LIFESTYLE & COMMUNITY

Skin And Nerve Disorders, Allergic Reactions And 3 Other Causes Of Itchy Skin

Date September 21, 2019 02:32

Itchy skin happens to everyone and in most cases, it's nothing to worry about since most of the cases are related to clothes or a bit of dry skin. The best way to describe itchiness is the urgent need for scratching it develops. Thus, it could be concluded that every time you feel the need to scratch, it can be characterized as itchy skin. However, itchy skin can also be a symptom of skin disorders and even severe underlying illnesses.

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Medically known as pruritus, the itchy skin sometimes needs a professional diagnosis if the cause is not apparent. Pruritus is common with all age groups, but seems to affect the elderly a bit more.

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Symptoms

Itchy skin can affect specific areas of the skin (localized) and seldom the entire body (generalized). Furthermore, depending on the cause, it can produce no physical symptoms on the skin or the area can be red and rough with bumps or blisters. Itchy skin will mainly be accompanied by the following symptoms:

  • redness;
  • raised skin and blisters;
  • dry, cracked skin;
  • scaly skin.

Itchiness can last from a couple of minutes up to an extended period depending on what caused it. Scratching is not the answer in either case as it can lead to injuries and infections.

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Causes

Causes of itching skin range from skin disorders, allergic reactions, nerve disorders, medicine reactions all the way to diseases which affect internal organs.

1. Skin disorders

First of all, dry skin (xerosis) should be mentioned as the most common cause although it is not a skin disorder per se. It has no distressing symptoms on the area affected, and it happens due to old age or excessive washing and showering.

Skin conditions come with their own apparent symptoms and are mainly localized. The most common ones:

  • dermatitis: skin inflammation;
  • eczema: a chronic disease characterized by a rash and scaly skin;
  • psoriasis: an autoimmune disease accompanied by skin redness and irritation.

Infections can also manifest as skin disorders with severe itchiness such as chicken pox, measles, fungal rashes, mites, etc.

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2. Allergic reactions and irritants

In allergic reactions and irritants, it is the contact with the substance which makes the skin itchy and red. Certain plants, insects, and materials are a common irritant for the majority of the population:

  • poison ivy;
  • oak;
  • mosquitoes;
  • wool;
  • perfumes;
  • soaps and dyes.

If you are experiencing itchiness every time you are in contact with a particular substance, you might be allergic. It is highly recommendable that you schedule an appointment with your physician. Note that even food allergies can cause itchy skin.

Skin And Nerve Disorders, Allergic Reactions And 3 Other Causes Of Itchy SkinSkin And Nerve Disorders, Allergic Reactions And 3 Other Causes Of Itchy SkinSkin And Nerve Disorders, Allergic Reactions And 3 Other Causes Of Itchy SkinSkin And Nerve Disorders, Allergic Reactions And 3 Other Causes Of Itchy Skin© Fabiosa

3. Nerve disorders

Diseases that affect the nervous system are a well-known culprit for itchy skin. Some of them are quite serious so if the itchiness is persistent, don't hesitate in getting an expert medical opinion. They include the following:

  • diabetes mellitus;
  • multiple sclerosis;
  • shingles;
  • neuropathy.

4. Medicine reactions

Antibiotics, antifungals, even painkillers are documented to cause rashes and generalized itching.

5. Internal organ diseases

As itchy skin causes go, internal organ diseases are by far the most dangerous. They usually cause generalized itching but with few or no observable symptoms on the skin. They include:

  • liver disease;
  • anemia;
  • leukemia;
  • thyroid gland conditions;
  • lymphoma;
  • severe kidney malfunction.

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When to ask for immediate medical attention.

In some cases, it is best to react swiftly and consult with your physician or a dermatologist. Some symptoms should serve as an alarm which requires an urgent doctor's appointment. See your doctor as soon as possible if:

  • itchiness lasting for more than two weeks;
  • itching so severe that it interferes with your everyday life;
  • itchiness comes and goes inexplicably;
  • tiredness, weight loss, fever, changes in bowel movement.

Source: MayoClinic, WebMD, HealthLine

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This article is purely for informational purposes. Do not self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for harm that may result from using the information stated in the article.

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