It may be frustrating when you are unsure what is causing it or how to treat itchy skin. Pruritus is the medical name for itching. It may be restricted to a certain body region or generalized and affect the entire body.
Dry skin and dermatitis are two disorders that can cause itchy skin. Less frequently, they might be brought on by more severe illnesses, including liver disease and renal failure.
The cause of an itch connected to a rash is typically simple to identify. However, events with itchy skin without a rash are especially difficult.
This article discusses what causes skin itching; if you doubt yourself and are suffering from itching, please continue reading to know the exact cause.
What causes skin itching?
There can be multiple causes of skin itching, which include the followings:
Dry skin –
Xerosis, or dry skin, is a relatively frequent problem. When moisture is lost from the skin, it might begin to itch.
Flaky or scaly skin is two signs of dry skin. Especially during the winter months, elderly people often suffer from it.
Avoid using soaps that contain harsh chemicals since they might dry up your skin. Use soaps and skincare items that are hypoallergenic and fragrance-free as an alternative.
Insect Bites –
Bites from mosquitoes, spiders, and other insect bites can itch and irritate the skin nearby.
A very tiny hole or pinprick-like region may remain after a bug bite. They can, however, be so minute that a person may itch without noticing the bites themselves.
Bed bugs, mosquitoes, and lice are just a few insects that may bite someone, and each bug has a different set of treatments.
A person should see a doctor if they continue to scratch after getting bitten by an insect.
Kidney disease –
Kidney disease can induce itchiness without a rash, even in its severe stages. Although the exact origin of itching in renal illness is uncertain, multiple variables are likely at play.
A person should see a doctor if they have renal issues and begin to have itchy skin. Their doctor will do tests to determine how well the kidneys are functioning.
The medical process known as dialysis, in which a machine filters blood instead of the kidneys, may be necessary for a patient.
A variety of drugs are available that dermatologists might recommend to patients with itchy skin due to kidney disease.
Liver disease –
Cirrhosis and hepatitis, two liver illnesses, can itch the skin. Although the cause is unknown, some believe this sensation is caused by the body producing too much bile.
The palms of the hands and the soles of the feet are typically where the itching is most visible. People typically remark that the itching is stronger at night and worsens when exposed to heat.
Options for treatment mostly depend on the kind of liver disease an individual has. Less itching is achieved with colesevelam(Welchol), which some physicians may prescribe.
Skin cancers –
Not all cases of skin cancer result in visible signs. Skin itching, however, may be a first sign of a current or prior skin lesion for certain people. The emergence of a fresh lesion on the skin or one already there are some other signs.
People should periodically inspect their skin and notify their doctor of strange moles or changes.
A skin biopsy, also known as a tiny skin sample sent to the lab for analysis, may be performed by a doctor if they need clarification about what causes the skin changes.
Nerve conditions –
The brain receives signals from the skin through nerves. Neuropathic itch is a condition in which nerve problems result in itching or discomfort on the skin without actually harming the skin.
Itchy skin can also be a symptom of injuries to the nervous system or damage to the nervous system. The location of the damage will determine where the itching area is. For instance, a pinched nerve happens when pressure is applied to a nerve’s region, prompting the nerve to fire alarm messages to the brain.
Pinched nerves are typically the result of injured nerves, and signs and symptoms might include discomfort, numbness, weakness, and itching.
Numerous nerve-related disorders can induce itchiness or other skin sensations without resulting in a rash. These situations include:
The American Academy of Dermatology states that diabetes can result in a variety of skin problems. For instance, diabetic neuropathy, a consequence of diabetes that results in nerve loss, can induce itching.
Some pregnant women itch when they are carrying the baby. According to the National Health Service (NHS), it often affects the abdomen. This can occasionally be brought on by a previous condition—like eczema—that is exacerbated by pregnancy.
Pregnancy-related itchiness may have several reasons, such as:
- Pregnancy-related pruritic urticarial papules are frequent in the second part of pregnancy.
- Pemphigoid pregnancy (rare)
- Pregnancy-related intrahepatic cholestasis is uncommon.
Some medications might cause your skin to itch, even if there are no outward indications of a rash or irritation. If the itch gets too bothersome, consult your doctor. These medications have been known to cause itchiness.
- ACE inhibitors are specific medications for high blood pressure.
- For gout, allopurinol.
- Amiodarone to treat irregular heartbeats.
- Diuretics, which are pills that reduce bloating.
- Hydroxyethyl cellulose can use for surgery
- opioid-based prescription pain relievers.
- Simvastatin is used to lower cholesterol.
- Ibuprofen, naproxen sodium, and acetaminophen are examples of over-the-counter painkillers.
A visible skin color or texture change is called a rash.
Rashes can be brought on by various conditions, including autoimmune diseases, fungal skin infections, bacterial skin infections, insect bites, allergic responses, and drug side effects, according to a 2015 study.
Many rash symptoms are treatable at home. However, severe rashes, particularly those combined with additional symptoms like fever, discomfort, nausea, or difficulty breathing, may necessitate immediate medical attention.
Hodgkin lymphoma or cancer in bloodstream cells can sometimes cause itching without a rash.
These are some other signs of Hodgkin lymphoma:
- Lymph node swelling, particularly in the armpits, groin, or neck
- Lack of appetite
- Sleepless nights
- decrease of weight without cause
- Radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and bone marrow or transplants of stem cells are among the treatment choices for Hodgkin lymphoma.
Psychological disorders –
It can be psychological if the doctor cannot identify a physical cause. Certain mental disorders cause people to feel the need to pick or scratch themselves. They could have a crawling sensation on their skin. Although there is no rash, scratching might cause skin harm.
Constant scratching might indicate:
- Disorder of obsessive obsession.
An allergic reaction to anything touching the skin led to this painful rash. You should conduct some research to determine its source. Your jewelry metals or the chemicals in your beauty products, toiletries, and cleaning supplies can be the cause.
Another example of contact dermatitis is poison ivy. See whether the itching improves by ceasing to use or wear anything you believe to be the culprit. View a picture of a rash caused by a deadly plant.
The quality of life might be affected by constant itching. It may cause you to snore poorly, have trouble focusing, and scrape until the skin bleeds.
What causes skin itching may have multiple answers, including allergies, insect bites, dry skin, and certain skin conditions. A dermatologist with board certification can assist you if you cannot identify the source of your itching.
If you experience a burning sensation or rash that interferes with your usual routine, doesn’t go away, worsens over time, or shows indications of infection, consult your healthcare professional.