Your Skin, Pruritus, and Itching
Pruritus simply means
itching. It can be associated with a number of disorders, including dry skin, skin disease, pregnancy, and rarely, cancer.
Recommended Related to Skin Problems & Treatments
Acrocyanosis is blueness of the extremities (the hands and feet). Acrocyanosis is typically symmetrical. It is marked by a mottled blue or red discoloration of the skin on the fingers and wrists and the toes and ankles. Profuse sweating and coldness of the fingers and toes may also occur.
Acrocyanosis is caused by narrowing (constriction) of small arterioles (tiny arteries) toward the end of the arms and legs.
Read the Acrocyanosis article > >
Who Gets Pruritus?
Anyone can get pruritus but certain groups of people are more susceptible to the condition, including:
How Is Pruritus Treated?
Finding the cause of the
itching and treating any underlying skin disease is the first step in solving pruritus.
If a drug reaction is suspected, switching to a different
medication may be helpful to reduce the itching. However, most drug reactions have a rash along with itching.
The best way to prevent pruritus is to take care of your skin. To protect skin:
Use skin creams and lotions that moisturize your skin and prevent dryness. Use sunscreens regularly to prevent sunburns and skin damage. Use mild bath soap that won't irritate your skin. Take a bath or shower in warm -- not hot -- water. Avoid certain fabrics, such as wool and synthetics, that can make skin itch. Switch to cotton clothing and bed sheets. Since warm, dry air can make skin dry, keep the thermostat in your house down and use a humidifier. To relieve itching, place a cool washcloth or some ice over the area that itches, rather than scratching.
Your doctor may also prescribe medication to treat pruritus, including
antihistamines and topical steroids. Rarely, steroid pills and antibiotics may also be needed.