When skin is dry, its protective barrier does not have the moisture and lipids it needs to work effectively and it is more prone to external irritants that may result in itching.
Scratching is a natural reaction, and may offer temporary relief, but frequent scratching can further exacerbate itching. Scratching can damage skin causing it thicken and send off further itch messages to the brain - and the itch cycle begins.
Excessive scratching can also damage skin and, when skin is damaged, it is less able to work as an effective barrier making it, and your body overall, more prone to infection. With this in mind, it’s important to take itchy skin seriously and to care for it at an early stage.
An itch can be triggered by a variety of stimuli − chemical, physical and psychological.
Dry skin is often itchy and there are a range of factors - both internal and external - that can cause skin dryness and, therefore, itching:
There are, of course, several factors that can trigger itching that are not related to dryness or skin disease but also disturb skin’s protective barrier. These include: