Itching (pruritus)

21 October 2017

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Whether the whole body or only on the scalp, itching (pruritus) is a very unpleasant sensation on the skin. Man scratching at the affected site, scrubs or pushes it around. In most cases, itching might be annoying, but harmless. What helps effectively against the itching.

Skin sensations such as pain, cold or heat sensation serve as warning signals and solve protective reflexes from - for example, the rapid withdrawal of the hand from a hot stove. Also itching (medical "pruritus") Has in principle to these protections: It dissolves scratching movements , which are designed to remove harmful parasites or other foreign matter from the skin surface.

Unlike a short-term, acute itchiness - for which there is often no apparent reason - can be long-lasting, chronic itching indicate a disease or disorder. Various diseases can then be the cause.

Itching is a unpleasant sensation on the skin, triggers the urge to scratch on a site or to scrub, for example with your fingernails. Itching is the most common symptom that emanates from the skin.

Not only diseases but also as drugs can side effect cause pruritus. In addition, certain chemical messengers in the body, such as histamine, triggering itching assets. Histamine plays an important role in allergic reactions, such as hay fever. There it caused among other itchiness in the nose.

The itching may be limited to certain regions of the skin. Examples include itching around the anus, the genital area - or if only the scalp itchy. If not just one area, but the whole body itches, it is called generalized Itching.

If the itching occurs sharply defined and can be located well, doctors refer to it as epicritic Pruritus. A burning and poorly localizable itching, however, is protopathischer Pruritus. If changes occur to the skin - like a rash - simultaneously with itching, it is called a prurigo.

Depending on the type and location are used for itching (pruritus) different causes question. skin diseases, in which a particularly intense itching occurs, for example:

Itching (pruritus) can be connected to a single part of the body, such as the anus for hemorrhoids or anal fissure (localized itching), or all over the body occur (generalized itching) without other changes in the skin stand out.

Both itch forms are different as causes underlying diseases in question. The itching occurs mostly in addition to other symptoms of the particular disease as an accompanying symptom:

More itch causes are:

In order for the itching proper diagnosis to ask the doctor questions the affected initially detail:

These and other questions can give the doctor the first indications of possible causes for the itching and support the diagnosis.

After they are followed physical examination. The physician examined for example by scratch marks, dry skin, color changes or references to pathogens. In some cases, it also scans lymph nodes, liver and spleen.

To advanced diagnostics may include:

the doctor suspects an infection with a pathogen, he makes a swab of the affected area and can create an exciting culture.

Whether he is using special investigations should secure, depends on suspected what cause or diagnosis, the doctor behind the itching. Such studies include:

Basically, the therapy depends on itching (pruritus) of the underlying cause from.

First Aid for itching:

To relieve the discomfort, it can help in some cases if the appropriate places several times a day, particularly after washing, with a drug-free fatty ointment eincremt. For cleaning the body you should only alkali-free soaps use. Creams or lotions menthol, camphor, urea or tannins can relieve the itching shortly.

special ointments itching include, for example:

Also Oral medications are sometimes an appropriate therapy for itching. Here, then often offer antihistamines (eg cetirizine). If psychological causes are present, anxiolytic and sedative drugs (anxiolytics) and neuroleptics may be used. Helpful against itching is also an irradiation with UV-B rays.


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