Pruritus and Itching

Pruritus refers to the sensation of itching on the skin. Pruritus may present with symptoms such as redness, rash, or dry skin, signaling underlying skin conditions, allergies, or systemic issues and can significantly impact one's quality of life. It can be caused by a wide range of skin conditions, including dry skin, infection, fungus, other skin diseases and, rarely, cancer.

While anyone can experience pruritus, it is more commonly seen among the elderly, people with diabetes, individuals with suppressed immune systems, and those with seasonal allergies, like hay fever or eczema. Additionally, there is a type of pruritus, called PUPPP (Pruritic Uticarial Papules & Plaques of Pregnancy) that affects pregnant women.

Our trusted Brentwood Dermatology providers specialize in diagnosing and managing pruritus, offering personalized care and advanced treatments to alleviate symptoms and address the root cause. If you're seeking relief from persistent itching, schedule an appointment at Brentwood Dermatology for a comprehensive evaluation and tailored treatment plan to restore your skin's health and your overall well-being.

What are the symptoms of Pruritus?

  • Itching that is difficult to resist scratching.
  • Redness.
  • Rash.
  • Dry or cracked skin.

Causes of Pruritus

  • Skin Conditions: Dry Skin (Xerosis), Eczema (Dermatitis), Psoriasis, Contact Dermatitis.
  • Allergies: Allergic Reaction.
  • Infections: Fungal Infections, Bacterial Infection.
  • Systemic Diseases: Liver Disease, Kindey Disease, Thyroid Disorder.
  • Hormonal Changes: Pregnancy, Menopause.
  • Neurological Conditions: Nerve Disorder.
  • Medications: Drug Reactions.
  • Insect Bites.

How to Prevent Pruritus

Preventing pruritus, or itching, involves adopting habits and making choices to keep your skin healthy and itch-free. Prevention includes:

  • Hydrate Your Skin: Moisturize Regularly.
  • Be Skin Savvy: Gentle Cleansing, Choose Skin-Friendly Product.
  • Avoid Allergens and Irritants.
  • Healthy Lifestyle Choices: Stay Hydrated, Manage Stress.
  • Sun Protection.

If itching persists or worsens, it's like a signal to call in the experts. Consult your dermatologist to investigate the cause and guide you on the best ways to keep your skin happy and itch-free.

Pruritus FAQs

Pruritus is just a fancy word for itching. It can happen for various reasons, like dry skin, allergies, or certain medical conditions. Your body is basically telling you that something is irritating your skin.

Occasional itching is normal, but if it's persistent or affecting your daily life, it's worth looking into. Your body might be reacting to something, and finding the cause can help you manage it better.

For mild itching, you can try over-the-counter creams and keep your skin moisturized. If it persists or gets worse, it's a good idea to see a doctor or dermatologist. They can pinpoint the cause and suggest the right treatment.

Yes, some products with fragrances or harsh chemicals can worsen itching. Choosing gentle, fragrance-free soaps and moisturizers can help soothe your skin. Your dermatologist can recommend products that are less likely to cause irritation.

Absolutely. Stress can have all sorts of effects on the body, including making your skin itch. Finding ways to manage stress, like exercise or relaxation techniques, might help alleviate itching.

How to Treat Pruritus

Treatment for pruritus depends on identifying the underlying cause. Your dermatologist will examine the itchy area and may make a small scrape on any rash to collect tissue for diagnostic testing. Typical treatment involves topical and/or oral steroids and antihistamines to help relieve the itch.

Schedule with one of our skin experts for your custom treatment plan.