Itchy skin can be extremely
irritating. One of the biggest problems with itchy skin is that scratching
usually exacerbates the itchiness by further irritating the skin — despite the
fact that it provides immediate, yet temporary, relief.
Itchy skin can be caused by a
number of conditions:
Bees, wasps, flys, ants, mosquitoes
and spiders are just some of the insects whos bite can cause itchy skin.
The course of treatment will depend on which insect you have been
bitten by, with some insect bites requiring medical care. If you experience
symptoms like hives, swelling of the face, lips, or throat, breathing problems,
nausea or vomiting, call 000 as you could be experiencing anaphylaxis.
In most cases, however, treatments
available at your local pharmacy will be sufficient. Topical creams help by numbing the skin, relieving the urge to scratch. They
often contain antiseptic to help prevent infection. In some cases, an
antihistamine may also help to stop the itch. Your Capital Chemist pharmacist
can help you find the right treatment.
is an auto-immune disease where the immune system is overactive, causing new
skin cells to multiply at a faster-than-normal rate. This inflammatory skin
condition which affects roughly three per cent of all Australians.
Symptoms include red or flaky
patches on the skin called plaques which can crack and bleed. It can also cause
the skin to become itchy and irritated.
Psoriasis can occur on most parts
of the body, but is common on the scalp, knees, elbows, and lower back.
Unfortunately, there’s no known
cure for psoriasis — but there are treatments available that can help to manage
symptoms. These include topical creams or ointments, medication, and UV or
light therapy administered by a dermatologist.
Your Capital Chemist pharmacist can
walk you through some of the different treatment options that are available.
Eczema is also called atopic dermatitis, and it’s a condition that causes
the skin to become inflamed and itchy. You can have eczema at any age, however
it’s most common in children, with up to 20% of all Australian children under two experiencing the condition.
The main symptoms of eczema is
sensitive and dry skin that becomes swollen, red, thick, and extremely itchy. Eczema appears as a rash
that’s often found on the forehead, cheeks and scalp, as well as the torso,
knees, wrists, and the creases of the elbow.
There are lots of different treatment options available,
including steroid creams or ointments for persistent eczema, antihistamines,
non-steroidal prescription creams, and wet wraps or dressings to soothe
especially itchy skin.
There are also lifestyle options that can help, including
avoiding hot baths and bathing products with fragrance, keeping the skin
hydrated, and avoiding any known triggers.
Sometimes, the issue is that the
skin is just dry! Dry skin can be itchy and sensitive, and the level of
moisture in our skin can change depending on the weather and time of the year.
You may find that you need a richer cream in cool or dry climates to help keep
the skin hydrated.
Try putting moisturiser on as soon
as you get out of the shower or bath when the skin is still a little bit damp.
This can help to lock the moisture into the skin and keep it hydrated for
If you’re someone who doesn’t like
the feeling of heavy moisturiser on your skin throughout the day, you may find
it easier to apply a rich moisturising cream at night before you go to bed.
There are lots of different
skincare products available in-store. Your Capital Chemist pharmacist can help
you find the perfect formulation for your skin type.
Tinea is a fungal skin infection that’s often called ‘ringworm’ because
it sometimes forms a red rash with a pink central area. Tinea is common on the
scalp, nails, feet, body, or groin area. It will usually begin as a round patch
that soon becomes scaly before the centre clears, leaving a ring-shaped sore.
Tinea is highly contagious, and you
can catch it from skin to skin contact, animals, sharing personal items or
using communal bathing areas.
Tinea can be treated with
antifungal medicines like creams, gels, lotions or sprays, or as a nail paint,
as well as an antifungal laundry rinse to clean your clothes.
Allergies and Dermatitis
Itching can occur as an allergic
reaction to a plant, food, or chemical found in cosmetics, toiletries or
If you experience pain, swelling,
nausea, vomiting, or difficulty breathing, you could be having a severe
allergic reaction and call 000.
Itchiness as a result of a mild to
moderate allergic reaction can be treated with antihistamines, topical lotions
or creams, and by avoiding products with known irritants like fragrances.
If you’re experiencing itchy skin,
it’s important to speak to your pharmacist or doctor to discover what the cause
is and how you can treat your symptoms.