Skin itching is often considered as one of the signs of skin disease. Because the itchy skin, as a rule, does not threaten the life of the patient, specialists often do not pay due attention to him. But all the same cutaneous itching is considered one of the most painful symptoms. Sometimes even a slight itch can lead to sleep disorders, mental disorders, extremely violating the quality of life of the patient. It is also important to take into account the itchy skin all over the body, in the absence of skin lesions in the patient, because this situation can be the basis for finding the cause of a systemic disease.
In some cases, itchy skin can define as a clinical picture of one of the skin diseases, so it can be an independent disease.
In connection with such characteristics of pruritus, a number of authors separate a certain group of dermatoses of pruritus, which may include, in addition to itching, neurodermatitis , scabies, and less often - atopic dermatitis . It is not always easy to give a specific scientific definition of itching, and these days it sounds, as always, a bit of a philistine way.
Cutaneous itching causes
Autointoxication, which can be caused by exacerbations of biliary tract diseases that occur in gastrointestinal diseases (primary biliary cirrhosis, pancreatic cancer , intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnant women, lambliasis), or with prolonged intake of certain medications (oral contraceptives, codeine).
Autointoxication, which is due to renal chronic failure. As another factor of skin itching is worth mentioning disorders of endocrine and metabolic disorders ( hyperthyroidism , diabetes , hypothyroidism , gout , menopause, hypovitaminosis A and B).
Itching of the skin can be caused by malignant tumors and diseases of the circulatory system (glucagonoma, stomach cancer, pancreatic cancer, myeloma, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, lymphogranulomatosis , erythremia, leukemia, iron deficiency anemia). It can also cause this ailment and certain infectious diseases, in particular HIV infection.
Mental and neurological disorders (brain tumors, depression , multiple sclerosis, phobias) also cause, for example, the appearance of such a clinical picture as psychogenic pruritus.
Skin itching can also act as a conditioned reflex reaction. For example, the development of conditioned reflex pruritus can be caused by myodermia (from the Greek mneme - remember, memory) - a skin itch that occurs when a parasite (for example, lice) is sighted and even when it is mentioned. This skin itch sometimes can either inspire or eliminate during a hypnosis session.
In certain people, due to a pressure change in the barometric pressure, when it climbs to a height of about 10,000 meters or more, it can be called "high-altitude" itch.
Seasonal and senile skin itching is also distinguished. Itchy skin itch is observed mainly in men in the age category over 60 years. It can flow in a paroxysmal form, more often during sleep. The causes of senile skin pruritus can be presented as: atherosclerosis , endocrine disorders, dehydration. Seasonal skin itch may occur in seasonal seasons (autumn, spring).
Localized skin pruritus can occur most often in the anal region and genital area. Skin itching in the anus can be observed predominantly in the male. Its causes: hemorrhoids , untidiness, proctitis, constipation , prostatitis , vesiculitis. The cause of skin itching in the anal area can be erythrasma, which due to increased pigmentation of the skin in the anus can not always be determined. Therefore, with a skin itch in the anal area, one should pay attention to the skin condition in the region of the femoral-scrotal folds, which are affected with erythrasis.
Genital itching is predominantly female suffering. Its causes can be: leucorrhoea , pinworms, trichomonads , skin irritation with urine for gout or diabetes, inflammatory lesions of the genitals, menopause, sexual neuroses. The causes of genital itching of the genital organs in men are more often prostatitis, vesiculitis.
If there is skin itching during pregnancy, then you need to consider it as a physiological phenomenon. The skin of a pregnant woman is stretched due to a growing fetus. The same can be said with a skin itch in the area of the mammary glands during pregnancy.
In addition, itchy skin during pregnancy can be caused by hormonal changes and dry skin, which is also physiology.
Skin Itching Symptoms
Consider skin itching on the example of skin and non-skin diseases.
With allergic contact dermatitis, there is an erythematous rash with a clearly defined border. Above the inflamed areas are located vesicles. Defeat of the skin appears a day after exposure to the allergen. Skin pruritus in this case is localized only in certain areas of the skin.
Atopic dermatitis in young children, the itching rash is localized, often on the skin of the face, under the elbows and knees. In adults, it is located on the folds of the wrists, elbows and knee joints. Skin itching is characteristic after combing such areas.
With bullous pemphigoid, the rash initially represents hives with itching and its location is on those skin areas that are prone to rubbing. After the urticaria rash, intense bubbles appear.
T-cell lymphoma of the skin is characterized by oval, eczematized plaques on the skin that are not exposed to sunlight. Also, one of the variants of the appearance of the disease is considered to be the appearance of erythroderma, which is also characterized by localized skin itching.
Herpetiform dermatitis is considered a rare dermatitis with a characteristic rash of vesicle, which is more often localized on the skin of the lumbosacral region, the area of the knees and forearms, and is also accompanied by severe itching.
