Itching skin or pruritus is one of the common problems faced today by various people around the world. The itching usually affects specific areas and is accompanied by other signs, such as redness, irritated skin and bumps filled with clear fluid or pus. It may also be accompanied with scaling, darkening and thickening of skin (Hyperkeratosis).
There are many reasons for one to have an itchy skin.
Causes of Itchy Skin
- Skin diseases
- Internal diseases
- Irritants and Allergic conditions
Skin Diseases- Itchy skin is the predominant symptom in most of the skin diseases. Dryness of the skin is another common cause for itchy skin which usually results from environmental factors such as hot or cold weather with low humidity, long-term use of air conditioning or central heating, washing or bathing too much.
Following are the common skin diseases which can cause itching of skin:
- Eczema (Dermatitis)
- Urticaria (Hives)
- Lichen Planus
- Dry skin (Xerosis)
- Prurigo Nodularis
Internal diseases- If the itching is due to an internal disease, it usually affects the whole body. The skin may look otherwise normal except for the repeatedly scratched areas. There are many skin diseases that affect the nervous system also. The internal diseases which can lead to itching include :
- Liver disease
- Malabsorption of wheat (celiac disease)
- Kidney failure
- Iron deficiency anemia
- Thyroid problems
- Cancers like leukemia and lymphoma
- Multiple sclerosis
- Diabetes mellitus
- Shingles (herpes zoster).
Irritation and allergic conditions- Substances like wool, chemicals, soaps, poison ivy or cosmetics may cause an allergic reaction and can irritate the skin. Certain food allergies also may cause itching.
Other causes– Reactions to drugs, such as antibiotics, antifungals, narcotics, pain medications, bee stings can cause widespread rashes and itching. During pregnancy, some women experience itchy skin, especially on the abdomen, thighs, breasts and arms. Itchy skin conditions, such as dermatitis can also worsen during pregnancy.
How Can One Get Rid of an Itchy Skin?
- Skin care measures like moisturizing the skin with a good moisturizer, coconut oil, petroleum jelly or glycerin always helps skin stay soft and supple.
- Keeping the skin well hydrated is also important by drinking loads of water, homemade fruit juices and soups.
- Meditation and Pranayam helps one to alleviate stress. This helps the skin to breathe through its open pores and keeps it healthy.
- Harsh soaps and detergents, perfumes and some moisturizers are to be avoided as they irritate the skin. They may further make it dry and damage it.
- Avoid frequent intake of pain killers which may trigger some skin diseases like Lichen Planus.
- Avoid certain food allergens which one may be sensitive to like fish, ketchups, vinegar and excess of sour food which may trigger Psoriasis.
- Avoid rubbing or scratching the skin excessively as it may lead to a secondary infection and scarring.
- Use mild soaps or body washes for sensitive skin.
To know more about how homoeopathy can help your itchy skin, get in touch with Dr Rajesh Shah (MD Hom) at Lifeforce.