Find your Perfect Facial Moisturizer Match Start the Quiz
CeraVe Skin Smarts Skin Concerns Itchy Skin Evaluating Your Itchy Skin Is It An Allergic Reaction Of Something More Serious


Itchy skin is characterized by an uncomfortable sensation that leaves you wanting to scratch your skin. But as tempting as it may be, scratching can actually worsen the intensity of your itch, potentially leading to skin injury, infection, or scarring. That’s why, when it comes to relieving itchy skin, the first step is to consult with a board-certified dermatologist. Your dermatologist can help explain what causes itchy skin and offer expert guidance on how to keep your skin feeling calm and hydrated. Below, we’re sharing some skincare tips to help you better understand and manage itchy skin, with the help of gentle, dermatologist-formulated skincare products.

What To Avoid When You Have Itchy Skin

Although the causes of itchy skin can vary from person to person, here are a few common aggravators you may want to avoid:

  • Rough fabrics, such as wool
  • Long, hot showers and baths
  • Excessive heat and temperature changes
  • Irritating soaps and detergents
  • Prolonged scratching
  • Stress

Why Is My Skin Itchy?

The first step to relieving itchy skin is identifying the source. According to the Cleveland Clinic, some of the most common causes of itchy skin are allergic reactions, pregnancy, dry skin, and reactions to certain medications.2 Keep reading to learn more about these itchy skin triggers, as well as others.

Hot water

Long, hot showers or baths can sometimes cause dry, itchy skin. To help prevent itchiness, the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends limiting bathing time to approximately 10 minutes or less and bathing with lukewarm water whenever possible.3

Dry skin

Dry skin is often considered to be the most common cause of itching. When skin loses too much moisture, it can disrupt the skin’s protective barrier, resulting in dry, itchy skin. To help soothe and hydrate dry skin, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends applying a fragrance-free cream or ointment that features beneficial ingredients like ceramides, urea, and dimethicone regularly.5

Skin irritants

Itchiness can occur after exposure to external irritants, such as harsh soaps, detergents, and rough fabrics (like wool). This type of itching may be temporarily reduced by eliminating the source of the itch or making minor adjustments to your usual routine, such as wearing loose-fitting cotton clothing.


The weather where you live can also impact how itchy your skin feels. Cold weather during the winter months, for example, is a known trigger of dry, itchy skin.  This is often due to harsh conditions that can strip moisture from your skin, like low temperatures, dry air, and chilly wind. In warm weather, some people experience a reaction known as heat rash—which is caused by blocked sweat glands and usually appears as tiny, itchy bumps. And while not directly caused by weather conditions, itchiness from poison ivy, poison oak, and bug bites may be more likely during the spring and summer months.

Itchy skin conditions

Certain skin conditions and medical illnesses may also play a role in itchy, uncomfortable skin. Eczema and psoriasis, for example, are two skin conditions that are often accompanied by itchy skin, per the Mayo Clinic.1 Always speak to your doctor if you suspect your itchy skin may be related to a skin condition or illness.


Skin loses moisture and becomes thinner with age, especially after age 65. This increased dryness can sometimes cause mature skin to feel itchy and uncomfortable. Learn more about mature skin and how to care for it in our simple anti-aging skincare routine.


Itchy skin can sometimes be the result of sunburn. This typically occurs about one to three days after the initial sun exposure. To help prevent sunburn-related itching, as well as visible sun damage, sun protection is key. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) recommends applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen daily (even on cloudy days), reapplying every two hours (as well as after swimming or sweating), and wearing protective clothing.6


Feeling stressed may worsen itchiness in some people. For this reason, it’s important to manage stress levels if you frequently experience itchy skin.

Can Allergies Cause Itchy Skin?

Some substances can trigger an allergic reaction when they come in contact with your skin. When this happens, you may experience intense itchiness and a red, bumpy skin rash, such as hives. Skin allergic reactions are different for each individual and can vary in severity, so it’s crucial to work with an allergist or dermatologist to correctly diagnose any allergies.

Some examples of possible skin allergens include latex, poison ivy, fragrances, and nickel found in jewelry, zippers, and other everyday items. Seasonal allergies (also known as allergic rhinitis) may also cause your skin to feel itchy during peak allergy seasons—especially around your eyes, nose, and mouth. 

How To Relieve Itchy Skin

Temporary itchiness is generally not a cause for concern, but if it persists for longer than six weeks, it may be what’s known as “chronic itch.” This type of itchy skin can interfere with day-to-day activities and should always be assessed and treated by a board-certified dermatologist. For at-home relief from temporary itchiness, dermatologists may recommend anti-itch creams, daily sunscreen usage, fragrance-free moisturizers, lukewarm showers, and soft fabrics. Cool washcloths are sometimes also suggested to help soothe itchy areas, per the Cleveland Clinic.2

CeraVe Products for Itchy Skin

Formulated with dermatologists, CeraVe’s range of skincare products for itchy skin are accepted by the National Eczema Association and designed to help you find temporary, yet long-lasting and fast-acting relief from itchiness. These products for itchy skin include:

Itch Relief Moisturizing Cream

Created for all skin types, CeraVe Itch Relieving Moisturizing Cream with 1% pramoxine hydrochloride is formulated to provide temporary relief from itching caused by dry skin, insect bites, sunburn, and minor skin irritations. This fragrance-free, steroid-free cream can be applied to itchy areas no more than three to four times per day, or as directed by a dermatologist.

Itch Relief Moisturizing Lotion

CeraVe Itch Relief Moisturizing Lotion is a clinically-tested anti-itch lotion formulated with 1% pramoxine hydrochloride, ceramides, dimethicone, and niacinamide. This anti-itch lotion has been found to provide relief within two minutes—and last for up to eight hours—with 100% of users experiencing relief in clinical studies.*

Hydrocortisone Anti-Itch Cream

CeraVe Hydrocortisone Anti-Itch Cream is an eczema treatment that provides temporary, yet long-lasting itch relief for extra-dry, flaky skin—as well as minor rashes, irritations, and bug bites. Formulated with hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and 1% hydrocortisone, our anti-itch cream works to help your skin retain its natural moisture while soothing extreme dryness, flakiness, and itching.

For help choosing the right products for your specific skin type and acne concerns, use our Find My Skincare Solution tool.

Stay Informed On All Things Skincare

Sign up to receive information about new products, skincare routines, tips, and special offers.*

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
Download Chrome