Wenn die Haut juckt

When the skin itches

It itches, it hurts, it's annoying! Itching can be quite unpleasant, especially if it lasts for a long time and just doesn't stop despite constant scratching. In most cases it is harmless and goes away on its own without any major measures, but in some cases it can last longer and indicate certain illnesses. But why does our skin itch and what can you do about it?

Itching – what is it anyway?

Itching is primarily one thing: extremely unpleasant. It triggers the desire to scratch, rub or rub yourself and can drive you crazy over time. But what exactly is itching anyway? Now it's getting scientific: These are free ends of nerve fibers that are located in the skin and are stimulated by certain stimuli. These stimuli can be anything: an insect crawling on your arm, a piece of clothing rubbing, or something as simple as a change in temperature. This stimulation is transmitted through the nerves to the brain as a signal for itching. But itching can also be triggered by the body itself in the form of chemical messengers. Itching automatically awakens the need in us to want to scratch, which temporarily suppresses the itching. But why is that so? The itch stimulates a nerve pathway that transmits the itch to the brain. Scratching triggers a pain impulse on another nerve pathway, which inhibits the itching nerve. Basically according to the motto: Where it itches, it can't hurt and where it hurts, it can't itch.

Causes of itching and what you can do about it

Skin that is too dry is often a cause of itching. In this case, moisturizing and moisturizing creams can be helpful, as can avoiding things that only dry out the skin even more, such as dry heating air or washing too often. Of course, especially in summer, insect bites can also trigger unpleasant itching, which can be suppressed by cooling or using suitable gels or creams. Creams containing urea, camphor, menthol, polidocanol or tannins have been shown to be very helpful in relieving itching. However, itching can also have other causes that have a long-term impact on those affected or can be a side effect of an illness such as neurodermatitis, diabetes or liver diseases. Some itching sensations can sometimes be traced back to the psychology that triggers the itching. If you suspect an illness or chronic itching, you should definitely consult a doctor.

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