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Itchy Dead Skin

by
author image Nicki Howell
Nicki Howell started her professional writing career in 2002, specializing in areas such as health, fitness and personal finance. She has been published at health care websites, such as HealthTree, and is a ghostwriter for a variety of small health care organizations. She earned a Bachelor of Science in business administration from Portland State University.
Itchy Dead Skin
Oats and exfoliating brushes ready for an oatmeal bath. Photo Credit Zakharova_Natalia/iStock/Getty Images

Itchy skin, which is also called pruritus, is an uncomfortable skin issue. During outbreaks, skin cells tend to shed quicker, causing flakiness. Itchy, dead skin may be accompanied by redness, bumps and dry cracked skin, according to MayoClinic.com. Relieving the itch with medication and talking with your doctor to rule out an underlying health issue will assist in treating this condition.

Causes

Itchy, dead skin that isn’t accompanied by a rash is commonly caused by dry skin, according to MayoClinic.com. Itchy, dead skin is most common during weather changes, like hot or cold temperature changes. Low humidity levels are also to blame.

Treatments

Nonprescription antihistamines can provide some relief, according to MayoClinic.com. Hydrocorsteroid creams can also be applied to the skin to soothe itchiness. Try applying a wet dressing after using hydrocotestriod cream to help the medication absorb into the skin.

Avoid using hot water while bathing, which dries out the skin. Instead, take a cool bath with baking soda and uncooked oatmeal, recommends MayoClinic.com. This will assist in soothing the skin and sloughing off dead skin cells.

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Considerations

Avoid scratching itchy, dead skin, which can cause irritation and scarring. Scratching can also boost the changes of developing an infection. If the skin gets increasingly red or inflamed, consult your doctor. She can examine the skin and determine if you have an infection.

Also, use mild soaps that are free of perfumes. Laundry detergents should also be free of dyes or fragrances. Run an extra-rinse cycle on your washing machine to minimize irritants on clothes.

Misconceptions

Some people think that fragrances and dyes are the only skin irritants. However, cleaning products, nickel and jewelry can cause skin irritation as well. Start a log tracking when your skin becomes dry and flaky to determine your body’s triggers.

Warnings

If itchy, dead skin doesn’t go away with treatment, consult your doctor. Sometimes, underlying health issues are causing this problem. For example, internal diseases, iron deficiencies and thyroid issues may cause dry skin. Allergic reactions to soaps or wool can also cause itchy, dead skin. Drug reactions to antibiotics, pain medication and antifungal drugs may also be to blame, according to MayoClinic.com. Talking with your doctor will rule out these problems.

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References

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