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How can my doctor help with the urge to scratch?

ANSWER

Ask your doctor. If over-the-counter creams don’t work, ask about prescription meds. For example, corticosteroids can help ease the itch from eczema and psoriasis. If it’s caused by nerve pain, like with multiple sclerosis, an antidepressant or anti-seizure drug might work.

Watch for infection. Call your doctor if your skin is tender to the touch, begins to smell, or oozes pus.

SOURCES:

Washington University, St. Louis: “Why scratching makes you itch more.”

University of California Berkeley: “Pain and itch connected deep down.”

Cleveland Clinic: “Dry Skin/Itchy Skin.”

Mayo Clinic: “Itchy skin (pruritus.)”

National Psoriasis Foundation: “Managing Itch.”

NHS Choices: “Eczema in Children: 7 Steps to Stop the Itch,” “Itching -- Treatment,” “Topical Corticosteroids.”

Nature Reviews Neuroscience: “Sensory neurons and circuits mediating itch.”

Seminars in Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery: “Management of Itch in Atopic Dermatitis.”

British Medical Journal: “Referred itch (Mitempfindung.)”

American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology: “What Makes Us Itch?”

Cancer Research UK: “Tips to cope with itching.”

National Multiple Sclerosis Society: “Itching.”

Reviewed by Stephanie S. Gardner on July 06, 2017

SOURCES:

Washington University, St. Louis: “Why scratching makes you itch more.”

University of California Berkeley: “Pain and itch connected deep down.”

Cleveland Clinic: “Dry Skin/Itchy Skin.”

Mayo Clinic: “Itchy skin (pruritus.)”

National Psoriasis Foundation: “Managing Itch.”

NHS Choices: “Eczema in Children: 7 Steps to Stop the Itch,” “Itching -- Treatment,” “Topical Corticosteroids.”

Nature Reviews Neuroscience: “Sensory neurons and circuits mediating itch.”

Seminars in Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery: “Management of Itch in Atopic Dermatitis.”

British Medical Journal: “Referred itch (Mitempfindung.)”

American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology: “What Makes Us Itch?”

Cancer Research UK: “Tips to cope with itching.”

National Multiple Sclerosis Society: “Itching.”

Reviewed by Stephanie S. Gardner on July 06, 2017

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What is the link between digestive problems and psoriasis?

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