By Hanna Rutkowski © Marcinski / Fotolia. com Itching (med . : pruritus) is a Miss sensation of the skin, which can not be a sit still. Well known is the itching for a mosquito bite. The hands move to the itchy spot and begin to scratch – although occurs shortly a relief, but soon the itching begins again. Allergies, insect bites or skin diseases can trigger itching. But even leukemia and liver diseases may be associated with pruritus. The cause of chronic itching is not easy to find often. Itching Contents Itching: Description Itching: scratch marks on his arm
The itching is a disturbing, sometimes nagging sensation that comes with an insatiable urge of scratching. Can the hands do not reach the itch, also objects to be taken to help – not for nothing there are scratch aids for the back. Quite useless but the pruritus is not: The mechanical friction invaders such as parasites, fleas or lice should be removed. Prolonged scratching however turn damages the skin and causes injuries and lacerations. Especially children falls here mastery in pruritic diseases difficult, such as the chicken pox. By scratched skin can remain disfiguring scars. Emergence of itching For a long time it was suspected that itching is caused by the same nerve endings as the pain stimulus. Recent findings, however, indicate that it is its own subset of nerve fibers, the histamine and serotonin, are excited by certain chemical messengers, most notably. This thesis is busy, for example, the fact that opiates indeed inhibit pain but cause itching. The itching can be caused by toxins, mechanical stimuli, temperature fluctuations or even mild electric shocks that lead to the release of histamine from the cells. The itching may in certain parts of the body (localized) or the whole body (generalized) occur. When scratching can cause pain stimuli, which cover the itching short and relief.
However messengers released by the mechanical stimulation of the skin, which in turn promote the itch – a vicious circle. The itchy skin can also be perceived as burning or aching slightly. Quite often a strong, chronic itching is to stress test for the Afflicted: It comes to lack of sleep, fatigue, scratch marks on the skin and the permanent feeling to gain by scratching to relief. For some this leads to mental health problems that may even end in suicide. The skin may be chafed bloody or weeping by scratching, then the later stage it is caked. It is typical that hard to reach areas like the back has been excised from the injuries. Not only scratching brings relief – some itchy skin disease the skin is only pressed and cooled so that no traces are visible. Classification of itching The itching can be divided even after the condition of the skin: Pruritus cum materia: The itching is based on an already clearly visible skin disease. Pruritus sine materia: The skin appears still visibly healthy and without changes. Pruritus with chronic scratching: Here the skin has come in high spirits, that is no longer clear whether a skin disease is based. back to contents
Alarm itching Image 1 of 10 © Tharakorn – Fotolia Itching as a warning he has ever plagued almost every: annoying itching, called by doctors and pruritus. It is usually harmless, short-lived and quickly forgotten – prime example: the mosquito bite. However, serious diseases may be behind. It is not always a Hautk . . . more he has ever plagued almost every: annoying itching, called by doctors and pruritus. It is usually harmless, short-lived and quickly forgotten – prime example: the mosquito bite.
However, serious diseases may be behind. Not always is a skin disease caused. Read here what itching may be a warning sign! Itching: causes and possible diseases Skin diseases are the number one trigger of the itching. However, other diseases may be associated with itching. The most common causes are: Skin disease Allergies: The contact with the allergenic substance leads to the release of histamine – itchy pustules and swellings are the result. Eczema (atopic dermatitis): up scaly, itchy skin forms on typical skin such as the armpits, or knees. Psoriasis: In the psoriasis develop especially at the hairline, the elbows and knees, scaly, itchy skin areas. Eczema and hives (urticaria) manifest themselves typically in pustules, crusting and pruritus. Candidiasis: Infestation with skin fungus causes an itchy rash, which may have an unpleasant smell, especially in the skin folds. Xeroderma: Decreased sebum makes the skin dry and brittle are – itching is particularly frequent.
