Itchy skin or pruritus in medical terms is an uncontrolled scratching sensation of the affected area for relief. Itching can occur all over the body or can be localized to a region. Itching may last for a short time or may also persist for a long time and gets worsened with repeated scratching. In most of the cases, itchy skin is not serious, but if there is any unexplained or intense itching all over the body, then medical attention is required.
There are numerous causes for itching which can range from a simple to a serious condition. The major causes of the itchy skin may include:
The symptoms may vary with the cause. Sometimes the skin may appear normal, but in other cases, the following symptoms can be noticed:
The following factors can increase the risk of developing itchy skin:
Repeated scratching of the itchy skin can lead to skin damage, bleeding, infections or scarring of the affected area. It may also affect the quality of life of the person.
The doctor will ask for the symptom and collects the history of the patient. Later, the doctor performs a physical examination of the skin. If the cause is not identified, the doctor may order for some laboratory tests, which may include:
Treatment is based on the cause of itchy skin and the below medications are available to relieve the itching:
Phototherapy (light therapy) is another method which involves the exposure of the affected skin to a certain wavelength of UV light in multiple sessions to relieve itching.
If there is an underlying cause such as kidney disease, thyroid problem or iron deficiency, then treatment will be provided to eliminate the cause in addition to the above medicines.
The following home remedies can help to soothe itchy skin to a large extent. However, it is always advisable to consult a doctor for diagnosis of the underlying cause:
Who are usually affected by acne? Most people with acne are aged between 12 and 25 but some older and younger people are affected. Boys are more commonly affected than girls.
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