The very word “itch” causes a corresponding reaction. When a symptom appears regularly or does not go away at all, it becomes excruciating. If you have been suffering from it for more than 2 weeks, this is a reason to see your doctor. Especially if the itching is accompanied by other symptoms.
The most harmless cause of itching
Common causes of non-rash itching include dry skin. A daily shower is right, but frequent contact with detergents dries out, especially for people who have a tendency to do so. Dryness is the most common cause of itching in the elderly. At the same time, peeling foci are observed on the skin.
In both cases, you just need to start using products that moisturize the skin. Elderly people should definitely drink enough water. They have a dull feeling of thirst, and a lack of moisture can affect the skin. The same applies to other people who consume little water per day and have concomitant chronic diseases.
The most serious reason
A dangerous cause of itchy skin is a malignant tumor. This is one of the first signs that a number of people appeared for as long as 5 years before the discovery of the disease. Most often, this symptom accompanies gastric carcinoma, bowel, breast, prostate, lung, brain or pancreatic cancer. Itching affects 25% of people with Hodgkin ‘s lymphoma , which causes itchy skin at night. Many, knowing the connection of the symptom with such diseases, come to the examination on time and “catch” the disease at an early stage.
With regard to the night time, it must be said that any itching intensifies at night, not only that which accompanies lymphoma . This is due to the daily rhythms of the body, when the blood vessels dilate in the evening and night. As a result, the skin temperature rises and the itching intensifies.
What diseases can itch for: diseases of the skin and other organs
The first group of causes of pruritus are chronic inflammatory skin diseases. Here we are talking about dermatological itching. This symptom is caused by many non-infectious skin diseases:
- seborrheic dermatitis;
- atopic dermatitis;
- contact dermatitis;
- allergy (urticaria).
An allergic reaction can occur to cosmetics, paint or fabric coatings, the juices of some plants, and food. The peculiarity of allergies and skin diseases accompanied by itching is that there are rashes with it. If they are not there, then most likely the problem lies elsewhere. More serious causes are generalized pruritus. The person feels that his whole body itches. This has a particularly strong effect on the psychological state. And the reasons for this skin itch without a rash are completely different:
- blood diseases;
- endocrine diseases (diabetes mellitus, hyper – and hypoparathyroidism );
- neurological diseases (multiple sclerosis, postherpetic neuralgia, peripheral nerve injuries, cerebrovascular accidents);
- syndrome , Sjogren’s (system xeroderma);
- chronic renal failure;
- obstruction of the biliary tract;
- liver disease (hepatitis, cirrhosis);
- parasitic invasions.
The listed diseases cause systemic itching. It is caused by metabolic products that circulate in the blood. These are the causes of itching in diseases of various organs and systems. For example, with jaundice, the appearance of a symptom provokes increased bilirubin, and with renal failure, an excess of nitrogen metabolism products.
Could itching be due to psychosomatics ?
Another cause of itching is psychosomatics . If a person is in a state of stress or depression, emotional shock or overwork, on the basis of nervousness he may feel that his body itches. The power of suggestion is often at work. Even while reading the article, you may feel itching on your body.
How to find the cause and relieve itching before your doctor’s appointment
There are many reasons for itchy skin, and they are different: from simple dry skin to serious diseases such as malignant tumors. To find out the nature of the symptom, you need to see your doctor. It is important for a specialist to know:
- how itching begins (gradually, abruptly);
- how it proceeds (continuously, with changes);
- what character it has (stabbing, burning);
- what it is connected with (work, new pets, travel, psychological trauma).
It is very important not to scratch your skin, no matter how much you want to. Bacteria can enter the wounds, leading to a secondary infection. This will be more difficult to deal with as you will be drawn into a vicious itch-scratch cycle. Instead, you need to take some action. What to do in case of severe itching before a doctor’s appointment:
- take a cold shower or apply a cold compress for a while (a moistened towel);
- apply a moisturizer, preferably menthol lotion, which has a cooling and soothing effect.
This will help soothe the itching a bit until you visit your doctor. It is not worth delaying the treatment, since itching is a symptom that accompanies various diseases. And until the cause is eliminated, the symptom will not go away. The sooner the disease is detected, the higher the chances of restoring health without consequences and the faster getting rid of the painful symptom.