears in some people after exposure to water both cold and hot. Pressure urticaria can appear after pressure is applied to the skin.

People with one type of urticaria often have another type. An oral antihistamine can help reduce the symptoms of urticaria. See your doctor if your symptoms get worse. And take care of your skin by using a mild, unscented soap. If your skin is dry, use an unscented moisturizer after you wash.
A: Don't you love to end a cold day with a delicious hot soak in the tub? Maybe you're reading this magazine in the tub right now. In that case, I'm sorry to have to tell you to get out.

Itchiness is often the sign of excessive dryness precipitated by cold or dry air, soap, and bathing in hot water, says Jennifer Linder, MD, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at UC San Francisco. When the skin is very dry, it loses the protection of natural oils, which makes the nerves more sensitive (that's your itch). So grab a towel, pat yourself till you're only damp, and then slather your body with a rich lotion that contains lactic acid, glycerin, or panthenol.

Why only damp? Because as water evaporates off your skin, it leaves it drier than before your bath or shower. Applying lotion to damp skin locks in the moisture. Keep in mind: There's a world of terrific cleansers with added moisturizers, so you should consider switching from soap to one of them. (I especially like Caress Whipped Souffle Body Wash, $6. 50, and Cetaphil Restoraderm Skin Restoring Body Wash, $15, drugstores. ) More Beauty Advice from Val

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