Folliculitis is characterized by a rash in the form of papules and pustules, which are located on those parts of the skin (that is, on the chest, on the hips and on the back), where there are follicles.
Red flat lichen is characterized by a lesion of the skin on the flexor part of the wrists. The main symptoms are pruritus, papules flattened in violet, polygonal forms that are covered with scales.
Pediculosis, too, can be determined by skin itching of the scalp at the nape. There may also be itching in the genital area.
Psoriasis is characterized by plaques that are covered with scales. They can be located on the surface of the extensor limbs, palms, scalp, soles, which is also accompanied by an unpleasant skin itch.
Scabies are defined as an itch (strongest!) On the skin of the hands, under the armpits, genitals. Can be seen moves itch. The rash is usually represented by bright plaques with hyperkeratotic signs, papules itchy, scales. Children can be affected by skin on the face and head.
Also, itchy skin can be characterized by certain phenomena in systemic diseases.
Cholestasis manifests a pronounced itch on the hands and skin areas that are prone to pressure and friction (itching is often worse at night).
Chronic renal failure is characterized by attacks of severe itching, especially in the summer.
Lymphoma of Hodgkin is determined by generalized, severe itching, often in the absence of other obvious symptoms.
HIV infection is also manifested by the itch of the skin, which is associated with the occurrence of secondary diseases. For example, eczema, seborrhea, folliculitis eosinophilic.
When anemia is iron deficient, glossitis and cheilitis also provoke skin itching.
With trichinosis, there is also dermal unbearable itching, when the larvae are localized under the skin.
True polycythemia is also characterized by a pricking skin itch, which can persist for some time after taking the bath.
The clinical process of general skin itch appears to be a lack of morphological primary elements. On different skin areas linear combs are detected, linear blood crusts. Patients in addition to complaints of skin itching suffer from sleep disorders and disorders of the nervous system.
Localized skin itch, often appears in the anus and genitals. It characterizes itself with itching painful and is often complicated by cracks in painful, yeast and streptococcal intertrigms, furuncles and folliculitis, which are observed against the background of clear calculi and crusts of hemorrhagic ones.
With neurodermatitis, as a chronic dermatitis itchy, which is characterized by the development of lichenification and the appearance of papules, due to constant combing, there is also severe itching. It is with pronounced itching that this disease begins, and later its manifestations develop on the entire skin. The disease is associated with disorders of the (functional) nervous system, to which organic changes in the fibers of the nervous and the receptor skin can join. Also important are functional disorders of the digestive tract, endocrine disorders. With neurodermatitis, as a rule, itching skin all over the body.
Almost always itching it accompanies urticaria, scabies, many forms of which can be associated with mechanisms of allergic development. The strongest itch can be observed with such skin chronic diseases as flat red lichen, Dühring's dermatitis .
The cause of the appearance of itching papules can be bites of mites or fleas. Sometimes patients can not pay attention to the fact that their rashes and itching appeared after close contact with pets.
Skin itching treatment
Treatment of pruritus as a dermatosis, and not one of the symptoms of the disease, is a very difficult problem, because the success lies at first identifying, and later eliminating the cause of the disease, which requires a painstaking preliminary qualified examination. If the etiological factor is detected, it is possible to easily eliminate the pruritus, but unfortunately this is not always possible, so in all other cases, as well as in dermatoses that are accompanied by itchy skin all over the body (or localized), individual symptomatic therapy .
General therapy may include the use of anxiolytics and sedatives, antihistamines.
Antihistamines have been used in this field of therapy for a long time. They are usually taken internally and are used in parallel with local remedies for itching. But recently, new medicines and ointments for skin itching have been created, the medicinal qualities of which are generally unique. Ointment from pruritus appears in our time as an antihistamine drug with antipruritic action, which is applied externally (Suprastin, Tavegil, Fenistil, etc.)
For severe skin itch, compresses with solutions of antipruritic products (2% Salicylic tincture or Carbolic acid, Dimedrol or menthol, and also three times diluted table vinegar) can be used.
In the treatment of localized skin pruritus, antipruritic agents are used in the form of creams, powders, ointments or pastes, they are applied after thorough wiping of the affected area with such disinfectants as Miramistin, Chlorhexidine, etc. Anestezine (5%), Diphenhydramine (1-2%), , and glucocorticosteroid external ointment from skin itching. In those cases when treatment is difficult, novocaine blockades of the corresponding nerves are carried out.
Also, in the treatment of skin itching, physiotherapy can be used. Its task is to provide antipruritic, restorative, detoxifying, hyposensitizing action, as well as normalize the CNS. Of the procedures physiokabineta can appoint: electrosleep; radon, starch, sulphide, iodide-bromine baths; diadynamic therapy in the sympathetic neck region; ultrasound on the spine; calcium-bromine electrophoresis on the collar zone; UFO; Magneto and laser therapy.