Skin irritation treatment online

What is skin irritation?

Skin irritation is a very common medical complaint. In fact, most people will suffer from skin irritation or rashes at one point or another during their lives. Depending on the cause of the irritation, your skin may appear normal, red, rough or bumpy in the affected areas. It may also feel dry, itchy, or painful, impacting daily life. Even mild skin irritation can get in the way of enjoying normal activities.

Sometimes, the cause of skin irritation is clear. For example, you may be allergic to latex, have come into contact with a plant like poison ivy, or have a common skin condition such as eczema or psoriasis. In other cases, rashes, skin irritation and itchy skin appear for no clear reason. In this case, finding out the cause is the first step to getting proper treatment and stopping the burning, itching, redness and dryness you feel.

Symptoms of skin irritation

Skin irritation can affect both small and large areas of the skin. Some people discover that small, isolated areas of the body become inflamed or red. Others may see far larger patches of skin becoming affected, sometimes even across the whole body.

Skin irritation is most often associated with:

  • Redness
  • Dry skin
  • Itchy skin
  • Cracked or damaged skin
  • Bumps on the skin
  • Spots or blisters
  • Leathery or scaly patches

Sometimes the discomfort of skin irritation lasts only a short time and goes away on its own. In other cases, it can be long-lasting and intense. While many people scratch irritated skin looking for short-term relief, often this causes the affected areas to only get itchier or more painful over time. Breaking the itch-scratch cycle can be difficult. However, it is an important step to recovery, particularly because broken skin can easily become infected.

What causes skin irritation

There are dozens of possible causes of skin irritation. These range from skin contact with substances you are allergic or sensitive to (resulting in a condition called contact dermatitis), to food allergies, insect bites, viruses, genetic skin conditions and even neurological disorders. Getting a diagnosis from a medical professional is key to effective treatment.

Causes of skin irritation and rashes include:

  • Skin conditions. There are many different skin conditions that may be responsible for the symptoms and irritation that you feel. Examples include dry skin, contact dermatitis, eczema such as, atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, and hives. Your skin irritation may also be caused by a burn, insect bite, parasite (such as scabies) or sunburn. A qualified medical professional will be able to understand your symptoms and give you an accurate diagnosis and reason for your skin irritation.
  • Internal medical conditions. In most cases, skin irritation only affects the surface of the skin. However, particularly among older people, persistent itching and irritation of the skin may be a sign of a more serious underlying illness. Examples include liver disease, anemia, kidney disease, diabetes, autoimmune disease, thyroid disorders or even certain types of cancer.
  • Nerve conditions. Sometimes, inflammation or damage to the body’s nerves can cause the skin above them to feel irritated or itchy. Examples of nerve conditions that can cause itching, pain and skin irritation include multiple sclerosis, pinched nerves and shingles.
  • Allergic reactions. Every day, we come into contact with many different substances in our environments. Some of these, such as household chemicals, soaps and other substances can be allergens, irritating the skin and causing rashes and itching. Reactions to certain medications can also cause itching and irritation. An allergic reaction can even happen due to certain foods that you eat.
  • Psychiatric disorders. In a small number of people, psychological disorders are behind uncomfortable skin sensations or scratching of the skin. Examples include anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder and depression.

Understanding the cause behind skin irritation and skin rashes can be complex. That’s why it’s always important to talk to a healthcare provider about your symptoms. You can also get skin irritation treatment online, meaning same-day diagnosis and treatment with a qualified doctor.

Skin irritation treatment

If you are suffering from skin irritation, you will be glad to hear that irritated skin can often be alleviated at home with simple remedies. However, if the irritation or discomfort lasts, or reappears quickly, you should always seek medical advice.

Some common ways to soothe skin irritation include:

  • Apply a cold, wet cloth or ice pack to the skin
  • Use fragrance-free skin products, soaps, and detergentsStop using highly fragranced skin products, soaps, or detergents
  • Take an oatmeal bath, which is soothing
  • Moisturize your skin with a fragrance-free moisturizer
  • Apply topical anesthetics
  • Apply over-the-counter corticosteroids, such as hydrocortisone cream to the affected area to reduce inflammation
  • Use cooling agents on the skin, such as calamine or aloe vera
  • Bathe with lukewarm water, not hot
  • Change your skincare products for hyponon-allergenic alternatives
  • Wear cotton clothes that fit loosely and comfortably
  • Use a humidifier to tackle skin dryness
  • Try using over-the-counter antihistamines, such as Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) for general itching. Do not drive after taking Benadryl as this medication can make you drowsy.
  • Use a fragrance-free sunscreen to help protect skin
  • Apply calming ointments with moisturizing properties, such as products made with aloe vera, shea butter, or jojoba oil

When using over-the counter medications, follow the directions as listed on the label or box and/or use as directed by your healthcare provider or pharmacist.

If symptoms continue or get worse, you should always consult your doctor, even if the remedies above provide some short-term relief. With Babylon Health, you can get treatment for skin irritation online from a qualified medical professional in the comfort of your own home.

FAQs

When should I see a doctor if I have skin irritation?

Sometimes skin irritation appears and clears up on its own. However, any time skin irritation lasts a long time or affects a large part of the body, you should consult a medical professional. The length of time for an in-personSome dermatologists have long waitlists for in-person consultations may vary. However, it’s easy to get help with skin irritation treatment online with a registered medical practitioner. All you need to do is undergo a brief virtual consultation and explain your symptoms. Once your doctor understands your condition, they can prescribe the treatment that you need. However, if you have any symptoms such as difficulty breathing or fever along with a skin rash, you should go into the emergency room to be evaluated.

How can I soothe irritated skin around my eyes?

The skin on the eyelid is unique because it is thinner than the rest of the skin on the body and also lacks the fat which cushions the rest of the body’s skin. The result is that the eyelids are more prone to dryness, irritation, itchiness, and other skin conditions. To help soothe the skin, first, stop using any makeup or fragranced creams around the eyes as these may cause irritation and lead to contact dermatitis, a type of skin inflammation. If extra moisturization with a mild fragrance-free face cream or lotion does not help with symptoms, it is best to consult a doctor.

Can sweat cause skin irritation?

If very hot weather has you sweaty and itching, you may be suffering from heat rash. Heat rash occurs when the skin's sweat glands become blocked, meaning sweat cannot evaporate properly. This blockage causes inflammation that results in a rash. Common symptoms of heat rash include red bumps on the skin, and a prickly or itchy feeling. Heat rash usually fades when the skin is allowed to cool. However, consult with a medical professional if the area becomes infected. Signs of infection are fever, swelling or warmth to your skin that worsens/spreads, or yellow-colored drainage from the skin.

Does aloe vera help soothe irritated skin?

Aloe vera has been used as a soothing skin remedy for over 6,000 years. It is a hydrating gel that in some cases may soothe skin, calm swelling, and stimulate circulation. Aloe vera may help speed up the healing of certain mild rashes caused by dry skin and irritation, and soothe conditions such as eczema. If aloe vera does not work for you, consult your healthcare professional as you may need a prescription skin cream.

How can I soothe irritated skin after waxing?

After waxing, skin may feel hot, irritated, itchy or burn. To help ease the inflammation, you can apply a cool compress or take a cool shower. Make sure to wear loose-fitting clothing to avoid further irritation. You can also apply an over-the-counter cortisone cream on the waxed area to help reduce the redness and inflammation. Remember to avoid any perfumed products or lotions, which can further irritate and inflame the skin.

The information provided is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Seek the advice of a doctor with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never delay seeking or disregard professional medical advice because of something you have read here.