why does my face itch so bad
Itchy skin spots can be frustrating as well as annoying, especially when the urge to scratch is hard to resist. Your itchy skin spots can be a simple case of
or part of a skin condition with noticeable signs, like the hives or rash from an allergic reaction. However, in some cases the reason for the itch could be more serious. Diseases as varied as kidney failure, hepatitis, and can cause itching. A mole that starts to itch can be a warning sign of. The Leading Causes of Itchy Skin Spots Dry skin. Though you might think of rough, flaky patches as the biggest symptom of dry skin, dry skin can start by feeling itchy. Donвt expect to see a rash, but you can sense tightness as skin loses water. Eczema. Itchy skin spots may be from or dermatitis, the catch-all name for inflammation of the skin. There are a few types of eczemas or inflammatory skin conditions that cause itchy skin spots: Atopic dermatitis. Because it starts before the age of 5 in 90 percent of people, you probably already know if your itchy skin spots are from atopic (allergic) dermatitis. Though itвs a lifelong condition, atopic dermatitis often eases as you get older. Keep in mind that itchy skin spots can occur almost anywhere from feet, ankles, and knees to elbows, hands, and wrists, to the upper chest, neck, face, and even the eyelids. Irritant contact dermatitis. This is a reaction to a chemical, like a detergent in dish liquid or solvent. A skin reaction can happen immediately or progressively over time with lots of exposure to the particular irritant. Nickel в found in jewelry, metal snaps and hooks on clothing, earrings, and even the needles used to pierce ears в can cause earlobe dermatitis. Rubber, especially latex, can cause an allergic reaction can include itching, burning, hives, and more serious complications, depending on the severity of your allergy.
Dyes (like permanent hair dyes with paraphenylene-diamine) can cause itchy rashes, and chromates (used to dye shoe leather) can cause shoe dermatitis on feet. Chromates are also in some matches, and touching the unlit match can cause a reaction on your fingers. Neomycin, found in topical antibiotic ointments, lotions, creams, eye drops, and ear drops, can cause redness or irritation. Fragrances and preservatives in skin care and other health and beauty products can also be irritating. Fungal infections. There are a variety of skin infections due to fungi that cause itching, along with other, more severe symptoms like redness and scaling. Athleteвs foot, jock itch, and are examples. The Right Diagnosis, the Right Treatment While many conditions that cause itchy skin spots are treated the same way в starting with avoiding the substance that caused the reaction в itвs important to see a who can pinpoint which type of dermatitis you have and prescribe the most appropriate treatment. Sometimes a diagnosis can be made by the location or pattern of the rash; in other cases, a patch test might be needed, especially if an allergy is suspected. A blood test and an analysis of skin cells are other testing options. Whether you have itchy dry skin or another skin condition, tender care is often step one: Avoid soaps and harsh cleansers as well as hot water that can strip skin of protective oils. Apply a rich moisturizer while skin is still damp to create a protective barrier. Choose comfortable, loose clothing in light fabrics and try to keep your indoor temperature on the cool side.
For many types of dermatitis, itchy skin spots will also need the calming action of a topical corticosteroid, or an immunomodulator medication which decreases the immune response causing the itching. Sometimes an oral antihistamine is needed to stop the histamine-itch reaction. Itchy skin spots that turn out to be a blistering poison ivy, for example, may be soothed with old-fashioned home remedies like an oatmeal bath and calamine lotion. Some people with atopic dermatitis may also have another allergic condition, like asthma or hay fever, as well as food ; managing these with the help of an allergist as well as your dermatologist may improve your symptoms. And itching due to a fungal infection must be treated with antifungal medications. Avoiding Itchy Skin Triggers The key to relief is to stay away from the objects or ingredients that cause the itch. The problem is that being vigilant can be time-consuming, and itвs easy to become lax. However, reading the ingredient lists on beauty products as well as the fiber content on clothes, for instance, will steer you away from the moisturizer with a bothersome fragrance or the sweater that has 5 percent wool, if those are your triggers. After allergy skin testing, your dermatologist should be able to give you a list of your trigger irritants or allergens and possible substitutes. Once you know what troubles your skin, youвll know how to avoid getting those itchy skin spots. Itchiness primarily involving your face and neck suggests a relatively short list of possible causes, compared to more generalized itching. Itchiness localized to these areas usually arises due to inflammation of the involved skin, which can develop for a variety of reasons. Some underlying causes represent short-term conditions that can usually be easily remedied.
Other skin conditions that lead to itching of the face and neck are more chronic and require ongoing treatment. With contact dermatitis, skin directly exposed to an irritating or allergy-provoking substance becomes inflamed. This leads to an itchy red rash with either dryness and flaking or small blisters. Possible culprits for contact dermatitis on the face and neck include: Shampoo, hair conditioner and styling products Hair treatment products, including dyes, relaxers, and smoothing or permanent wave solutions Cosmetics, especially foundations or powders that are applied to both the face and neck Acrylic fingernails, glues and nail polishes (the face and neck areexposed by touching these areas with the hands) Seborrheic dermatitis (SD) is the adult version of cradle cap, which occurs in infants. While cradle cap clears up during infancy, adult SD usually persists long term. SD affects areas of body with an abundance of oil glands, including the scalp, forehead, eyebrows, ears and the central area of the face around the nose. The back of the neck along the hairline is often involved. With SD, the affected skin characteristically appears reddened with superficial flaking, much like severe dandruff. The affected areas are also typically itch, sometimes intensely. SD can develop at any age from adolescence through adulthood, with the peak age of onset from 40 to 60. The cause of SD remains poorly understood but overgrowth of a fungus called Malassezia appears to play a key role. Treatment typically involves use of topical antifungal and anti-inflammatory medicines. Oral medications might be needed if topical therapy fails. While pimples are the hallmark of acne, many people with this skin condition also experience itchiness.
According to a 2009 review article published in the international medical journal "Acta Dermato-Venereologica," research indicates that with mild to moderate acne experience intermittent itchiness. Although acne most often affects the face, the neck is also frequently involved. Additionally, people with acne often develop skin dryness and associated itchiness due to excessive washing of the face, overuse of over-the-counter acne treatments, or as a side effect of prescription acne medication. Ringworm of the scalp, or tinea capitis, is a fungal infection that occurs most often in children but also sometimes affects adolescents and adults, who usually contract the infection from a child. The infection can spread from the scalp to the eyebrows and eyelashes, and causes scaly patches that often itch -- although some people do no experience this symptom. Hair loss frequently occurs in infected areas. Recommended treatment includes oral and topical antifungal medications and medicated shampoo. As ringworm is contagious, it's important to take precautions to avoid spread to others, such as not sharing combs, hairbrushes, hair accessories and hats. Other skin and medical conditions can cause itchiness that might include but is rarely limited to just the face and neck. Some of the more common examples include: See you doctor if you experience persistent or recurring itchiness of your face and neck. Seek immediate medical attention if the itchiness is accompanied by signs or symptoms that might signal a serious allergic reaction, including: Swelling of the face, lips and/or tongue Reviewed and revised by: Tina M. St. John, M. D.
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