Pruritus is an itch that can cover all or part of a person's body. Itching may be accompanied by a rash. Itching can occur briefly but can also be severe to very disturbing the sufferer. Itching in some parts of the body generally only appears in certain areas, such as the hands or feet. In addition to rashes, itching can also form a reddish lump, cracked dry skin, and texture that resembles calluses or scaly.
Causes of Pruritus
Pruritus can be caused by mild skin disorders, such as overly dry skin, insect bites, to the irritation caused by systemic disorders such as diabetes mellitus.
The causes of pruritus are divided into:
- Skin condition Some skin disorders that can affect skin conditions and cause itching include eczema, urticaria or biduran, allergic contact dermatitis, psoriasis, folliculitis, dandruff, prurigo, and inflammation of the oral mucosa or lichen planus.
- Allergic skin reactions Objects such as jewelry containing nickel or cobalt can trigger an itchy allergic reaction to the skin. Rubber, latex, textile materials, fragrances, hair dye, plants like flower powder can be a trigger of pruritus. So do the drugs, such as aspirin, excessive exposure to ultra violet light and humid or hot weather.
- Insect stings and bites and parasites Parasites such as hair lice, pinworms, moths, fleas, mosquitoes, bees, wasps, bedbugs, and trichomoniasis parasites causing sexually transmitted diseases can also trigger pruritus.
- Infection In some diseases, pruritus is one of the symptoms that indicates infection of the affected part of the body. Diseases caused by ringworm infection can have itchy symptoms, as well as chickenpox. Fungal infections in the feet or water fleas, fungal infections of the vaginal or penile area can also cause pruritus.
- Pregnancy and menopause Hormonal imbalances experienced by women who are pregnant or entering menopause can be the cause of pruritus. In pregnant women, pruritus generally disappears after delivery. Some conditions of pruritic triggers in pregnant women include pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy (PUPPP) which commonly appear in the thigh and abdominal areas, prurigo gestationis that commonly occurs in the areas of the hands, feet and torso, as well as obstetric cholestasis causing itching without rash as a result of an abnormality that affects the patient's heart.
- Other conditions Pruritus is also a symptom of diseases, such as hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, hemorrhoids, polycythemia, and anemia as a result of iron deficiency, hepatitis, chronic renal failure, primary biliary cirrhosis or bile duct inflammation, and certain types of cancer. Psychological conditions, such as anxiety disorders or depression, can also trigger pruritus.
In addition to the above mentioned symptoms, pruritus that lasts more than two weeks should be checked immediately to the doctor for further diagnosis and treatment. Some other symptoms to watch out for are if pruritus does not go away after through self-care at home, appears throughout the body, and has interfered with daily activities. Disruptive pruritus can cause injury and infection of the skin. Long lasting pruritus may also have more intense itching intensity.