Pruritis of the skin

What is Pruritus of the Skin?

Pruritus or itchiness of the skin is a common symptom associated with various skin diseases, including dry skin, eczema, and insect bites. Pruritus is often accompanied by a feeling of irritation and can lead to scratching, which can further irritate the skin. Pruritus typically occurs in areas that are difficult to reach, such as the scalp, back, or wrists. It may also occur in areas where skin is particularly sensitive, such as the face, neck, and groin.

Causes of Pruritus of the Skin

Pruritus of the skin is caused by a variety of different things, from genetic conditions to environmental factors. Some of the most common causes of pruritus include:

  • Allergic reactions: An allergic response can cause the body to release histamine and other chemicals that lead to itching and other skin irritations. Allergies can be caused by exposure to dust mites, plants, or certain medications.
  • Skin infections: Bacterial and fungal infections can cause intense itching over a wide area. If left untreated, these infections can lead to more serious skin disorders.
  • Dry skin: A lack of natural oils or thickeners in the skin can cause dryness and itching. This can be especially common during colder weather or frequent bathing.
  • Iron or copper deficiency: When the body is low in iron or copper, it may lead to itching in some individuals.
  • Nerve damage: Following a traumatic injury, some individuals may experience nerve damage that causes itching in the affected area.

Treatment for Pruritus of the Skin

The treatment for pruritus of the skin depends on the underlying cause. Some common treatments include:

  • Topical corticosteroids: These creams and ointments can reduce inflammation and itching caused by an allergic reaction or infection.
  • Antihistamines: Antihistamines can be taken orally or applied topically to decrease itching caused by an allergic reaction.
  • Moisturizers: To treat dry skin, moisturizers can be applied daily to restore natural oils and prevent itching.
  • Iron or copper supplements: If the cause of itching is low levels of iron or copper, a doctor may prescribe supplements to restore balance.

If pruritus of the skin is not improving despite treatment with topical or oral medications, you should contact a doctor. A doctor can assess the cause and determine if further treatment is needed.