Causes and Treatment Options for itchy skin problems also known as Pruritus

By Skin & Hair Academy  |   August 21, 2015

Itchy skin (Pruritus) is an uncomfortable, irritating sensation that makes you want to scratch. It is the most frequent symptom in dermatology. With point prevalence of 13.5%, Itchy skin (Pruritus) has substantial impact on quality of life and emotional well-being.

 
Itchy skin may appear as
 
 
Possible causes of itchy skin include:

Dry skin due to environmental factors such as hot or cold weather with low humidity and washing or bathing too much

Internal diseases including kidney failure, iron deficiency anemia, thyroid problems and cancers

Nerve disorders such as multiple sclerosis, pinched nerves and shingles (herpes zoster)

Reactions to drugs, such as antibiotics, antifungal drugs or narcotic pain medications

During pregnancy, some women experience itchy skin, especially on the abdomen, thighs, breasts and arms.

Dry skin due to environmental factors such as hot or cold weather with low humidity and washing or bathing too much

 
Itchy Skin: Manifestations
Medications and skin healing
  • Corticosteroid creams. Applied topically, their usefulness is limited to short-term treatment as they can cause adverse effects, such as telangiectasia, atrophy, and striae if used long term.
  • Calcineurin inhibitors. Drugs, such as tacrolimus (Protopic) and pimecrolimus (Elidel) in cases when itchy area isn’t large.
  • Oral antihistamines. Includes over-the-counter drugs cetirizine and loratadine (that don’t make you sleepy), and diphenhydramine that make your sleepy.
  • Antidepressants. Selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors, such as fluoxetine and sertraline, may help reduce various types of skin itching.

When to see a doctor

  • Lasts more than two weeks and doesn’t improve with self-care measures
  • Is severe and distracts you from your daily routines or prevents you from sleeping
  • Can’t be easily explained
  • Affects your whole body
  • Is accompanied by other symptoms, such as extreme tiredness, weight loss, changes in bowel habits or urinary frequency, fever, or redness of the skin

References

[1]. Prevalence, correlates and characteristics of chronic pruritus: a population-based cross-sectional study. - PubMed - NCBI . [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21879245. [Accessed 07 October 2015].

[2]. Itchy skin - Mayo Clinic. 2015. Itchy skin - Mayo Clinic. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/itchy-skin/basics/definition/CON-20028460?p=1. [Accessed 07 October 2015].


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(19) Comments

User

I am 74 year male. i have itching in my hands arms and on my face for last two months. when i am taking medicine it cured for time and again itching problem. initially some part of my face was red for few days. otherwise i am fit and no other problem. i want permanent treatment if it there in ayurveda.

reply   10 February, 2016

chada.ananya@gmail.com

Hello, itching is common with allergic reaction. infections and infestations of the skin are another cause of itch. itching can also result from other conditions that affect the nerves, such as diabetes, shingles (herpes zoster), or multiple sclerosis. so, there could be an underlying health condition. we advise you to see an expert. thanks for contacting skin and hair academy!

reply   10 February, 2016

User

Hi dr, i have itching problem lot in. my leg anything i apply it start itching even parachute oil and i am.not able to sleep due to this reason and it burning lottt i keep wet cloth still it burns.. please help me asap

reply   18 February, 2016

chada.ananya@gmail.com

Hello, there can be many reasons behind itching, most common being ageing skin, atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis (poison ivy or poison oak), contact irritants (such as soaps, chemicals, or wool), dryness, hives. we advise you to get it examined by an expert. thanks for contacting skin and hair academy!

reply   18 February, 2016

User

I am 13 year old girl. i have a problem of psoraisis which causes itching to me and watery liquid comes out. i do not have m.c. problem. please suggest me any best doctor for psoraisis in homeopathic.

reply   18 February, 2016

User

I am 25 year old, i have an itching problem from two weeks in interior of my body,i scared about it i use ointment like qudriderm bt it's nt cure plz suggest good ointment or how i came out from this problem.,plz help me i'm nt able to tell tht itching problem to anybody plz help me..

