Itching or pruritus is a very common condition. This can cause discomfort, resulting in sleep disturbance, anxiety, and depression. You must be careful if the itching occurs for a long time and accompanied by other symptoms, because it can be an indication of a more serious disease such as kidney disorders.
Itching can be felt in certain areas or throughout the body. Redness or rash is a symptom that often accompanies itching. In general, this condition can resolve on its own, or disappear after being treated with over-the-counter medicines. However, there are times when the itching doesn’t go away and may be an early symptom of a more serious condition.
Factors Behind Itching
It is important to recognize the cause of the itching to determine the appropriate treatment steps. Insect bites are one of the most common causes of itching. But besides that, there are many other things that can be triggers for itching, namely:
Diseases of the skin
Allergic or irritant reaction to certain ingredients
Hormonal changes during pregnancy
For example eczema, scabies, psoriasis, folliculitis, and prurigo. Itching is generally only felt in certain areas of the skin, and accompanied by symptoms of skin irritation, redness or spots on the skin.
Dry skin (xerosis) is usually caused by environmental conditions, such as air with low humidity, prolonged bathing or washing, and constantly in an air-conditioned room.
Like multiple sclerosis, diabetes, pinched nerves, or shingles.
Such as hepatitis, cirrhosis, celiac disease, iron deficiency anemia, kidney failure, thyroid disorders, leukemia, and lymphoma.
For example irritation allergies due to clothing, chemicals in soap, cosmetics, allergies to certain foods, drugs or plants.
During pregnancy, some women feel itching in the abdomen, arms, thighs, and breasts due to hormonal changes. Some skin problems that can develop during pregnancy include urticaria, pruritus and plaque that cause rashes and itching on the thighs and upper abdomen. Itching will generally subside after giving birth.
Hormonal changes during menopause can cause itching.
For example smallpox, ringworm, and mushrooms.
For example depression and anxiety disorders.
Tips to Prevent Sedentary Itching
Scratching is not the solution to get rid of itching. Scratching the itchy body skin can make it hurt, scar, even infected. Proper treatment of itching depends on the factors causing it.
Here are some general guidelines that you can follow to banish the itching.
- It’s better to wipe than to scratch an itchy area.
- Minimize consumption of spicy foods, caffeine, and liquor that can affect blood flow and cause itching to get worse.
- Compress the itchy part with a cloth dampened in cold water.
- Cut your nails so they won’t cause injury if you can’t stop yourself from scratching the itchy area.
- Take a bath with water that is not too hot or cold, and limit it to no more than 20 minutes.
- Avoid using clothes with materials that can add to itching, such as wool or clothes that are too tight.
- Apply moisturizer after bathing to keep skin moisturized.
- Use mild soap to avoid irritating the skin.
- Use a sheet made from not hot with a smooth surface.
- Try to always relax and manage your stress as much as possible, because anxiety can make your itching worsen.
In addition to the simple methods above, itching due to certain conditions can also be treated with antihistamine drugs and corticosteroid creams that are sold freely on the market.
However, you should immediately see a doctor if you feel itching all over your body but you don’t know the exact cause, itching makes it difficult for you to sleep, causes sores on the skin, or if treatment at home cannot relieve itching in your skin.
To help facilitate the doctor’s diagnosis, you can inform the following:
- When itching begins to be felt.
- What are the symptoms that accompany it (if any).
- List of medicines that have been consumed recently.
- Are currently undergoing a certain diet.
- Have you ever traveled to a certain place.
- Is there contact with something that can cause itching, such as pet dander.
If the doctor suspects that there is a more serious disease, you will be asked to undergo a supplementary examination, such as an examination of iron levels in the blood, examination of thyroid function, kidney function, or X-ray to examine the lymph glands.
Doctors sometimes prescribe calcineurin inhibitors (calcineurin inhibitors) to suppress the performance of the immune system, in order to reduce skin inflammation.
Itching generally will not leave a scar on your skin if it is not scratched. Do not hesitate to consult a dermatologist, in order to get the right treatment.