Pruritus: What causes itchy skin?

Approximately 10% of people experience itching and are officially referred to as pruritus. You can have itchy skin due to severe conditions such as severe ivy, chicken pox, insect bites, or psoriasis and eczema. Occasionally, itching afflicts the entire body and afflicts one place only once. Itchy skin can last for more than a few weeks. Occasionally itching may occur with redness, rash, swelling or cracked skin, and sometimes it is not.

If you have itchy skin, you may want to know the cause. So you can figure out how to stop. In most cases this is not a big deal, and it can be as simple as following your grandmother's instructions. Do not scratch!

Here are some common causes of itching and how to prevent itching.

Causes of Pruritus

1.Dry skin

This is one of the most common causes of itchy skin and is generally rash free. Dry skin is especially common for elderly or smokers, those who spend too much time in the sun or use excessive skin products. It is also common in winter and dry environments.

Dry skin feels rough and flaky, but usually the red bump or lid should not be visible. Dry skin is often itchy.

The first strategy for dry skin is to moisturize 3-4 times a day. Reducing bath time or shower time can make your skin dry.

The next generic step is 1% hydrocortisone skin cream and is available at the counter. If it does not help after about a week, see a doctor. She can prescribe stronger steroid creams or antihistamines.

2. Atopic dermatitis

Atopic dermatitis is the most common form of eczema. It may appear dry, red and irritating. When it gets infected, you can also have small, fluid bumps that can break or peel off.

"The main element of eczema treatment is moisturizing. Carefully choose skin care products such as soap and avoid fragrance. Dry sheets, scratched cloth, and hot showers can worsen your condition. Topical steroids can help.

3. Allergic contact dermatitis

This itching usually occurs when you have allergic reactions or contact with sensitive substances such as chemicals, paints, wool or scents. Pouring or blistering may result in fluid leaks.

"Very commonly [allergic contact dermatitis] looks similar to eczema, but its distribution suggests there are more external stimuli.

Contact dermatitis may appear more than 72 hours after exposure and may be difficult to identify. In some cases, even if you have been using the same product (such as a frequently used shampoo) for years, it will suddenly appear unexpectedly.

Treat mild reactions between moisturizers and topical steroids and antihistamines that can be purchased without prescription. If you have a worse rash or swelling, consult your doctor. Do your best to determine what you responded to. So you can avoid it in the future.

4. Poison ivy

A classic example of allergic contact dermatitis is itchy rash and poison ivy when one touches three-leafed plants. When urushiol oil remains in the plant, the oil can reach the skin or spread by clothes or grass tools.

In the case of poison ivy, it will disappear in two to three weeks. Do your best to avoid scratching the itchy area. In addition to antihistamine preparations, prescription-free products such as Calamine Lotion and Hydrocortisone Cream are also helpful.

You can tame the itchy skin by dipping it in the cool water at home or by rubbing it with baking soda and water.

If the rash persists for more than 10 days from a week, occupies most of your body, or has fever or difficulty breathing, call your doctor or go to the emergency room.

5. Psoriasis
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that causes skin cells to experience a life cycle faster than normal. This means that cells form on the surface of the skin to form a scaly red patch that not only causes itching but is sometimes painful.

Plaque Psoriasis is the most common form of disease. Treatment depends on how serious the symptoms are.

"From time to time, topical therapy alone can help you escape, "People who progress to moderate or severe psoriasis begin to think of treatment from inside

6.Kidney disease

While your kidneys may feel unrelated to your skin, chronic kidney disease can cause itching. This type of itching usually affects large areas and is more severe at night.

"The kidney needs to remove toxins from the system. People with kidney diseases with kidney not functioning optimally can accumulate metabolites that can accumulate on the skin and become triggers.

In fact, about 40% of patients with end-stage renal disease may have itchy skin, which can seriously affect quality of life.

7. Liver disease

Like the kidneys, the liver is also involved in removing toxins from the body. In other words, liver problems can cause itching. Itching may be mild or severe, or may be widespread or limited to a specific area (such as palms or soles). It can also go on and on.

Itching associated with liver disease tends to worsen symptoms both when stressed and at night.

Moisturizers and warm baths relieve mild itch, while more severe itching requires medication.

8. Diabetes

Paralysis, tingling, pins and needles are all symptoms of diabetic neuropathy, a common complication of diabetes.

Itching is another process. People with diabetes is easy to fall into dry skin. The skin is prone to fungal infections such as athlete's foot and itching, which may cause itching in certain areas. The itching does not occur throughout the body, but tends to occur at specific sites.

If you use mild soap and other skin-care products, your bath or shower time may be too long. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. If the problem gets worse, talk to your doctor.

9. Shingles

Shingles is a malignant rash that can attack people with chickenpox at the beginning of life.

Chickenpox itself is a significant cause of itchy misery, but after the herpes zoster has disappeared, itching associated with herpes zoster occurs.
The skin is healed but there is residual itching in the area because the nerve is stimulated.

Varicella zoster virus causes chicken pox and herpes zoster, and there is no cure. Pain in shingles can be alleviated by some medications, but itching is a little tricky.

Although topical solutions may be helpful, they do not apply cream to activated lesions. Talk to your doctor about other treatments.

10. Multiple sclerosis

Like herpes zoster, itching caused by multiple sclerosis (MS) is the result of a neurological disorder. In this case, people with MS may have other skin conditions, such as psoriasis and insect bites, that cause itching, but there is no rash that indicates where they originated.

Dysfunctional itching and other MS sensory disturbances that appeal to pins and needles or pain are treated with systemic drugs that target the nerves. This is due to excessive neuronal activity, so basically you want to calm the nerves.

Steroid skin ointment is generally not helpful, but certain antidepressants and anticonvulsants can be very effective.

11. Cancer

Itching in rare cases can be a sign of cancer, usually blood cancer.
One example is red blood cell anemia, which affects the bone marrow. People with this condition can experience itching after a warm bath or shower with other symptoms such as headache, dizziness, and fatigue.

Sezary syndrome, a type of lymphoma, can be accompanied by rash, scaly skin and itching.

Patients with pancreatic cancer may have itchy - tumors that block the bile ducts, not the cancer itself.

Because some cancer treatments can cause itching, talk to your doctor about symptoms, including skin itching, while taking cancer treatment.


Itching can be a side effect of many drugs. Symptoms may also appear on dry skin, such as rashes or eczema. "Drug allergies usually appear as rashes and itching.

Some of the culprits are (a prescription can be purchased without a prescription) pain reliever, or a penicillin antibiotic such as Sulfa drugs, certain anti-psychotic and anti-seizure medications.

If you are taking this medicine and experience itchy skin, consult your doctor. You can change the dose or change the dose, but you can not stop or adjust the medication that is prescribed to you.
If you need to continue with medication, OTC antihistamines and ointments can help.

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