All about each symptom of menopause
women going through menopause

Extremely Itchy Skin All Over the Body

While many people can relate to having an occasional itching sensation, some individuals experience extremely itchy skin that can be relentless and very irritating. There are numerous excessive itching causes - aging skin, allergens, eczema, contact irritants, dry skin, insect bites, and rashes - many of which can affect women during menopause.

Extremely Itchy Skin All Over the Body

Extremely Itchy Skin

Itchy skin can be categorized as either an acute itch or a chronic itch. A chronic itch is severe body itching that typically lasts more than six weeks. The intense itching can be all over the body or localized to specific spots. In menopausal women, the most common areas that experience really itchy skin are the elbows and the face. However, severe skin itching can occur anywhere on the body. Excessive itching of the skin is nearly impossible to ignore, and a constant urge to scratch the skin can lead to scratching during sleep or at times of distraction.

How to Prevent Extremely Itchy Skin

There are certain lifestyle changes that can be made to help prevent severe skin itching and dryness. Here are a few examples of simple measures to take to avoid extremely itchy skin:

  • Use a humidifier. A humidifier can add moisture in the air in your home, which will help prevent excessively dry skin.  

  • Use unperfumed products. Fragrance found in soaps, body washes, laundry detergents, and many other products are major skin irritants. Exclusively using unscented and hypoallergenic products will reduce risk of intense itching.

  • Wear soft and loose clothes. Clothing made with rough material, such as wool, can cause skin irritation. Cotton or silk are better fabrics for preventing super itchy skin.  

  • Avoid hot showers. Heat can cause dry skin and increase irritation; therefore, cold or lukewarm showers are better for retaining moisture in the skin.

Once itching has started, avoiding the consumption of spicy foods, alcohol, and caffeine can help keep the itching from getting worse.

Relieving Extremely Itchy Skin

Menopausal women who are experiencing extremely itchy skin can try a number of -home remedies to relieve the irritation. Cool water can be helpful for easing intense itching when applied on the area with a cold compress or in a cool shower. Many women take lukewarm baths using oatmeal or cornstarch for their skin-soothing abilities. Applying moisturizing creams or lotions to the skin has also proven helpful for alleviating irritation.

Excessive dry skin and intense itching can be debilitating, irritating, and sometimes painful. The constant urge to scratch the skin can be distracting and frustrating, so many women seek out ways to prevent and manage extreme skin itching. However, when at-home remedies are not successful in relieving severe body itching, it may be necessary to see a doctor and discuss itchy skin treatments.

Itchy Skin Rash

In addition to symptoms such as hot flashes, mood swings, and general aches and pains, many women suffer from itchy skin rashes during menopause.

6 Things You Should Know about Dry Skin during Menopause

Dry skin can be an occasional problem for everyone, but it becomes even more noticeable with age. Click here for 6 things to know about dry skin.

4 Areas Most Affected by Itchy Skin at Night

Skin irritation is uncomfortable in any situation, but when it causes constant, night-long scratching, it can make a night of restful sleep impossible.

Sources:
  • American Academy of Family Physicians. (2003). What Can I Do for Dry, Itchy Skin? Retrieved November 21, 2016, from http://www.aafp.org/afp/2003/0915/p1145.html
  • Cohen, K.R. et al. (2012). Pruritus in the Elderly. Pharmacy and Therapeutics, 227-232, 236-239.
  • Mayo Clinic. (2016). Itchy skin (pruritus). Retrieved November 21, 2016, from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/itchy-skin/manage/ptc-20262951
  • National Health Service UK. (2014) Itching - Treatment. Retrieved November 21, 2016, from http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Itching/Pages/Treatment.aspx
  • National Library of Medicine. (2015). Itching. Retrieved November 21, 2016, from https://medlineplus.gov/itching.html
  • National Library of Medicine. (2016). Medical Encyclopedia: Itching. Retrieved November 21, 2016, from https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/003217.htm