Skin Sensitivity & Itching

Most people will face some degree of itchiness or skin sensitivity in their lifetime. This is because these symptoms can be caused by a wide range of issues, from chronic skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema to underlying internal health issues like diabetes or liver disease. For this reason, it is helpful to see a qualified and experienced dermatologist to better understand the cause of your skin sensitivity and the best treatment options. Patients in the Glenview, Illinois area can turn to Dr. Liz Damstetter and the Reserve Dermatology team for effective treatment and relief from itching.

What Causes Skin Sensitivity?

There are many conditions that may result in skin sensitivity an itching. These include:

  • Skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis
  • Infections such as scabies
  • Insect bites
  • Burns
  • Scars
  • Irritation or allergic contact dermatitis
  • Internal diseases including liver disease, kidney disease, diabetes, or lymphoma
  • Nerve disorders
  • Psychiatric conditions

Liz Damstetter, MD

Board-Certified Dermatologist

Meet the Doctor

Symptoms of Skin Sensitivity

Skin sensitivity often results in itching, known by dermatologists as pruritus. This may be accompanied by redness, bumps, and rough or scaly texture as well as an urge to scratch the itchy skin. Excessive or repeated scratching can lead to further complications like raised or thickened skin, worsened redness or sensitivity, and even bleeding or infection. Scratching often intensifies symptoms, creating a cycle of itching and scratching for extended periods of time.


“I had a recent visit to Dr Damstetter’s clinic and would like to share my experience. I am a Navy vet(corpsman) and usually get seen at the VA but since we don’t have a Derm provider right now, I was fortunately sent out to her clinic to be evaluated. It’s a nice clinic in a nice area and was relatively easy to find. A pleasant Ms. Nancy at the front desk was helpful in completing the check-in process. Easy day. I did not have to wait long and was soon met by Dr. Damstetter’s assistant, who for classified reasons I will refer to as “Agent 8”. I am sure if she gets tired of providing excellent medical care, her slick-ninja skillset could get her a job with the CIA or MI6 maybe. Short story long, Agent 8 brought me back to the patient area, where I was introduced to Dr Damstetter, who was all the things you would want in a doctor: a knowledgeable provider with a great bedside manner. She gave me a thorough exam which did end up showing that I needed a minor procedure. No worries. I felt well taken care of throughout my visit. No one likes to have to see the doctor, but if you have a dermatological concern, this is a good place with good people who did great by me, and I am thankful to have been sent here.”

“Dr. Liz is truly the best dermatologist I’ve ever been to. She is attentive, kind, and genuinely cares about her patients and their overall skin health. I can not recommend her enough!!!”

“Wonderful experience here! The doctor took the time to educate me on a variety of cosmetic options and gave her candid opinion resulting in just the right amount of cosmetic adjustments! Her staff was delightful and attentive! I would highly recommend for general derm needs and cosmetic adjustments.”

“Dr. Damstetter was the first dermatologist I trusted to do my Botox. She is both knowledgeable and professional and did a fantastic job. I will be using her for any and all of my future needs.”

Diagnosing Skin Sensitivity

Because there is a large range of conditions that may contribute to skin sensitivity or itching, your dermatologist may need to work in coordination with other health care professionals to determine a diagnosis.

Dermatological conditions that can cause skin sensitivity or itching can typically be diagnosed through a visual exam and review of your health history. This includes issues like eczema, allergic contact dermatitis, psoriasis, and infections. In some rare cases, a biopsy may be required to rule out conditions. This involves removing a small amount of skin so it can be examined under a microscope.

If a dermatological condition does not appear to be the cause of your itching, Dr. Damstetter may refer you to another doctor for further testing, which may involve a blood test, x-rays, or other testing for liver, thyroid, or kidney function.

Treatment Options for Skin Sensitivity

Skin sensitivity and pruritus care requires adequate skin hydration and moisture, so for this reason a diligent skin care routine will be advised with an emphasis on skin barrier repair. Treatment for an inflammatory condition, or dermatitis, most commonly consists of topical medications such as corticosteroids, calcineurin inhibitors, or anesthetics. These reduce inflammation and itching to relieve symptoms. Other options include oral medications and light therapy to address the underlying causes of your itchiness.

At-home skin care routines and lifestyle habits can also improve your skin sensitivity and itchiness. Daily moisturizing using hypoallergenic or fragrance-free products can reduce sensitivity and hydrate the skin. Avoid products that can contribute to sensitivity, including wool clothing or harsh cleaning products. Over-the-counter antihistamines can reduce the itch sensation, and reducing stress or anxiety can help control symptoms for some patients. Finally, using a humidifier can reduce dryness, especially in colder months. During an appointment, Dr. Damstetter can offer advice regarding daily habits that can help control your sensitive skin symptoms.

View Dr. Damstetter’s Dry Skin SOS Products

Schedule an Appointment

To learn more about effective treatment options for skin sensitivity and itching, schedule an appointment with Dr. Liz Damstetter at Reserve Dermatology. Call our Glenview, IL office or contact us online to schedule your first appointment.

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