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What is Pruritus?

By on April 21, 2009

Pruritus is the medical term which is used to irritation or itch that results in the skin. Pruritus is severe or extreme form of distraction irritation or a kind of tickling sense, which is felt over the skin surface. Pruritus sensation can be confined to one part or all over the body. The amount of Pruritus varies differently in different people. When the skin is warm then more Pruritus or irritation in the skin is experienced.

Pruritus all over the body can be due to medical condition like, jaundice, diabetes mellitus, kidney conditions and even liver conditions. Apart from this lymphatic conditions, cancer and other disorders of the blood may lead to Pruritus. Sometimes due to medical reactions also people may develop skin irritation. Drugs like cocaine, aspirin and codeine can cause this condition. Sometimes red rashes may also develop due to allergic reactions of drug.

The abdomen is the most susceptible part of the body to Pruritus. The skin being most sensitive is more prone to inflammation. Perspiration and moisture further worsen the condition. People with hemorrhoids, diarrhea and anal fissure suffer from Pruritus around the abdomen. This condition is known as “pruritus ani”. Kids complain with this condition due to worms in their stomach. Among women this condition is known as “pruritus vulvae”. It can be due to hormonal changes, candidiasis, sprays, deodorants, ointments or vaginal suppositories. Among the elderly dry skin can lead to Pruritus. The skin when gets dried can irritate especially in cold weather.

Pruritus is not a disorder but an indication of another problem. It can be confined to small area or may develop gradually. Scratching the area can lead to redness and bumps. The injury can break the skin and can lead to bleed. This can cause infection. It has been observed that if any Pruritus reaction is accompanied with skin rash or irritation, then it could be indication of fungal, parasitical or scabies infection. Other conditions like dandruff, eczema and psoriases are major causes of Pruritus. Internal development like measles and chicken pox also result in Pruritus.

Various treatments are available to reduce Pruritus. The treatment depends on the reasons, health condition and other ailment. One can put calamine lotion externally to soothe the skin condition. The affected area should be treated very gently. Lotion and cold compress can give relief and alleviate the condition. If the condition persists even after following cleanliness and hygiene then seek the dermatologists help.