The reasons for itchy skin can be just as varied as the individual. Dr. Jahangeer H. Dogar is an Oakbrook Terrace, IL allergist and immunologist who can determine both the reason and the solution for itchy skin.
Itchy skin a frustrating, uncomfortable, or even painful condition that makes a person feel like they need to constantly scratch. In some cases, the itchy skin will look completely normal, but in other situations, the skin will look inflamed, bumpy, cracked, dry, or even develop small blisters. The duration of the itchiness varies considerably. Giving in to the urge to itch often causes the itchy skin to become even worse, so this can prolong the issue.
There are a number of reasons that itchy skin can happen. Allergies are a common cause, whether they are food allergies, drug allergies, or some other type of allergy. Some skin conditions, for example, eczema or hives, may cause itchy skin as well. There are some central nervous system conditions that may cause itchiness, for example, multiple sclerosis. Itchy skin is fairly common during pregnancy, as the stretching of the skin may cause discomfort.
The treatment for itchy skin depends on both the stimulus and the severity of the itchiness. Many people will benefit from allergy testing if the itchiness is tied to an allergen. This will allow for either avoidance of the allergen or replacement of the allergen with an alternative that doesn't cause itchiness. People who suffer from itchy skin may benefit from the use of a high-quality moisturizer, which can improve skin hydration and help keep it healthy. During bouts of severe itchiness, bathing in cool water with baking soda or oatmeal may provide some soothing. The allergist may recommend that people who have severe itchiness use oral medications like antihistamines or calcineurin inhibitors. Some topical creams, for example, corticosteroid creams, can be used to relieve the itching as needed. Many people will do best using a combination of these treatments.
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