reply   23 February, 2016

chada.ananya@gmail.com

Itching can be associated with a number of medical conditions, most commonly dry skin, skin diseases, allergies and diabetes. itching that doesn't seem to go away or recurs can be a sign of medical problem. we advise you to see a skin specialist to figure out the root cause, and get rid of it. thanks for contacting skin and hair academy!

reply   23 February, 2016

User

I have itching and immediate swelling in skin. what is the reason?

reply   26 February, 2016

chada.ananya@gmail.com

Itching can be associated with a number of medical conditions, most commonly dry skin, skin diseases, allergies and diabetes. itching that doesn't seem to go away or recurs can be a sign of medical problem. we advise you to see an expert to figure out the root cause, and get rid of it. thanks for contacting skin and hair academy!

reply   26 February, 2016

User

My skin is very dry . there is itching all over the body specially in my legs , hands and palms . i am under treatment since aug 2015 when i developed rashes on hands and boils and on the palms . the rashes which first continued to appear on different parts of the legs hands and body have , as a result of the treatment now been reduced to casual redness on skins which disappear if not contonuously scratched . ig e test that was conducted in sep 2015 showed 715.7 iu/ml against the normal 0-100 . during the treatment doctor used different diagnostic terms that are illegible on the prescription , but in jan 2016 the term appears to be flesural puritis . the treatment is done with tablets , skin creams and deep moisturisers . doctor says that the problem will go with setting in of summer . summer is here and itching has actually increased . skin is very dry and the costly creams and moisturisers given by my doctor appear to be not very effective . can you suggest some measures to get rid of this dry skin and itching problem .

reply   02 March, 2016

chada.ananya@gmail.com

We can understand your frustration about treatment approaches not having helped you in the past. since your symptoms are aggravated, we advise you to seek a second opinion to find a way out. thanks for contacting skin and hair academy!

reply   02 March, 2016

User

I am 19 years old i have this nonsense itching for more than a month. i consult a docter but yet i didn't relief from this..

reply   02 March, 2016

chada.ananya@gmail.com

There can be many reasons for itching. one common cause of itch is psychological. however, dry skin is perhaps the most common cause of itching. metabolic and hormone disorders, reactions to drugs, interruptions in bile flow and blood diseases and infections are among other reasons behind itching. this is also the reason ithcing is one of the most commonly misdiagnosed medical conditions. we advise you to seek a second opinion to figure out the root cause of itch. thanks for contacting skin and hair academy!

reply   02 March, 2016

User

I have itching my private parts with round scratches especially back and thighs..i consult many doctors then relieve for treatment period...after ine week itching again..i tested my blood and no abnormal conditions.

reply   04 March, 2016

chada.ananya@gmail.com

The foremost reasons behind itching in privates are skin irritation, sexually transmitted diseases and allergies. round marks on back and things are suggestive of an infection or disorder. since it would be difficult for us to comment on what is causing this, we advise you seek a second opinion to get to the root cause and get it treated.

reply   04 March, 2016

User

I am suffring from itching unddr gental area since 2yrs.also i used some medicine but they doesn't work. or its occers in summer sesion generly..

reply   20 March, 2016

chada.ananya@gmail.com

Hello, jock itch can be bothersome. it's typically a mild infection but requires immediate attention to minimize symptoms. most people find relief with topical antifungal medications. you should see a doctor who will inspect the affected area of skin and recommend you the best treatment approach. thanks for contacting skin and hair academy!

reply   20 March, 2016

User

I am having dry mouth , ulcer in mouth, itching all over body . bciz of his i cdn't eat and sleep have taken all types of allergic medicine and medicine from dermatologist , ayurveda,homeopathy. no use suffering for the past 3 months please help me

reply   22 March, 2016

Skin & hair academy

Stress is one of the common reasons for ulcers in the mouth. avoid junk food, sleep early at night and take sleep for at least 7-8 hours a day. itching has to be controlled with anti-allergy medicines.

reply   22 March, 2016
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