The skin on the chin is susceptible to various dermatological conditions, just like the rest of the body. Chin itching is one problem that affects many people at some point in their life. It may or may not be accompanied by a rash. Here we examine possible causes of an itchy chin as well as what you can do to relieve your skin of the itching and related symptoms.
Itchy Chin Superstition – Spiritual Meaning of Chin Itching
- 1 Itchy Chin Superstition – Spiritual Meaning of Chin Itching
- 2 Why Does My Chin Itch? – Itchy Chin Causes
- 3 Itchy Chin Remedies
- 4 References
What does it mean when my chin itches? Several medical reasons are given but those aside there is an old superstition that gives meaning to an itchy chin, saying that it is a sign of prosperity.
This is taken to mean that when your chin gets itchy, you will accumulate immense wealth. Itching is seen as a manifestation of human body’s connection with fortune. We will leave it at that though and let you decide if you want to believe any of that.
Why Does My Chin Itch? – Itchy Chin Causes
Below are some possible causes of itchy chin:
Some people get an itchy chin before an asthma attack. Asthma causes the air passages to swell and even close, leading to breathing difficulty. Other than an itchy rash on chin, you may experience the following early warning signs of an impending asthma attack:
- Runny or stuffy nose
- A persistent cough, especially at night
- Itchy or watery eyes
- Sore or itchy throat
- Dark circle under the eyes
- Itchy nose
- Eczema flare-up
- Mood swing (getting grumpy or exceptionally quiet)
- Pale or flushed face
The warning signs of an asthma attack vary from one person to another. They appear 24 to 48 hours ahead of an attack. Understanding these symptoms is important for people with asthma. It can help you avoid the actual attack by responding in time. When an actual asthma attack happens, the following symptoms are typically seen:
- Pressure (tightness) in the chest area
- Fast breathing
- Difficulty breathing out and getting out of breath easily
Now, why does asthma cause itchy chin? Medical experts think that the occurrence of itchy rash on the chin has to do with the connection between allergies and asthma. Allergens such as pollen and pet dander are known to trigger asthma attacks. The accompanying allergic reaction results in itching on different parts of the skin, in this case, the chin area.
According to Dr. Duane Gels, MD, an asthma specialist in Maryland, control of asthma helps to relieve chin itching. If you are asthmatic:
- Use your rescue inhaler and follow up with the action plan developed by your doctor to avoid the progression of an asthma attack.
- Avoid known triggers.
- Make use of your peak flow meter to monitor your breathing and respond to an impending asthma attack appropriately.
If you are not on asthma treatment but notice the symptoms of asthma listed above, seek medical attention immediately.
2. Dry Skin
Dry skin is another likely cause of itchy chin and neck, with no accompanying rash.
Dry skin can develop at any period of the year, but it is seen more in winter. This is because winter months are characterized by very low humidity levels which makes the air rob the skin of its moisture.
Windy environments and air conditioning in offices and homes can also have a similar effect on the chin or any other part of the skin.
Other common causes of dry skin and the associated itching include:
- Washing the face with harsh cleansers and soaps. Antiseptic soaps and soaps with heavy fragrances are a common culprit. The effect is often worse when hot water is used.
- Washing the face too often.
- Use of alcohol-based aftershave products.
- Excessive exposure to the sun.
Itchy chin from dry skin is easily treated by applying a suitable moisturizer. You will also want to protect your skin with sunscreen. Also, avoid using harsh products that you suspect could be drying your chin for a while to see if that helps to stop the problem.
Dry skin may be a symptom of an underlying condition that causes damage to the upper layers of the skin, hampering the skin’s moisture retention ability. In that case, moisturizing may only be a short-term remedy. If an itchy chin doesn’t respond to moisturizing, see your doctor.
3. Acne Rosacea
Acne rosacea – or simply rosacea if you like – can as well cause an itchy chin in adults. With this face condition, a distinct redness appears on the nose, cheeks, forehead, and chin. According to the National Rosacea Society, some rosacea patients report an itching, stinging, or burning sensation. Small blood vessels may also become visible on the surface of the reddened skin.
It is also possible to develop itchy pimple-like bumps on the chin, but these typically are not related to an actual acne breakout. As opposed to acne lesions, rosacea pimples (papulopustular rosacea) and bumps will have no whiteheads or blackheads.
The actual cause of rosacea is not known, and there is no cure. The condition is however in most cases effectively treated with topical antibiotics such as metronidazole, erythromycin, and clindamycin. Anti-inflammatory drugs can also be used to treat rosacea. Some severe cases of rosacea are often treated with an acne medication known as Isotretinoin.
