Common Causes of Pruritus and Its Treatment

Pruritus, commonly known as itchiness is a very common skin disease marked by discomfort and irritation that provokes scratching in the affected area to obtain comfort. It can irritate our hands, arms, legs, back, scalp, or the entire body depending on the underlying cause. Learn more about the common causes of Pruritus and its treatment.

Pruritus is a very common skin infection in elderly individuals with dermal, neuropathic, psychogenic conditions. Dry skin is the most common cause of Pruritus. Some other factors that could lead to Pruritus are iron deficiency, renal diseases, thyroid liver problems, etc. One should consult a skin specialist to treat this disease with the right medication. However simple lifestyle habits can also help in soothing the discomfort associated with this infection.

Common causes of Pruritus or itchy skin

  1. Allergic reactions caused due to skin irritants in the form of soaps, cosmetics, fabric, medicines, etc.
  2. Internal disease in kidney, liver, anemia, diabetes, thyroid problem.
  3. Psychiatric conditions such as anxiety.
  4. General skin problems caused due to parasites, hives, insect bites, dry skin (xerosis), eczema (dermatitis), psoriasis.

Common symptoms of Pruritus or itchy skin

Pruritus is marked by redness, spots, blisters, dry skin, scaly skin are the most common symptoms.

Things to do to prevent Pruritus or itchy skin

  1. Use fragrances containing urea and glycerin.
  2. Keep the skin moisturized with a mild medicated, organic or herbal moisturizer.
  3. Use substances like petroleum jelly and skin lipids to protect the outer layer of the skin
  4. Take lukewarm showers, followed by immediate miniaturization of the damp skin. This will support better absorption of the moisturizer.
  5. Use glycerin or ceramide soap instead of pure soaps
  6. Use a humidifier instead of thermostats, as that can make skin dry.

Things to avoid to prevent Pruritus or itchy skin

  1. Avoid scratching the affected area or itching them. It may give temporary comfort but can worsen the situation with a new bacterial or fungal infection.
  2. Avoid using skin products that contain preservatives
  3. Avoid taking shower with hot water. It can damage the skin.
  4. Avoid keeping the skin dry.
  5. Avoid rough fibers such as wool if you are susceptible to skin infections.

When do you visit a doctor for Pruritus?

Itchiness of skin is common and can be easily treated with simple self-care measures, such as miniaturization, lukewarm shower etc. However, visit the doctor in the following situations:

  1. When you have to continue with the self-care measures for more than a few weeks.
  2. If it starts affecting the whole body.
  3. If you experience fever and weight loss along with skin disease.

The first step to treat Pruritus or itchy skin is identifying the underlying cause. Doctors may offer medicines like antihistamines and topical steroids to treat skin infections. Anti-biotics are recommended in some situations.

Speak to our pharmacist to know more about the common causes of Pruritus.