Itch, also referred to as pruritus, is an uncomfortable sensation in the skin that can provoke an urge to rub or scratch the affected area for relief. Its irritation ranges from mild annoyance to intense discomfort.
Depending on the case, itch can occur in a single area of the body (localized) or all over the body (widespread). It can be benign (no cause for concern) or a symptom of a serious medical condition.
Most people will experience itch during their lifetime, but some are more susceptible to itch than others, such as people with seasonal or food allergies, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, and certain types of cancer. Pregnant women and the elderly are also susceptible to itch.
While most people with itch do not have a serious underlying condition, see your doctor for accurate diagnosis and proper treatment.
Itch is a symptom of many health conditions, but its causes generally fall into one of several categories, such as:
- Localized—such as insect bites or stings
- Systemic—either physical or psychological
- Physical can stem from allergic reactions to food, medications, or diseases such as HIV or diabetes
- Psychological can be produced by anxiety
- Skin Disease—such as eczema, seborrhea, or psoriasis
- Exposure-Related—environmental causes such as sunburn or irritating chemicals
- Hormonal—such as pregnancy (cholestasis of pregnancy) or menopause
No matter what causes your itch, keeping your skin healthy is an important preventative measure. Start with drinking plenty of liquids and eating a healthy diet. It’s also important to protect your skin from the elements with hypoallergenic moisturizing face and body lotions, as well as sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher) and protective clothing.
It is also beneficial to avoid harsh soaps, laundry detergents and other chemicals, extreme temperatures and irritating clothing to prevent skin irritation that can lead to itch. Using a humidifier in your home can also help with the itch that may result from dry skin.
Using SARNA Anti-Itch Lotion is a great first step toward alleviating itch. It is also important to remove or manage the cause of your itch. Since itchy skin can be a symptom of a condition that requires medical care, be sure to see your doctor for an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment.
1. Data on file, Crown Laboratories