ZocdocAnswersWhy is my skin so sensitive?

Question

Why is my skin so sensitive?

Im an 18 year old in Orlando Florida. My skin seems to be extremely sensitive and causes a lot of irritation. Anything that causes friction against my skin seems to make me itch. It is to the point where putting on gloves or a long sleeve shirt will make my hands or arms itch. Sometimes taking benadryl allergy medicine helps with the sensitivity. So is the sensitivity some sort of allergy or caused by something else.

Answer

You should see your primary care doctor to help you sort this out. I would be interested to know if you ever see a rash or redness or dry, flaking skin with the itch. I wonder this, because it seems like the most likely possibility is that you have eczema. This is a condition that is caused by a deficiency of moisturizing molecules in the surface of the skin, leading to excessive dryness accompanied by itching, redness, and flaking or cracking of the skin. The treatment of eczema revolves around, first, preventing drying out the skin (avoiding irritating chemicals and soaps, avoiding over showering and the use of hot water) and, second, moisturizing the skin. You should moisturize at least daily, maybe multiple times a day, preferably using a thick, greasy moisturizer like hydrolated petrolatum. Standard lotions and creams are not thick enough to stay put and help with skin hydration. See your primary care doctor to confirm this diagnosis (or investigate alternative diagnoses). In addition to regular moisturizing, your doctor may feel that your condition warrants the use of a topical steroid cream to help decrease the inflammation and itching more quickly, especially if there are a few persistent areas that particularly bother you.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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