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What Causes Itching All Over?

Hives typically stem from an allergic reaction.
An allergic reaction to soap or body wash could cause itching all over.
Anti-itch cream can be applied to alleviate the symptoms of hives.
Severe itching may be a sign of a skin disorder.
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  • Written By: Brandon May
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 23 August 2014
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The causes of itching all over the body can range anywhere from allergies and skin disorders to scabies and pregnancy. Itching on the body can become frustrating and uncomfortable in many situations due to its pervasiveness, but can be treated by addressing the actual cause of the itching. When the cause of itching all over the body is unknown, it can become much more difficult to treat, but not necessarily impossible. Sensations of itching on the body should not be too alarming unless it persists and escalates; then it needs to be addressed immediately.

Many times, itching all over the body stems from the body's natural defense mechanisms when exposed to an allergenic substance. The body may recognize a certain substance as threatening, such as a certain food or substance in the environment, and sends out signals to attack this substance to defend itself. This may cause the production of rashes on the body which provide itching and even burning in severe cases. Many times treatment involves weeding out the allergenic substance from the environment or diet to prevent future rashes and itching, whereas other treatments for the present itching involve medicated ointment or moisturizers.

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Certain skin disorders which erupt on various parts of the body, such as psoriasis, can produce severe itching all over the body. Small, red dots which appear all over the skin and are accompanied with body itching are the main sign that psoriasis is occurring on the body. It could also be a sign of hives due to an allergic reaction, however, both should be addressed to a doctor or allergy specialist. Treatments for eruptive psoriasis include medicated lotions or ointments or specialized skin washes and scrubs which are available from many dermatology centers and medical offices.

Scabies, a skin rash or disorder caused by a bug mite which inhabits the inner layer of the skin, may increase the production of itching all over. Treating itching on the skin due to scabies involves eliminating all clothes or items infested with the bug mites and applying medicated lotions to the skin as directed by a doctor. Itching tends to persists for a couple of weeks after removing the bug mites from the skin, so treatment for scabies is not often a quick solution. Another common cause for itching all over the body is due to pregnancy when the skin stretches, and this itching can also be tamed by moisturizing or applying body creams to the skin.

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discographer
Post 3

@burcidi-- Mites sound highly plausible in your case. It might also be an allergic reaction to pets, mold, or personal care products.

Itching all over the body with no rash could also be a side effect of medications. I'm on thyroid medication because I have hyperthyroidism. When I started the medication, my skin itched all over for several days. The same thing happened when I increased my dose two weeks ago. So that's something else to consider if you don't have other symptoms.

burcidi
Post 2

I think I have mites. I traveled for work last week and stayed at a hotel. Ever since I got home, I have itchy skin all over. I hope I didn't bring mites from the hotel.

bear78
Post 1

For a brief period, I suffered from a water allergy that caused my skin to itch all over. I went to visit my friend in the city and something in the city water made my skin react. I had no apparent rash, but my entire body was itching nonstop.

I went to see a doctor there who told me that I have a water allergy and that I should take very quick showers and avoid water otherwise. I took an allergy medication during my stay. When I went back home, the itching stopped by itself.

It sounds crazy, but there is such a thing as a water allergy.

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