Keeping your hands off your itchy face is hard, but scratching will only make your condition worse. Learn how to treat the itch and keep it from returning.

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Itchy Face: Causes, Treatment, And Prevention

08/08/20238 min read

When your face itches, it can be more than just a nuisance. This problem can cause redness, pain, and embarrassment when it strikes in public. If you’re tired of dealing with your itchy face, you’re in the right spot.

We’ll share some of the most common causes of an itchy face and give you tips for treating it. Plus, we’ll offer some simple strategies you can use to prevent your face from getting itchy again.

Table Of Contents

Causes Of An Itchy Face

Woman scratching an itch on her face

The causes of an itchy face vary, from underlying skin conditions to environmental factors. Let’s take a look at some of the most common.

Dry Skin

If your face doesn’t have enough moisture, your natural skin barrier may not be as strong. And if this protective layer isn’t working correctly, irritants can more easily get under your skin.

When toxins, allergens, or other irritants enter your body, your skin cells — particularly the mast cells — release histamines to fight the intruders. This can lead to several effects, including itching.


Eczema is an umbrella term for chronic skin conditions that leave your skin itchy and irritated. It can occur anywhere on your body, including your face, neck, and hands.

More than 31 million people in the United States have this condition, making it one of the most common skin problems. It often begins during childhood, though adults can also experience eczema.

If your itchy face is from eczema, you’ll likely notice other signs associated with it. These could include patches of rough, dry skin. You may also see redness or darker-colored areas.


Like eczema, psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that can affect any part of your body, including your face.

Psoriasis typically causes patches of raised red or white skin with silvery scales. These areas can become itchy and inflamed, especially if you scratch them. They can also feel like they’re burning or stinging.


Unfortunately, the older you are, the drier your skin tends to become. The natural aging process causes your body to create less oil or sebum. As a result, your skin thins out and gets less supple with age.

So even if you never dealt with dry skin before, it can become an issue as you age. And as you know, dry skin is more likely to itch.


Woman examining her itchy acne

If you’re dealing with acne on your face, those pesky pimples could be the cause of your itchiness. This is especially true if you accidentally dry your skin out while fighting your zits.

It’s important not to overdo it with acne treatments, as many contain drying ingredients such as alcohol and acetone. While these chemicals can help clear up pimples, they can also leave your skin irritated and itchy.

Allergic Reactions

Allergens, such as pollen, pet dander, or dust mites, can cause your body to release histamines. When it does, you’re prone to notice the symptoms of seasonal allergies or hay fever, such as sneezing, coughing, and a runny nose.

These allergens can also leave your face feeling itchy, especially if the skin on your face comes directly into contact with them.

If you suspect allergies are playing a role in your itchy face, it’s best to speak to a doctor who can order an allergy test so you know what to avoid in the future.

Environmental Irritants

The environment around you isn’t always your friend. It contains numerous triggers that could cause your face to feel itchy. These include:

  • Chemicals found in detergents, fabric softeners, and cleaners
  • Pollutants, such as car exhaust
  • Extreme hot or cold temperatures
  • Wind
  • Chlorinated swimming pools
  • Cosmetics and facial products with harsh ingredients

While not everyone will react to each of these factors, one of them may be contributing to your itchy face. If you’re not sure this is the case, try keeping a skin journal. In it, track how your skin reacts to different environmental conditions so you can look for patterns.

Other Symptoms You May Experience

While itchiness is the primary symptom of an itchy face, that’s not the only thing you might notice. Other symptoms include:

  • Flushing or reddening of the skin
  • Puffiness in the face
  • Patches of dry skin
  • Rashes or hives
  • Raised bumps
  • Cracked skin

Keeping track of your other symptoms can also help you and your doctor narrow down the cause of your itchy face.

Treating An Itchy Face

Woman putting moisturizer on her itchy face

When your face itches, you want the feeling to go away as soon as possible. Depending on what’s causing your itchiness, several treatment options can provide relief.

Here are a few things you can try.

Apply Moisturizer

Dry skin is crying for moisture. To help keep your itchiness under control, don’t let your face become too dry.

Use a thick moisturizer twice a day, which can penetrate deep into your skin and provide long-lasting hydration.

Avoid Allergens And Irritants

If you’ve learned that certain things cause your face to feel itchy, do your best to avoid them. For example, look for hypoallergenic alternatives if you’re allergic to certain cosmetic products. Or, if you’re allergic to dogs, try to keep your distance.

Keep Your Face Clean

Dead skin cells, oil, and other debris collect on your face throughout the day. If you’re not regularly washing them off, these things can build up and leave you feeling itchy.

Wash your face twice a day with a mild cleanser to keep your skin happy. Opt for a cleanser formulated for dry skin so you don’t draw too much moisture out.

Use A Cold Compress

If you’re looking for immediate relief, try a cold compress. The coolness can help soothe the irritation and take away the itch.

Simply soak a paper towel or a washcloth in cold water. Then press it against your skin for about 10 minutes. You can repeat this process a couple of times throughout the day.

Pick The Right Skincare Products

When dealing with an itchy face, you can’t just grab any skin care product off the shelf and call it good. Instead, you’ve got to be diligent about reading labels and picking something that’ll work with your skin instead of against it.

If you have an underlying skin condition, look for products designed for that. For instance, you can use our Eczema Daily Calming Cream daily to relieve eczema symptoms and moisturize to help promote long-term healing.

Selecting gentle products can also help reduce the itch. Choose companies that use plant-based ingredients when possible, and avoid anything that includes harsh chemicals, like parabens.

Consult A Professional

If your itchy face persists or you’re concerned that it’s something more serious, see a doctor. They can evaluate your condition and help you create a personalized treatment plan.

Preventing Your Face From Itching

Woman no longer suffering from an itchy face

Now that you know some of the top causes and treatments for an itchy face, let’s talk about prevention.

While we can’t guarantee that your face will never itch again, these measures can help reduce the chances of it recurring:

  • Adopt a simple skincare routine that helps prevent dryness (try this one!)
  • Run a humidifier in your home
  • Wear sunscreen daily to prevent the sun’s rays from harming your skin’s natural barrier
  • Bundle up when it’s cold, and wrap a scarf around part of your face to protect it
  • Load up on healthy fats, proteins, and antioxidants in your meals
  • Keep your fingers off the itch; try to distract yourself
  • Do something relaxing every day to lower your stress levels
  • Regularly change your pillowcase so your face rests on clean linens
  • Wash your makeup brushes weekly to reduce bacteria build-up that could cause you to itch
  • Use a moisturizing face mask every week

To avoid feeling overwhelmed, pick one or two of these skincare tips to implement at a time. Then try a couple more.

Itchy Face, Begone!

Woman touching her face

An itchy face can be irritating and uncomfortable, but with proper treatment and care, you can keep it under control. Start by identifying what’s triggering your itch, and then treat your skin with the right product.

For instance, if eczema is a factor, try Bodewell products, like our Eczema Daily Calming Cream and Eczema Daily Calming Cream On-The-Go to hydrate your skin and relieve eczema-related symptoms.

And don’t forget to adopt a few preventative measures to help keep your face itch-free. Before long, you should see a difference in how your skin looks and feels.


National Eczema Association
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
National Library of Medicine

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