Skin | Dermatology | Itch (Symptom)
Itching (pruritus) is a tingling or skin irritation aroused by the need to scratch the area. It can be a symptom of many conditions.
The skin accounts for 15% of total body weight, and is the largest organ of the body. The skin has significant psychosocial and physical functions. The most important function of the skin is to provide a protective mechanism. But the skin is also essential for the self-image and a person’s ability to touch and be touched, thus providing an important component of communication.
Symptoms of generalized itching, without rash or skin lesions may be related to anything from dry skin to an occult carcinoma, and the cause of the symptoms should be explored by a medical professional. The medical term for itching is pruritus.
The most common causes are: (1) allergic reactions; (2) eczema; (3) dry skin; (4) insect bites; (5) chemical irritants; (6) parasites such as pinworms, scabies and lice; (7) pregnancy; (8) reactions to medications. Itching is the most common symptom of dermatologic pathology.
Itch: Treatment and Diagnosis
Creams and lotions containing camphor, menthol, phenol, pramoxine, diphenhydramine or benzocaine can bring relief, as advised by your doctors or pharmacist. Some cases of itching respond to corticosteroid drugs. It is best to avoid scratching to prevent worsening of the disease and skin disorders that could lead to bacterial infection. If itching persists or worsens over time, or is associated with skin lesions, it is advisable to consult a specialist.