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Itching

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Itching is a symptom, often triggered by histamine responses associated with the skin. There are numerous possible causes for itching, most of which are an external influence by either an insect, plant, allergen to the skin, or even the condition of the air. Sometimes itching can be related to internal stimulus, including but not limited to reactions to medication, food allergies, and skin sensitivities.

A mild itch is usually nothing to indicate a severe situation. Mild itching is simply the body’s method of indicating irritation. When itching occurs the same time, in the same fashion, with any common denominator (such as continuously after switching laundry detergents or after swimming in a pool or exposure to any type of stimuli that chronically produces the same result) the determining factor is then quite easy to establish. Fixing the situation might be as simple as avoiding triggers that bring the itch about.

ITCHING SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

Avoidance is not always possible or even desirable. Sometimes, treating the itch with a mild ointment is all that is needed to resolve the situation. Mild skin allergies will often react well to pure moisturizing ointments which are sold over the counter. When trying to alleviate mild itching and mild skin allergies on young children and babies, always consult a physician. Not all itch relieving skin lotions are appropriate for young children and babies.

Skin that is dry can itch, even along the scalp. Dry skin along the scalp usually reveals itself as tiny flakes of skin often referred to as dandruff. Showering or bathing too often can lead to dry skin, dry air in the home, swimming pools and other exposure to chemically treated environments, and cold, dry climates. Adjusting the indoor climate as much as possible and using a moisturizing cream on the skin as well as limiting showering and bathing to once per day can help this kind of itching. Specialized shampoos and hair care products can also help alleviate scalp itch.

Skin conditions that are more severe than a mild skin allergy often require the help of either a physician or a dermatologist. Allergies can be tested via a skin test, which requires the mild scratching of a ready made serum onto the skin. When the skin reacts, the allergist can determine whether this is the cause of a skin allergy. Sometimes allergies can be quite severe and interfere in every day living.
itching
Image: Itching


Other skin conditions, such as eczema and impetigo require medication that can only be prescribed by a physician, allergist, or dermatologist. These medications are designed to help control the immune system. Eczema and certain other skin conditions, are caused by a flaring immune system. The immune system (which of course is designed to ward off ill and foreign particles in the body) can become confused and react in a number of ways.

When a flaring immune system attacks the skin, the result is often an incredibly itchy, peeling rash. Often time the more a patient tries to treat these types of skin flare ups with over the counter medication, the worse the problem becomes because the medication is seen by the immune system as another reason to flare up. In most cases, immunosuppressant medication or corticosteroids are the most reasonable option when it comes to treating this type of skin irritation and itch.

ITCHING SIGNS

Itching can be a sign of allergic reaction or sensitivity to a medication. Narcotic pain relievers, and few other medications, create the sensation of itch as part of their ability to affect the brain’s sensory of sensation. Mild itching is normal, and the body will often adjust to the medication within a matter of days and itching will resolve itself. However, severe itching or prolonged itching is a sign that the medication is causing the brain to over-stimulate, and react to minor irritations that it is not supposed to.


Often switching to a different type of medication will resolve the problem of itching. Itching that is accompanied by a serious rash that is blistered, red, peeling, or otherwise abnormal as the result of medication can be a signal that the medicine is causing damage, and the prescribing physician should be alerted immediately.

ITCHING CAUSES

Itching can be because of, or the cause of, infections. Scratching at the skin abrades the skin’s surface allowing germs and bacteria to enter. In some cases, an infection of the skin can cause itching. If the skin is torn, oozing, warm, or showing other signs of infection, a physician should be notified.

Itching that is accompanied by bumps or marks on the skin and covers a significant area of the body can be the beginning stages of certain infectious diseases like the Chicken Pox. Whenever there are additional signs of illness accompanied by itching, or the recent exposure to a contagious disease, again, the physician should be notified immediately.
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