Over the counter antihistamines such as Benadryl can also help to relieve an itchy chin – or any other part of the face – due to rosacea.
If you suspect rosacea, seek medical attention immediately. If left untreated it will typically worsen over time.
It is also advisable to avoid exposure to the sun with a good sunscreen as it worsens the symptoms. You will also want to avoid skin care products with camphor, alcohol, menthol, eucalyptus, and witch hazels.
4. Contact Dermatitis on Chin
A red itchy rash on chin and jawline is often an indication that your skin has come into contact with a substance either directly irritated it or caused an allergic reaction.
Irritation can, for example, occur when the chin comes into contact with harsh detergents, cosmetics, sunscreens, aftershave products, or saliva (in children especially). The term irritant contact dermatitis is used to describe the condition.
Allergic reactions, on the other hand, occur when you get exposed to something to which you are hypersensitive. This triggers a series of responses in the skin that result in histamine production, and ultimately an itchy rash. The term allergic contact dermatitis is used to describe this topically-induced allergic reaction.
Among the substances (allergens) most commonly responsible for this problem are:
- Poison ivy plant
- Dust mite
- Pet hair
- Chemicals in cosmetics and skin care products
- Topical antibiotic creams such as Neomycin (Neosporin)
- Nickel in clothing zips and metal closures, belts, and jewelry.
Treatment for an itchy rash on chin that is triggered by contact dermatitis encompasses avoiding the irritant or allergen coupled with itchy relief. Oral antihistamines such as Benadryl are usually sufficient for the itching.
5. Allergies (Allergic Reactions in the Body)
When ingested or inhaled, some substances trigger allergic reactions in the body that culminates in itchy skin. You can, for example, get an itchy chin after eating a particular food. In that case, the chances are that you are allergic to that particular food or some spices on the menu.
Food allergy aside, some people are also allergic to certain medications, e.g., ibuprofen. Drug allergy is associated with symptoms such as an itchy rash on the skin, hives, swelling, and wheezing. If you see these symptoms, see your doctor immediately.
6. Irritation of Hair Follicles from Shaving.
This causes itchy bumps on the chin and jawline and is seen more in men with curly hair. Hair follicle irritation from improper shaving is closely associated with the problem of ingrown hairs.
To avoid irritation, use new, sharp razors and avoid shaving close to the skin. As for relief of itching, a lotion with glycolic acid, e.g., Alpha Hydrox may be beneficial.
7. Other Possible Causes of Itchy Chin:
- Bug bites.
- Thyroid disease. Thyroid disease often causes itching skin with no rash in addition to other symptoms such as weight gain or loss for no plausible reason, voice changes, muscle weakness, altered heart rate, and cold or heat intolerance.
- Iron deficiency anemia.
Itchy Chin Remedies
The following home remedies can help to stop itching on the chin:
- Moisturize the skin around your chin. Use a high quality moisturizing lotion or cream such as Cetaphil, Eucerin, etc. Apply the cream no less than two times daily, paying close attention to the area most itchy.
- Apply a cool compress to the chin. Simply dip a clean washcloth in water, wring it out, and then place it on the chin. Repeat several times throughout the day to relieve the itching.
- Take a warm (not hot) bath. Consider adding a couple of tablespoons of baking soda to the bathing water. Adding uncooked oatmeal to bathwater, or a colloidal oatmeal preparation such as Aveeno also helps a skin itch immensely.
- Choose your skincare and laundry products carefully. You will want to avoid scented soaps and instead use mild soaps such as dove. Fragrance-free laundry detergents are also recommended. Still, make sure you rinse them from your clothes completely.
- Avoid exposure to skin irritants and allergens. These may include nickel in jewelry, perfumes, cosmetics, etc. eliminate any substance you suspect and see if the itchy chin goes away.
- Opt for cotton, loose-fitting clothing. As opposed to those made of wool and other synthetic substances, cotton fabrics are unlikely to irritate the skin.
- Avoid scratching the chin. This will only make an itchy chin worse.
- Avoid stressful events. Stress can make itching worse, says the Mayo Clinic. You can reduce stress using techniques such as yoga, meditation, and behavior modification therapy. Seeking professional counseling is also often helpful.
- American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology: Drug Allergies
- Mayo Clinic: Itchy skin (pruritus)
- National Rosacea Society: Rosacea FAQs
- SkinSight.com: Allergic Contact Dermatitis
- WebMD: Asthma Attack Symptoms and Warning Signs