We all have experienced a common symptom – itching, for some or the other reason. Itching can often be caused by a condition affecting the skin, however, it can be a sign of a more serious underlying problem. Although the symptoms for itching may vary, it typically leads to a peculiarly uncomfortable skin sensation. Itching usually feels like as if something is crawling on your skin. It can be both diffusing and localized means it can occur all over or confined to a specific spot.
Itching symptoms can be associated with rash, dry skin, flaky skin, skin redness, cracked skin, bumps on the skin, spots on the skin and blisters.
The best definition of itching can be given based on the response it evokes; itching is a sensation that makes you feel like scratching that can lead to rash or redness in most cases. Medically, itching is known as Pruritus.
Most often, itching may be noticeable at night (nocturnal), during the day, or even both. In addition, there can be a leathery or scaly texture to the skin when there are itching symptoms, depending on the cause.
Causes of Itching
Here are the 5 various causes of Itching:
- Dry skin – It is the most common cause of itching in organisms. If you don't find a crop of bright, red bumps or any other change in the itchy area, dry skin can be a cause. The key cause of dry skin is usually the environmental factors such as hot or cold weather, low humidity, continue use of HVAC systems, and washing or bathing too much.
- Skin Conditions and Rashes - Many skin conditions with itch as their major symptom includes eczema, psoriasis, scabies, chickenpox, lice, and hives. In all these skin condition, itching usually affects specific areas and is accompanied by other signs, such as red, irritated skin or bumps and blisters. Proper treatment is highly recommended during these complications to prevent further complications and infections.
- Internal diseases – Internal diseases including kidney failure, liver disease, malabsorption of wheat, iron deficiency anemia, thyroid problems, diabetes and cancers, such as leukemia and lymphoma. In these diseases, the itching usually affects the whole body. Otherwise, the skin may look normal except for the continuous scratched areas.
- Irritation and allergic reactions – Many people allergenic to several things around them can also feel intense itching over their body. Substances like wool, chemicals, soaps, etc. can irritate the skin and cause itching. Substance like as poison ivy or cosmetics also causes an allergic reaction sometimes. Food allergies also may cause skin to itch.
- Pregnancy Itching is also a common symptom during pregnancy. It often affects pregnant women and usually disappears after delivery. A number of skin conditions can occur during pregnancy causing itchy skin. They include:
- pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy (PUPPP) – a common skin condition that causes itchy, red, raised bumps, which are visible on the thighs and abdomen
- prurigo gestationis – a skin rash that appears as red, itchy dots and affects the arms, legs and torso.
- obstetric cholestasis – a rare disorder that affects the liver during pregnancy and causes itching without a rash.
There are several complications itching can cause. An itching skin can affect the quality of your life. Persistent itching and scratching may proliferate the intensity of the itch, possibly leading to:
- Skin injury
No matter what are the causes behind your itching, consulting the doctor and taking proper medications and prevention is a must to avoid further complications.