Parasites: Especially the scabies (itch mite) robs many people with nocturnal itching to sleep. Environmental factors: toxins, which are released during an insect bite, by plants, chemicals or parasites that cause severe itching in addition to often pain. Autoimmune diseases such as bullous pemphigoid, pemphigus vulgaris, lichen planus, or light dermatosis express themselves through different symptoms, including itchy skin. Age itching (pruritus senilis) and Winter Itch (pruritus hiemalis): Particularly in the age occurs on the upper arms and lower legs to dry skin, which must be adequately maintained. But even a rapid temperature change between cold and warm in the winter causes itching. Aquagenic pruritus: Through contact with water or temperature fluctuations of the air a stinging itching may occur. Dry skin: Scaly skin while peeling the summer tan, lack of moisture, showers or drying toiletries cause itchy skin. Internal diseases: kidney disease: A large proportion of patients with severe kidney failure who receive hemodialysis (dialysis), suffers a short time after treatment with vigorous, generalized itching. The exact causes are still unclear. Liver disease: disorders of bile outflow (cholestasis) and liver damage, such as cirrhosis of the liver cause an increase in bile-pigment bilirubin. This leads not only to the typical yellowing (icterus) of the skin and mucous membranes, but also to severe itching. Blood and lymphatic system disorders: Hodgkin’s disease: Generalized itching or only in the lymph nodes can precede the malignant tumor of the lymphatic system for years. The pruritus is considered here as sign – patients should be examined several times a year.
Polycythemia vera: The thickening of the blood caused by excess formation of blood cells occurs first as aquagenic pruritus in appearance. Iron deficiency: rips mouth, brittle hair, brittle nails and dry, itchy skin are early signs here. Tumors: When cancer occurs due to treatment such as radiation or different medications to itchy skin. The relationship between a tumor and pruritus is unlikely, even if itchy skin is described in the anal region in colon, prostate cancer or cervical cancer. Metabolic disorders and hormonal disorders: thyroid disease: Over-heated, itchy skin occurs when an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) to frequently. When hypothyroidism pruritus is rare. Hormonal changes: In pregnancy, during the cycle or after menopause (menopause) can generalized itching occur. Diabetes mellitus: nerve damage (neuropathy) or the increased susceptibility to fungal skin infections can cause itchy skin. Anorexia (anorexia nervosa), Celiac or malnutrition may also be accompanied by itching. HIV infection: The immune deficiency favors the occurrence of skin diseases caused by fungi or parasites, which run unobtrusively, but may be accompanied by severe itching. But in the course of antiviral treatment of pruritus can occur. Neurological diseases: damage to the central nervous system such as multiple sclerosis, in polyneuropathy or viral diseases such as Herpes Zoster can trigger the itchy discomfort. Psyche: depression, obsessive compulsive disorders such as compulsive washing or hallucinations may be responsible for severe itching.
Infectious diseases: chickenpox, measles drugs There are a number of drugs that can cause pruritus: antibiotics opiate inflammatories Antimalarials Psychoparhamaka hormones diuretics cytostatics Remedy for hypertension gold
anticoagulants retinoids back to contents Itching: When you need to see a doctor? Itchy skin after insect bites or allergic reactions is very unpleasant, but mostly goes by itself within a short time. When you initially scratched heavily, soothe the itching and disappears eventually. These unique events that occur are not a reason to visit a doctor. but it comes again and again to a long itching that occurs for no apparent reason, but a specialist should take the pruritus under the microscope. Especially in older people the itch appeared often as a result of systemic diseases, followed by dizziness, insomnia and weakness. The long-lasting Miss sensation often leads to social isolation – concerned should take psychological help. Generally, you should consult a doctor if: pruritus occurs unusually long and for no apparent reason on the whole body. added additional symptoms such as malaise, fatigue or fever.
