Unless you happen to be a medical student or have studied medical terminology, the term "pruritus" is almost certainly unfamiliar. It describes no rare disease but rather a common minor medical issue – itchiness. Someone who has ever had severe itchiness might find it hard to believe that anyone would go to the doctor with such a complaint, but sometimes it might be a symptom of a more serious problem. It could also reach a point where it disrupts this person's normal lifestyle beyond an acceptable point, for example, it could become very hard to get a good night's sleep.
When a patient comes with this complaint to a clinic, the doctor invariably looks for symptoms of the condition in the skin. Eczema is one of the most common conditions that make the skin very itchy and produces many telltale signs. Affected skin is reddish, and it is very dry and flaky. Red marks on the skin also often appear after insect bites, and these can be very itchy. Simple home treatments provide effective relief in most cases with just a small number of patients in need of additional treatment.
Some people notice that this condition follows a pattern where it flares up at certain times and then it quietens down. This symptom provides a valuable clue for tracing the source of the problem. For example, if the itching intensifies after you eat a particular food that suggests it could be a food allergy. It if flares up after you use some cosmetic or soap this indicates another type of allergy. Doctors also want to know if the itch is all over the body or just in a specific area; about how long each flare-up lasts for, and whether the itchiness intensifies at night. This information helps make an accurate diagnosis.
Someone with this health issue feels compelled to scratch the area around the bottom – the anus in medical language. Aside from the embarrassment, and an understandable reluctance to discuss this with the doctor, this condition can cause a great deal of physical discomfort and interfere with the healthy rest everyone needs. Threadworms often cause itchiness of the bottom in children. Bacterial infections or hemorrhoids are much more likely to be the cause for adults. Doctors are used to treating such issues so nobody should be reluctant to go for an examination.
The natural reaction to itchiness is to scratch the area, but this is one of the things that pruritus sufferers must avoid doing. It takes a little willpower but scratching invariably worsens the situation as it causes additional skin damage. If you must touch the area, it is far better to pat or tap it instead of scratching. It is even possible that scratching repeatedly at itchy skin wears aware the upper skin layer and makes a person more prone to infections.
You may wonder how there could be any possible connection between pruritus and anxiety and depression but in some extreme cases, a link emerges. For example, while an itchy bottom begins as just an embarrassing complaint, if it continues for a long time without any identified cause or treatment, the patient easily becomes depressed. This is even more likely to occur because the condition often flares up and night and makes it much harder to get healthy sleep.
Before considering prescription medications, it pays to investigate how changes in diet might relieve symptoms. If flare-ups occur after eating some food, stop eating this item. Everyone in this condition needs to make some general dietary changes. It pays to eliminate certain foods and drinks from meal plans. For example, experts recognize that spicy food, and drinks containing alcohol and caffeine interfere with the flow of blood in the skin, and this intensifies itchiness.
Anyone who neglects personal hygiene increases the likelihood of developing skin problems, but a fanatic pre-occupation with hygiene also causes harm. If you have pruritus, you should not spend more than twenty minutes in the bath and bathe in lukewarm water rather than taking a hot bath. Ideally, it is best to minimize the number of showers and baths to what basic hygiene demands but no more. During and after bathing, use only un-perfumed soaps, gels, and deodorants since these are less likely to aggravate skin problems.
Materials used in clothing and clothing styles may worsen skin irritations. If the doctor diagnoses you with pruritus, you should stop wearing tight-fitting clothes that pressurize the skin. Look for cotton or silk clothing instead of clothes made of wool or synthetic fabrics. It is also a good idea to experiment with different laundry detergents. Some recommend going to sleep wearing cotton gloves to protect against scratching skin irritations while sleeping.
Pharmacies offer many medical creams and lotions that help treat pruritus. You can buy some of these over the counter, but others may only be available on prescription. An oily moisturizer helps to improve the condition of dry and flaky skins. Your doctor might suggest cream with menthol that cools down the areas of the skin irritation. Some creams include a substance called crotamiton that helps reduce itchiness. Creams that contain steroids also help treat some kinds of skin inflammation. Pharmacists and doctors know which cream is most likely to be helpful.
The antihistamine tablets doctors prescribe to treat allergies could bring relief to pruritus sufferers. Since they have side effects, especially making users drowsy, the best time to take them is before going to be at night. If this health issue continues for a long time some patients might need to take anti-depressant tablets.
This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.