Itchy skin can be defined as irritating and uncomfortable skin condition that causes itching that cannot be controlled. There are number of reasons that cause itchy skin. In medical terms, it is called Pruritus and itchy skin can be indicative of internal disease also. Itchy skin is always seen with dryness, rough skin, with bumps lesions or blisters.
Unless your doctor identifies the correct cause for itchy skin, it may recur again or stay with you for prolonged time.
Itchy skin can occur in any part of your body like arms, legs, hands, scalp and face. Sometimes, there may not be any symptoms except itching and dryness on the skin. For some people, itchy skin is accompanied with redness, cracked skin, blisters or bumps on several places and scaly texture on the surface of the affected area.
Similarly, the intensity of itchiness may vary from one person to other. If you rub more on the area, it may cause more itching. Treating this condition of itchy skin is really challenging. You may not be able to carry out daily activities and for some people it may disturb their sleeping pattern.
Dry skin or xerosis is the main cause for itchy skin. Dryness can be caused by environmental factors like climate, exposure to sunlight or low humidity climate, staying too long on air conditioned room, or using water frequently. Dry skin can occur due to overdose of medicines, internal diseases and allergic reactions.
Sometimes, certain skin diseases like eczema, psoriasis, lice and chickenpox may produce itchy skin. But for these diseases, other symptoms are present.
Internal diseases like liver problem, celiac disease, kidney failure, and anemia and thyroid problems can trigger itchy skin. Certain types of cancerous cells also affect your skin causing severe itching. Nervous disorders like diabetics, multiple sclerosis, shingles and pinched nerves may cause itchy skin. Allergic reactions can occur due to change of cosmetics or soaps may cause itchy skin.
Your doctor will generally examine your body, looking for specific symptoms. He may ask you to do blood test, thyroid function test and X-ray to identify the underlying cause.
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Images, Pictures, Pics and Photos of Itchy Skin
Corticosteroid creams are given to control itching. Oral antihistamines are given to treat severe itching and allergic reactions. Your doctor will initiate treatment depending on the underlying cause of the disease. Phototherapy is given to the patient, wherein the affected areas of the skin are exposed to UV light.
Topical ointments and lotions are given to control the symptoms. You can take preventive measures to control itchy skin. Apply cool compresses on the affected area, followed by anti-itch cream or lotion. Use only mild soaps that do not contain chemicals. Wear soft cotton clothing and take warm bath with oatmeal to get relief.