Causes of Itchy Eyes, Nose, Throat, and Skin

Itching is an annoying symptom. Whether it's due to allergies, an illness or something else, it can be bothersome, to say the least. Common parts of the body that may itch include the eyes, face, nose, throat, and skin. There are others as well, but we will focus on these here.

Woman scratching her nose
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Itchy Eyes

Itchy eyes affect all of us from time to time. Usually, it lasts only a few minutes and then goes away. But sometimes the itching can become overwhelming and last for hours, days or even longer. If your itchy eyes have gotten bad enough to truly interfere with your daily activities, you may have a condition that needs to be treated.

Common causes include:

  • Allergies: often cause redness and itching, but is not contagious
  • Pinkeye (conjunctivitis): may be caused by a bacteria or a virus, often highly contagious and common in young children
  • The common cold: occasionally
  • Contacts: people who wear contact lenses may experience itching due to irritation or infection

Although these are not all of the conditions that can cause itchy eyes, they are the most common. If you think your itchy eyes are caused by something else, contact your healthcare provider to discuss your symptoms and get checked out.

Any symptom that interferes with your daily life is something that you should discuss with your healthcare provider.

Itchy Nose

There are a few conditions that may cause an itchy nose. They include:

  • The common cold
  • Allergies or hay fever

If you have an itchy nose but do not believe a cold or allergies are the cause, you should consult your healthcare provider.

Itchy Throat

An itchy throat is enough to drive a person crazy when you can't get relief. It's important to know what is causing the itchy throat so that you know what to do to relieve the itching. The most common causes of itchy throats are:

Typically, taking medications such as antihistamines will help relieve the annoyance of an itchy throat. It may also be helpful to drink warm fluids (such as hot tea with honey) or eat cold foods (such as popsicles or ice cream). Throat lozenges and hard candy are a good option for adults and older children.

If you experience symptoms such as difficulty breathing and a rash along with itching, seek medical attention immediately because these may be signs of a life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis.

Itchy Skin

Itchy skin is more than just a minor annoyance for many people. It can get so bad that it interferes with daily life and makes it difficult to function. Depending on the cause, the itchy skin may be hard to treat. Some common causes of itchy skin include:

  • Seasonal and environmental allergies: allergies can cause itchy skin along with itching in the nose, throat, eyes, and face
  • Dry skin: patches of dry skin may be itchy
  • Eczema: flare-ups of eczema can be very itchy and can occur anywhere on the body
  • Fungal infections (ringworm, athlete’s foot, yeast infections): these fungal infections cause patches of very itchy skin
  • Rashes: there are many different types of rashes that cause itchy skin
  • Chickenpox: although it isn’t very common anymore in developed countries due to the varicella vaccine, chickenpox still occurs and leads to extremely itchy skin

This is not a complete list of all the reasons you could have itching. If you don't feel these causes apply to you, contact your healthcare provider for further evaluation.

9 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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Additional Reading
  • "The Itchy Eye: Diagnosis, Management of Ocular Pruritis". Ophthalmic Pearls. EyeNet Magazine. American Academy of Ophthalmology.

  • "Allergic Conjunctivitis." American Academy of Family Physicians.

  • "Allergies and Hay Fever." U.S Food and Drug Administration. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

  • "Tips to Remember: Allergic Skin Conditions." American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

  • "What's An Asthma Flare-Up?" Nemours Foundation.

By Kristina Duda, RN
Kristina Duda, BSN, RN, CPN, has been working in healthcare since 2002. She specializes in pediatrics and disease and infection prevention.