Itchy skin can be stressful and frustrating with or without a rash, your skin is trying to tell you something.

The constant feeling of itching can add to the discomfort, and there are many reasons why this is the case.

Understanding why your skin itches is the first step in treating the problem, says Alix J. Charles, a dermatologist and fellow at the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD).

We bring you a guide to the 10 most common culprits for itchy skin:

You are dehydrated

Dry skin, also known as xerosis, is one of the most common causes of chronic itching, says Meghan Feely, a dermatologist in New York.

This can be due to genetics, cold weather or even aging.

If you often swim, take hot baths or showers, or maybe you are pregnant (or conversely going through menopause), itchy skin can also increase.

Using a moisturizing body lotion and face cream can relieve itching by rehydrating your skin, but if that doesn't help, see a dermatologist for further evaluation.

A skin disease that is not properly treated

If the itching also comes with red patches, cracked skin, and the need to scratch is worse at night, you may have a skin condition, such as psoriasis, which is related to inflammation caused by the immune system, or eczema.

Fortunately, there are a number of treatments available for both conditions, including over-the-counter products, prescription treatment creams, oral or injectable medications, and phototherapy that targets irritated skin with UV rays.

Allergic reaction

If you've bought a new fabric softener or developed an allergy to something you haven't had before, itching may intensify — it's a common response to allergens, according to Prevention.

If you only have mild itching, identify the trigger and stop contact with it.

If you can't stop scratching, see a dermatologist.

Chronic itchy skin and rashes can be a sign of a more serious problem, such as an infection or disease.

Taking new drugs or you have increased the dose of existing drugs

If you have been prescribed certain medications or are taking medication for high blood pressure, the pills you are taking may be to blame for the constant itching.

If you notice that itchy skin is a possible side effect of a medication, talk to your doctor—adjusting the dose, checking for drug interactions, or trying anti-itch medications may help.

Mental health

The reason for your itching is not always on the surface of your skin.

If you're stressed, depressed, or feeling anxious, the chemical flow of serotonin and norepinephrine can cause your itch, especially if you don't have a rash.

Unbalanced hormones

Hormonal fluctuations can have powerful effects, including relentlessly itchy skin.

For example, if you're breastfeeding or going through menopause, you may have lower-than-usual levels of estrogen, which can have a cascade of bodily effects, including itching.

Avoiding harsh soaps and detergents and regular moisturizer can ease discomfort.

You are pregnant

Dry skin and an ever-growing belly add to itchy skin for moms-to-be, but severe itching on the palms, feet, and torso may indicate intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (ICP), a condition in which liver function Your liver is damaged by a temporary build-up of bile, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Itching tends to appear in the third trimester and can cause complications, so if you notice this type of localized itching, be sure to see your doctor and gynecologist.

Animal bites or stings

When any type of bug bites you, it has the potential to inject foreign substances into your body, which your immune system will attack with histamine, a compound that causes itching.

Then, if necessary, get rid of the source and apply antiseptic creams or lotions.

Neuropathic itching

Neuropathic itch is caused by nerve damage.

It's rare and happens when your nervous system sends signals that a part of your body itches.

The itching in question is often accompanied by pain, stiffness and burning.

It can be caused by diseases or disorders of the central nervous system or peripheral nervous system.

If someone suffers from multiple sclerosis, the itching in question usually occurs in a specific part of the body, usually on both sides – for example, both arms or legs.

Something else is going on and your body is trying to let you know

Although a rare phenomenon, sometimes itchy skin can serve as an alarm for deeper health problems.

Prolonged itching without a rash can be a sign of systemic conditions such as blood diseases, diabetes, kidney disease, liver disease, infections such as hepatitis B or C, HIV, or an overactive thyroid.

In some cases, it can also be a sign of skin cancer.

If you're really not sure what or who is to blame for the itching, it's important to see a doctor.