An itch that warns of an external discomfort An itch that warns of an external discomfort

An itch that warns of an external discomfort

Prevention 11 September, 2016 Isabel Vallejo


Dry skin, heat, and allergies cause itchy skin. This discomfort can be often kept at bay, but in some cases it can get out of control, becoming unbearable.

According to the Mejor con Salud portal, skin reacts to stimuli when it considers that it’s under attack. This way, it prevents threats and defends itself from them. As a consequence, it presents an itch, which is known in scientific terms as pruritus. It is an alert sent by the organ for the person to notice that something is happening.

Scratching, on the other hand, is an automatic and unconscious reaction from the individual. The sensation of relief caused by this action is immediate. However, scratching repeatedly has secondary effects, such as extending the pruritus, and with it, the agents that are causing the itch to other areas of the body.

On the one hand, it is advisable for the person to turn to their physician to find a reason for the itch with specialized help. On the other, avoid scratching, as the itch tends to disappear on its own, as well as the dermal inflammation.

What disorders cause an itch?

  •        Hives: pink-colored welts appear for a few hours, and then they appear elsewhere. These do not last longer than six weeks in mild cases. Pay attention to determine whether these are caused by an external or internal agent, especially medicines and foods.
  •        Insect bites: these characteristic welts appear because the person is allergic to the saliva of the parasite that sucks off their blood. In some cases, they become larger and more bothersome.
  •        Itchy scalp: it happens due to different alterations in the scalp’s dermis.
  •        Itchy eyes: this condition is produced by biological factors such as allergy, physical ones like light, or chemical ones, such as air pollution or the use of a cleaning solution in aerosol.
  •        Generally itchy skin: it may appear due to having a very dry dermis, perspiration, heat, allergy, or a microorganism in the air, such as dust.

On average, a person has two square meters of skin, which is directly exposed to different agents.