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Dermatologists and Skin Care Data Verified

Does Itching Disturb Your Regular Activities?

Written by
Dr. Vidhi Talati Joshi
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.

Published on Jul 15, 2015 and last reviewed on Jun 01, 2022   -  6 min read

Abstract

This article discusses in detail the diagnosis and management of severe itching.

Contents
Does Itching Disturb Your Regular Activities?

Introduction:

Nowadays, itching is a major problem or symptom of most allergic, systemic or fungal diseases. Four out of 10 people have had some type of itching problem of the skin in their routine life. Severe itching disturbs the day-to-day activities of a human being.

What Is Itching?

Who Are Most Likely to Get Affected?

What Is the Pathophysiology of Chronic Itching?

There are many factors that trigger itching.

Keratinocytes:

Mast Cells:

Eosinophils:

What Is the Etiology for Chronic Itching?

Different diseases such as inflammatory skin diseases, metabolic diseases, liver and kidney diseases, lymphoproliferative diseases, and myeloproliferative diseases are the cause of severe itching.

Some dermatological causes of itching are:

The systemic diseases associated with itching are:

  1. Cholestasis of pregnancy.

  2. Primary biliary cirrhosis.

  3. Oral contraceptives.

  4. Hepatitis.

  5. Extrahepatic biliary obstruction.

  6. Drugs.

  1. Polycythemia vera.

  2. Multiple myeloma.

  3. Hodgkin’s disease.

  4. Iron deficiency anemia.

  5. Mastocytosis.

  1. Hypothyroid.

  2. Thyrotoxicosis.

  3. Carcinoid.

  1. Asthma.

How Is Severe Itching Diagnosed?

How Is Severe Itching Treated?

Precautionary Measures:

Local Approach:

Treatment should be established for the underlying cause of severe itching.

Systemic Approach:

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Frequently Asked Questions


1.

How to Stop Itching?

Itching can be stopped by avoiding the causes that create itch, moisturizing daily, treating the scalp with over-the-counter shampoos, reducing stress or anxiety, trying over-the-counter oral allergy medicine, such as Diphenhydramine, using a humidifier, lotions, creams, or gels that soothe and cool the skin, and avoiding scratching.

2.

What Diseases Cause Itching All Over?

The diseases that cause itching are blood disease, kidney disease, diabetes mellitus, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), liver disease, and overactive thyroid. Some autoimmune diseases cause an itchy rash; they are oral lichen planus, cutaneous lupus, and erythrodermic psoriasis. The skin conditions that can cause intense itch include dyshidrotic eczema, atopic dermatitis, and chickenpox. Bacterial infections of the skin and measles also cause itchiness all over.

3.

What Can I Drink to Stop Itching?

Colloidal oatmeal helps relieve dryness and itching as it has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Water is highly beneficial for health in many ways, including itch relief. The skin remains hydrated from the inside and out by drinking more water. Also, it helps to flush the toxins that cause irritation.

4.

Where Does It Itch in Kidney Disease?

In the case of kidney disease, the itching can come and go or may be continuous. Itching may affect the whole body or can be limited to a specific area. It usually affects the back, arms and tends to affect both sides of the body at the same time.

5.

What Can I Eat to Stop Itching?

The foods such as oily fish, avocado, coconut oil, nuts will help to alleviate dry and itchy skin. Probiotic-rich foods such as sourdough bread, naturally fermented pickles, miso soup, soft cheeses like Gouda, kefir, unpasteurized sauerkraut, and tempeh helps to stop itching.

6.

What Medicine Helps to Stop Itching?

Oral antihistamines are the best to relieve the itching. Nonprescription oral antihistamines, such as Cetirizine (Zyrtec Allergy), Loratadine (Claritin), or Diphenhydramine (Benadryl Allergy, others), help to relieve itching. Loratadine (Claritin) and Fexofenadine (Allegra) are non-drowsy oral antihistamines, whereas Chlorpheniramine (Chlor-Trimeton) or Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) is less expensive but can make you feel sleepy.

7.

What Stage of Kidney Disease Causes Itching?

Itching is a common problem for patients with end-stage renal disease or chronic renal failure. It affects one-third of patients on dialysis and is more common with hemodialysis than continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD).

8.

Is Vaginal Itching Normal?

Mostly, vaginal itching is harmless, but it should be considered a sign of a problem that needs a visit to the gynecologist. The possible causes of vaginal itching are bacterial vaginosis, yeast infection, irritation from soaps and creams, certain sexually transmitted infections, and allergic reactions.

9.

How to Stop My Private Parts From Itching at Night?

In order to avoid itching at night, take an oatmeal bath before bed, use topical anti-itching creams on the vulva, place the towel-wrapped with ice packs on the vulva, use a topical antihistamine, and try over-the-counter antifungal treatments for yeast infections.

10.

How Can a Man Stop His Private Area From Itching?

To avoid itching in the man's private parts, follow the below methods.
- Keep the private areas clean and dry.
- A mild soap cleanser or a soap-free cleanser, or plain tap water should be used to rinse the genital area.
- Loose, clean, and breathable undergarments should be worn, especially made of breathable organic cotton.
- Wash the underwear properly without any detergent residues.
- The underwear should be changed when it gets wet or soggy or at least after 24 hours.
- The penis should be washed after using the toilet.
- Avoid using perfumes in private areas.

11.

Is Itching a Symptom of Diabetes?

People with diabetes more often have dry skin, and as a result, itchiness occurs. When there is a skin infection or poor circulation, it may contribute to dry, itchy skin.

12.

When Should I Be Worried about Itching?

It is better to get a doctor's consultation when itching lasts for more than two weeks and does not reduce with self-care measures and starts to distract your daily routines or prevent you from sleeping.

13.

What Cream Stops Itching Fast?

The 1 percent Hydrocortisone steroid cream acts fast and eases the itch by reducing inflammation.

14.

What Does It Mean When the Skin Is Itchy but Has No Rash?

Dry skin causes itchiness in the skin without a rash. Mostly, dry skin is mild and can result from low humidity and cold or hot weather. Sometimes, it is also caused by activities that decrease moisture in the skin, such as taking a hot water bath.

Last reviewed at:
01 Jun 2022  -  6 min read

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