having the skin changes. back to contents Itching: What does the doctor say? Sometimes patients need more doctors visit until the cause has been identified for the itch and ultimately the diagnosis is made. First contact is the dermatologist (dermatologist), which detects changes in the skin and skin diseases. Specialists from other disciplines are in demand when the cause itchy skin not “clearly on the skin”, but hidden in the body. Here may be next internists also the assessment of a psychologist or psychiatrist of importance. In an extensive patient interview (anamnesis), tell your doctor when the pruritus occurred exactly where the itching is particularly strong if something about helping or whether the itchy skin at night pulls out of sleep. Also important is whether the itchy skin is caused by water contact or mechanical stimuli. Even existing allergies, the infestation of family members with parasites, recently visited vacation spots and taking medication can provide some important indications. You should also mention complaints that supposedly meaningless happen to you, such as dizziness or weakness. On physical examination, the skin is taken under the microscope. The dermatologist makes up before any point stop: scalp, hair, nails, the mucous membranes in the mouth and the Intimate and anal region are examined closely.
Not infrequently sit germs in skin folds hidden that are easy to overlook. Chronic itching is often recognizable even to smooth grated nails or hair loss of eyebrows. For a physical examination includes the scanning of the liver, spleen, lymph nodes and kidney to detect organic diseases. If the itchy skin on for no apparent reason, followed by further studies. By biochemical studies of the blood changes in the liver, gall bladder, kidney, and inflammation or worrying changes can be observed. In further tests, you can check the blood on autoimmune diseases. Often smears of skin and mucous membranes or small tissue samples are taken, which are then examined under a microscope for parasites, fungi or bacteria. There is suspicion of a tumor, this with a number of imaging tests such as X-ray, ultrasound, computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) will be pursued. Caution: The pruritus may be a sign of Hodgkin lymphoma, even before the disease occurs in appearance itself. Here, since the blood tests and other tests are normal, the search for the cause of pruritus should be repeated at least once a year. Patients with itching sometimes have to have a series of investigations endure until the cause is found. The subsequent treatment is always based on the underlying disease, it can be very different. Alleviation can already take simple measures to avoid, for example, allergens or certain medications.
In cancers multistage, lengthy therapies are possible. back to contents Itching: This works best Whatever the cause of the itch – corrective and relief You can often create even with simple tricks: Avoid Dry Skin: Do not use a dry indoor climate, frequent baths and showers, saunas or care products that contain alcohol. Dry skin is namely often itchy skin. Skin care: Use refatting creams and lotions. Showering and bathing dries out the skin especially – subsequent maintenance is essential here. Also care products with urea donate the skin especially a lot of moisture. Very spicy food, alcohol, stress, excitement and anger often cause itching. Try to limit these factors in your life. Baden has to be learned: A bath in lukewarm water for 20 minutes or should replace the quick showers. Here, however, you should refrain from drying gels.
In skin diseases or severe scratches the skin should scrubbed with the towel when neither wash nor during drying, be special carefully blotted. You should then the skin with lotions moisturize again. Cotton gloves for itching in his sleep: cotton gloves protect the skin from scratch attacks in his sleep – they are particularly suitable for children. Airy Clothing: Wear loose clothing that does not rub on the body or irritates the skin, for example cotton. Fast Relief: For sudden onset of severe itching help cool, wet compresses with yogurt or vinegar. Even envelopes with black tea are good. For all wet winding, but you should apply cream to skin after again. Lotions with urea or menthol cool and moisturize the skin itchy. With allergies only the renunciation helps to contact with the substance that causes the itching. Relaxation Techniques: Some methods such as autogenic training, progressive muscle relaxation or yoga help not only relieve stress, but to distract from scratch just for chronic pruritus. back to contents Was this page helpful to you? Thanks for your review.
Date: 08:05:13 resources / editors Author: Hanna Rutkowski Sources: Braun-Falco, Plewig, Wolff, Burgdorf, Landthaler: Dermatology and Venereology – Springer, 2005 Guideline of the German dermatological company: Chronic pruritus, AWMF Registration No . : 013/048