If you’re feeling itchy, a rash can help you ID what’s going on. Red bumps? Likely, mosquito bites. An oozy flush of red? Poison ivy or oak. But itching without a rash? That can sometimes pose a more challenging road to diagnosis, since the reasons for chronic pruritus (aka itching in derm-speak) are vast and complex, says Meghan Feely, MD, FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist in New Jersey and New York City who serves as a clinical instructor at Mount Sinai’s Department of Dermatology.

The root of your itching could range from pure-and-simple dry skin to various health conditions. To find out why you’re itching without a rash, we rounded up common culprits with expert advice—including how to make the itch stop.

“The number one reason why people itch is simply dry skin,” says Alix J. Charles, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology. Also known as xerosis, dry skin can worsen (and start to flake, scale, and itch) due to peeling sunburn, dry climates, a drop in humidity, overuse of soap (which sucks out your skin’s natural oils), chlorine in pools, prolonged exposure to water in general, and aging (as your skin becomes thinner).

More in category

Jameela Jamil Just Opened Up About Her Suicide Attempt In Emotional Tweet Jameela Jamil Just Opened Up About Her Suicide Attempt In Emotional Tweet
October 12, 2019Prevention
Judge Orders Pause in Opioid Litigation Against Purdue Pharma and Sacklers Judge Orders Pause in Opioid Litigation Against Purdue Pharma and Sacklers
October 11, 2019The NY Times
What Is Oat Milk and Is It Actually Healthy? What Is Oat Milk and Is It Actually Healthy?
October 11, 2019Runner's World
16 Healthy Prerun Meals and Snacks 16 Healthy Prerun Meals and Snacks
October 11, 2019Runner's World
Are You a Slow Walker? You May Age Faster Are You a Slow Walker? You May Age Faster
October 11, 2019Runner's World
14 easy ways to jump-start your metabolism 14 easy ways to jump-start your metabolism
October 11, 2019MSN
Male breast cancer: What doctors need you to know Male breast cancer: What doctors need you to know
October 11, 2019MSN
'The face of heroin': Mom shares haunting before and after pics of addiction 'The face of heroin': Mom shares haunting before and after pics of addiction
October 11, 2019MSN
12 diseases doctors can detect through smell 12 diseases doctors can detect through smell
October 11, 2019MSN
Sarah Silverman talks needing to 'be funny to survive' in new documentary about mental health Sarah Silverman talks needing to 'be funny to survive' in new documentary about mental health
October 11, 2019MSN
If the doctor asks for your Social Security number, do this If the doctor asks for your Social Security number, do this
October 11, 2019MSN
5 gentle ways to heal emotionally after a miscarriage 5 gentle ways to heal emotionally after a miscarriage
October 11, 2019MSN
Why You Have Postpartum Night Sweats and How to Deal with Them Why You Have Postpartum Night Sweats and How to Deal with Them
October 10, 2019Shape
New Balance’s Sale Takes 15% off Shoes Over $99 New Balance’s Sale Takes 15% off Shoes Over $99
October 11, 2019Runner's World
New PSA warns that youth football is just as bad as giving a kid a cigarette New PSA warns that youth football is just as bad as giving a kid a cigarette
October 11, 2019MSN
When I had to choose between my health and how I worship When I had to choose between my health and how I worship
October 10, 2019MSN
Jennifer Lopez Loves These Leggings So Much, She Has Them In Three Different Colors Jennifer Lopez Loves These Leggings So Much, She Has Them In Three Different Colors
October 07, 2019Shape
Patients back in hospital after 'EVALI' vaping illness relapses Patients back in hospital after 'EVALI' vaping illness relapses
October 11, 2019MSN
The lifestyle changes that helped this mom lose 234 lbs. The lifestyle changes that helped this mom lose 234 lbs.
October 10, 2019MSN
U.S. vaping-related deaths rise to 29 U.S. vaping-related deaths rise to 29
October 11, 2019MSN
No Drop in Vaping Cases, C.D.C. Says No Drop in Vaping Cases, C.D.C. Says
October 11, 2019The NY Times