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Causes and diagnosis of itchy skin

Causes and diagnosis of itchy skin

Itchy skin causes immense irritation, and is accompanied by rashes and redness. This irritation forces you to scratch your skin that worsens the situation. Irritated skin accompanied by an uncontrollable itch is known as Pruritus. There are a number of causes of itchy skin. These can range from something ordinary, like a rash, to something serious, like kidney failure. It is advisable to consult a doctor if you don’t know the cause of your itching condition. Itching may seem like a very harmless condition but if it persists, it is recommended that you visit a doctor. Some of the causes are severe and need immediate medical help.Let’s look at some of the common causes of itchy skin.

Skin conditions
Dermatitis: It is a skin condition that causes the skin to become red, swollen, hot, and is often accompanied by pain.
Eczema: It is a long lasting and persistent skin disorder. It causes itching and rashes.
Dermatographism: It is a type of itchy rash on the skin.

Infections causing itching
Many times various types infections give rise to itching. These infections include chicken pox, lice, fungal, rashes, mites, scabies, pinworms, irritants,etc. Irritants are substances which come in contact with the skin and cause irritation, inflammation, and itching.

Internal disorders
Itchy skin is also a symptom of some internal disorders including liver disease, anemia, diabetes, iron deficiency, HIV, leukemia, thyroid disease, lymphoma, failure of kidney, pregnancy, etc. Itching issues are very common during pregnancy. In fact, 10% of pregnant women suffer from itching during pregnancy.

Psychological conditions
There are certain psychological conditions like depression, anxiety, psychosis, and trichotillomania which gives an urge to itch the body.

Diagnosis of itchy skin
Ideally, a doctor should be able to tell the reason behind your itch by knowing the symptoms. He’ll ask you a few questions to know the cause. In severe cases, a doctor will have to conduct tests to know the cause. Check out the common tests that are conducted to diagnose the cause of the itch.

  • Blood test: Blood tests help in diagnosing internal disorders and infections.
  • Thyroid test: Itching can be a result of thyroid disorder. A thyroid test is suggested to know if the cause is due to the rise/fall of the thyroid hormone.
  • Skin test: Often, the cause of the itching are skin infections and allergies. A skin test can figure out whether or not the itch is a result of some skin allergy.