We all itch every once in a while. It is a universal experience everyone one on this planet goes through. Wikipedia defines itch as “a sensation that causes the desire or reflex to scratch.”
Also known as pruritus, itch is caused by allergies, medication, stress, skin conditions and infections.
What Causes Itch?
We think nothing can explain the reason better than Scientific American:
“An itch, also known as pruritus, is a general sensation arising from the irritation of skin cells or nerve cells associated with the skin. While it can be a nuisance, pruritus serves as an important sensory and self-protective mechanism, as do other skin sensations such as touch, pain, vibration, cold and heat. It can alert us to harmful external agents, but can become unbearable if not treated.”
We’ve also used this explanation in another blog named as “Here’s How to Control Your Itch”.
In simple words, itch is a defense mechanism of the body whenever it senses foreign bodies like infection and bacteria.
Simply put, itch is a defense mechanism of the body whenever it senses harmful external agents.
Here we have rounded up some itchy skin conditions.
Scabies is a contagious skin condition being marked by blisters, rashes and relentless itching. It is caused by the mites that dig your skin to lay their eggs. In fact, itch is a trademark symptom of scabies which is why the condition is known as “seven-year itch”. In scabies, the itch goes relentless during the nights. Given that scabies is an infectious skin condition, a patient can pass on the infection to a healthy individual in their contact. Common scabies medications are permethrin cream, Crotamiton, Lindane and Ivermectin.
You get hives whenever you come into contact with certain allergens, temperature change, and an infection. They are very common and can change size rapidly and move around, disappearing in one place and reappearing in other places.
This list of itchy skin condition seems incomplete without the mention of eczema. Only eczema sufferers can know how itch can torment the life. Eczema or dermatitis is an itchy skin disease causing red rashes over the body. There are many types of eczema such as atopic dermatitis, dyshidrotic eczema, contact dermatitis, hand eczema, neuro dermatitis, nummular eczema and stasis dermatitis. This chronic skin condition can be managed with topical steroids or topical corticosteroids. They are directly applied to the skin to reduce inflammation and itching.
Like eczema, psoriasis is an itchy skin disease caused by the overgrowth of skin cells due to altered immune system. The itch is coupled with red and scaly patches across the body. You can even experience the itch in unaffected areas. Although psoriasis is chronic, the symptoms can be managed with topical treatments, light therapy, and systemic medications. The treatment helps prevent the growth of the skin cells and minimize the inflammation.
Also known as the Ringworm of the Groin, jock itch is an itchy skin condition causing red and ring shaped rashes. It is caused by the fungus which is thrived when they found desired environment like moist areas. Men are more vulnerable to jock itch than women.
Did you know? Nearly 70% Americans experience ringworm. Contrary to the popular belief, ringworm isn’t caused by any worm. It is caused mold-like parasites that reside on the cell in the outer layer of the skin. The key triggers of ringworm are altered immune system, unhygienic conditions and coming into contact with infected patient. The symptoms of ringworm are red and scaly patches with a relentless itch.
So these are some itchy skin conditions. It is better if you get them treated on time to avoid aggravated symptoms.