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Our team aims to be not only thorough with its research, but also objective and unbiased. Depending on how severe someone’s case is, pruritus can be very uncomfortable, even debilitating. When someone’s doctor cannot figure out what’s causing their pruritus they will focus on treating their symptoms in order to reduce discomfort. Certain medications might be prescribed, including antihistamines or steroids, in some cases. Itchiness associated with pruritus might come and go or be chronic, lasting many months or even longer.
One of the most frustrating things about having pruritus? Most of the time when someone with pruritus scratches their skin it will only become itchier and more uncomfortable, which might result in scarring or an infection. If someone has pruritus that is NOT caused by a skin disease, then they commonly have normal-looking skin even though it still feels very itchy.
They might experience changes in their skin due to scratching, such as scabbing or dryness, but they won’t have other symptoms typically associated with common skin problems like allergies, a rash, bug bites, etc. Itchiness, which is sometimes accompanied by noticeable changes in the appearance of the skin, but not always. Signs of skin inflammation, including swelling and redness. Bumps, spots or blisters forming on the skin. Leathery or scaly texture to the skin. Sometimes scabbing, discoloration or long-term damage to your skin due to infection or other complications. Symptoms of pruritus will differ from person to person depending on the underlying cause.
Caucasians and those of Asian background. A number of conditions, both serious and not, can cause skin itchiness. Irritation due to use of harsh cosmetic, cleansing or beauty products, such as those made with fragrances, dyes and synthetic chemicals. Irritation can also be caused by wearing certain fabrics such as wool. Reactions to drugs, such as: antibiotics, narcotics, or antifungal drugs. Hormonal changes including pregnancy or menopause. It’s believed that pruritus is due to complex underlying mechanisms. These have to do with itch signals being transmitted through itch-selective C-fibers in the skin, triggering histamine and non-histaminergic neurons, and changing sensory messages sent between the brain and the skin. Pruritus liver disease — Some research suggests that up to 70 percent of people with cholestatic liver disease experience pruritus.
It’s also common in people with chronic viral hepatitis, especially hepatitis C. Pruritus ani is the term for itching and discomfort of the anal area. Pruritus vulvae — This is the term for itching of the vulva, the area of skin located just outside the vagina that comes into contact with clothes, soap, toilet paper, etc. Pruritus scroti — This is the term for itching of the scrotum in men, which is less common than itching of the vulvae in women. It can be caused by infections, topical irritation from products, reactions to medications, and skin conditions like dermatitis. Conventional Pruritus Treatment Treatment for pruritus will always depend on what is causing the itchiness in the first place. If you visit your doctor regarding your pruritus symptoms, he or she will likely perform a number of tests to rule out certain health conditions. These tests can include: full blood panel, thyroid test, renal function, liver enzymes, bilirubin and bile acids. Antihistamine medications or creams are commonly prescribed to patients with mild or moderate pruritus to help reduce itching.
There are also new treatments in the works for pruritus, including those that target underlying pathways of inflammation. Corticosteroid creams — These can be applied to itchy areas with a damp, cool cotton cloth. The skin can then be dressed to help with absorption of the cream. Vagal nerve stimulation, which is still in development. When your skin becomes very itchy the first thing you’ll want to do is scratch it. But, unfortunately, this only makes the problem worse. Scratching will likely cause your skin to feel even itchier.
Plus it can lead to scabbing and even permanent damage. If you leave itchy skin alone to heal and repair itself, the itching is more likely to go away or at least feel less intense. In order to prevent allergic reactions or irritation try to avoid using products on your skin that contain harsh chemicals, perfumes, dyes and drying agents. If you’ve recently started to use a new product and notice increased itching, then stop using the product to test if the itching gets any better. Adjust your environment so that your skin does not become overly dry, such as by minimizing use of indoor air conditions or heating systems and using a humidifier in your bedroom while you sleep. Before bed you can apply a natural, mild moisturizer to your skin to prevent dryness. Pour all of the ingredients into a mixing bowl and blend until the mixture is fluffy.
Apply liberally to dry skin, then store in a glass jar for future use. When itching becomes very uncomfortable try gently applying a cool, wet compress to your skin. You might also want to cover your skin with wet bandages and dressings if you can’t keep from itching. 3 drops of oil to a cotton ball. Rub coconut oil over your skin, then apply the essential oil to the affected area. Topical anesthetics, such as pramoxine, and creams that contain capsaicin might also be helpful. Eating a healthy diet — Try reducing or avoiding common food allergy culprits including gluten, dairy, peanuts, shellfish, and possibly eggs or nightshade vegetables. Some people with certain health conditions may also benefit from eating a low protein diet.
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