Why Does My Skin Itch? Most Common Causes

According to the CDC, people who are overweight and those who have problems with their lymphatic system are more likely to get cellulitis. “People with compromised immune systems, including diabetes, are more at risk as well,” Anthony says.

Molluscum contagiosum is a viral infection that’s more common in children. Like impetigo, this rash disappears on its own. Unfortunately, it can take months and even years for these skin bumps to clear. (8)

Symptoms, which include itchy, red, and cracked skin that’s sometimes accompanied by hair loss, typically appear between 4 and 14 days after coming into contact with the fungus, according to the CDC.

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Eczema It’s a group of conditions that includes atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, seborrheic dermatitis, and others that inflame and dry out the skin. You might notice a red rash, serious itchiness, or thickened or scaly skin. Eczema can weaken the skin’s protective barrier and allow bacteria and other germs that live on the skin to go deeper, which can lead to more infection from bacteria like staph and viruses like herpes.

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The time between exposure and the development of symptoms varies depending on the type of rash.

It’s not unusual to experience strange sensations following a stroke. These can include itching, pins and needles, or the feeling that something is running over your skin.

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MRSA. This bacterial infection can be dangerous because it resists some antibiotics. That means antibiotics used to treat staph infections don’t work like they should. The rash usually shows up as painful red bumps that look like pimples or spider bites. It may be warm to the touch, and you might have a fever. This skin infection often shows up in schools, military barracks, nursing homes, and other places where people live in close quarters.

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This rash occurs only on parts of the skin exposed to the plant. Impetigo, on the other hand, can develop anywhere on the body and spread. Spreading happens when you scratch a lesion and then touch another part of your body. (11)

A brain tumor can cause generalized itching. This could be due to an allergic reaction to tumor-specific antigens or pressure on certain parts of the brain.

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The cause of this skin condition is not clear, but it may be due to a virus or bacteria. “There are outbreaks at certain times of the year, and it acts like a virus would act,” Weinberg adds.

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Otherwise, your provider will assess your health to determine the next steps. This may involve visiting a specialist such as a:

To diagnose a skin infection, your doctor will start off by looking at the affected area and any bumps or sores. They may also ask you about your symptoms. Since skin infections can result from many different types of germs, you may need lab tests to get a proper diagnosis. The doctor will collect samples of pus, fluids, or skin scrapings and send them to a lab for more testing. This will help them give you the right treatment.

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If you or your child has a cut, scrape, or insect bite, the staph or strep bacteria can invade the body and cause a superficial infection on the top layer of skin. (3)

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Ringworm, which has nothing to do with worms, is a common fungal skin infection.

Another factor that sets impetigo apart from other skin rashes is the underlying cause.

The good news is that impetigo is generally harmless and doesn’t cause severe complications in most people. If you choose not to treat the rash with antibiotics, there’s the risk of developing ecthyma (when impetigo penetrates a deeper layer of the skin). (3)

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When you develop a rash because you touched something that triggers a skin immune response, you have contact dermatitis.

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Ibuprofen

Itchiness is a side effect of quite a few types of medicine. An allergic reaction to medication can involve both itching and a rash.

Light-skinned people age 50 or older and those who’ve spent a lot of time outdoors without protecting the skin are more prone to getting actinic keratoses. “Your risk of getting actinic keratoses increases when having fair skin and not wearing hats or sunblock,” Davis says.

Pregnant women often develop tinea versicolor, Weinberg says. Those with compromised immune systems or people who take corticosteroids, have had an organ transplant, or diabetes are more susceptible to developing the condition, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Treatment includes topical antifungal medication and washes and sometimes prescription oral antifungals if the topical treatments don’t work, according to the AAD.

Why Does My Skin Itch? Most Common Causes

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If you think your skin may be infected, watch for these signs:

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Impetigo sores and blisters should be cleaned daily, treated with a topical antibiotic, and covered. After touching an impetigo lesion, wash your hands with warm, soapy water to help prevent the spread of the infection. (1,2)

Ringworm, also known as “tinea” or “dermatophytosis,” has nothing to do with a worm. The “ring” part of its name comes from its ring-shaped rash that’s red and itchy, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Rather than a worm, though, it’s caused by a contagious fungal infection that lives on skin, surfaces, or items like towels, clothes, and bedding.

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