itching

What causes itching?

Itching can be uncomfortable and frustrating for those patients who suffer.  Skin diseases like hives, chicken pox, and eczema are associated with an itching rash.  Other conditions, like dry skin, can cause your whole body to itch and your skin to crack.  Scabies and lice are parasitic infestations of the skin that can be very itchy.  If a pigmented mole itches then a dermatological opinion should be sought to exclude a malignant change in the mole.  Kidney failure, liver disease including hepatitis, and thyroid disease may cause itching.

How is itching treated?

First a doctor must try to determine the cause of the itch.  An examination of the skin will be required and possibly a blood test or biopsy.  If the itch is from a skin disease then treatment of the disease itself will generally relieve the itch.  Internal medication may be required if the itch is a symptom of an internal disease.  In other cases ultraviolet light treatments may be used to relieve itch.

There are many causes of itch, but there are some basic treatments which apply to most.  Hot bathing or showering should be avoided and only tepid or lukewarm water should be used to bathe; soap often dries out the skin.  After bathing, rinse off completely by patting the skin lightly, and immediately apply moisturizing lotion or cream.  It is important to wear light clothing as to not further irritate the skin.

To schedule an appointment with a board certified dermatologist at Soderstrom Skin Institute, call 1-888-970-7546.