Dry Or Itchy Skin From Bathing
What causes itchy skin after bathing?
The most common cause for itching to occur after a shower is dryness of the skin. Dry air, soaps, hot water, can deplete the skin of essential oils and nutrients, making it dry. This makes the nerves more sensitive, causing one to feel itchy.
If your skin feels tight and itchy after bathing, you are not the only one experiencing this – there are ways to treat it:
- Pat dry instead of toweling off.
- Moisturize your skin while it’s still wet.
- Try a cooling agent after showering.
- Try microbubble bathing.
How can you treat dry skin?
Lifestyle and home remedies
The following measures can help keep your skin moist and healthy:
Moisturize. Moisturizers provide a seal over your skin to keep water from escaping. Apply moisturizer several times a day and after bathing. Thicker moisturizers work best, such as over-the-counter brands Eucerin and Cetaphil.
You may also want to use cosmetics that contain moisturizers. If your skin is extremely dry, you may want to apply an oil, such as baby oil, while your skin is still moist. Oil has more staying power than moisturizers do and prevents the evaporation of water from the surface of your skin. Another possibility is ointments that contain petroleum jelly (Vaseline, Aquaphor). These may feel greasy, so you might want to use them only at night.
- Use warm water and limit bath time. Long showers or baths and hot water remove oils from your skin. Limit your bath or shower to five to 10 minutes and use warm, not hot, water.
- Avoid harsh, drying soaps. It’s best to use cleansing creams or gentle skin cleansers and bath or shower gels with added moisturizers. Choose mild soaps that have added oils and fats. Avoid deodorant and antibacterial detergents, fragrance, and alcohol.
- Apply moisturizers immediately after bathing. Gently pat your skin dry with a towel so that some moisture remains. Within a couple of minutes of bathing, apply moisturizing cream or ointment to trap moisture in your skin. A product in which petrolatum is one of the top three ingredients may be best. Products containing glycerin, lactic acid or urea may also help.
- Use a humidifier. Hot, dry, indoor air can parch sensitive skin and worsen itching and flaking. A portable home humidifier or one attached to your furnace adds moisture to the air inside your home. Be sure to keep your humidifier clean.
Choose fabrics that are kind to your skin. Natural fibers, such as cotton and silk, allow your skin to breathe. But wool, although natural, can irritate even normal skin.
Wash your clothes with detergents without dyes or perfumes, both of which can irritate your skin.
If dry skin causes itching, apply cool compresses to the area. To reduce inflammation, use a nonprescription hydrocortisone cream or ointment, containing at least 1 percent hydrocortisone. If these measures don’t relieve your symptoms or if your symptoms worsen, see your doctor or consult a dermatologist.