Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Why does wetness or dampness make my skin itch?"
Any time I touch water or my skin gets damp, it starts itching. I have trouble taking showers and baths. What can I do? The itching/scratching really hurts.
You are probably suffering from some eczema. Eczema is an inflammatory condition in the skin that occurs when the the upper layers of the skin are lacking in hydration, which leads to redness, itching, and the like. It is very common for the symptoms of skin dryness to flare up after a shower. This is because the hot water and soap strips the protective oils off of the skin, causing it to dry out. You can avoid this by showering less frequently and by avoid long showers, very hot water, and strong soaps. Additionally, immediately after getting out of the shower you should towel off gently and apply a thick moisturizer to the skin to trap in moisture. The best moisturizers are the "greasy" ones that have a vaseline feel, as these last long and protect the skin better. Additionally, if there are any persistent red itchy spots, you could try applying over the counter hydrocortisone cream to relieve these symptoms. If these strategies do not work, then you should see your primary care doctor or your dermatologist. They will be able to prescribe stronger creams and other products that may work better for you in treating this condition!
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