Causes and remedies to relieve itchiness

The term rash is used by doctors or patients to refer to any kind of disorder, and is not an indication of a specific disease. Different types of rash include:

  • Rough patches of skin not caused due to infection
  • Rough patches of skin caused due to fungus or bacteria
  • Inflamed itchy swellings or patches evident across the body

Even though rashes are rarely dangerous, it is not a good idea to indulge in self-diagnosis. The correct evaluation of a skin rash - as in your case which seems to be all encompassing - needs to be evaluated by a qualified expert or a dermatologist. In most cases, widespread itching across the body can either be due to dermatitis or eczema.

The term "dermatitis" refers to skin inflammation. It is not related to any of the usual suspects or allergens such as certain kinds of foods, cleansing agents or detergents. This particular kind of dermatitis is often seen during the winter months and is characterized by irritated and aggravated itchiness due to the cold and dry air. Severe scratching of the itchy skin can lead to the skin breaking up and causing it to weep and crust. If you notice liquid oozing out of the crust, it is the body's normal tissue fluid and is not likely to be infected. However these are clear signs of skin inflammation which needs to be treated only with proper medical care. If diagnosed with eczema, your dermatologist will be able to prescribe specific treatment for the condition.

Severe body itching spread across different areas is also a sign of psoriasis or due to bacteria and fungus. While bacteria and fungal infection which is believed to be quite common in most people can be treated successively, psoriasis is not curable. Psoriasis can be a life debilitating disorder and its symptoms can be controlled to a great extent, along with lifestyle changes. Hence to prevent further delay, you need to diagnose the condition through a dermatologist who will be able to assist you in seeking the right treatment. Adopting special measures in personal hygiene can also reduce the incidence of the itching and discomfort. If the doctor diagnoses a bacterial or fungal infection ensure that you maintain stringent hygienic measures around you to prevent re-infection and spread of infection to others.

A gentle hypoallergenic moisturizer can help you relieve you of your distressing symptoms, and applying the lotion before bedtime can help in relieving the itchiness.

answered by G M

Itching or pruritis, refers to an irritation or prickling feeling that disturbs either a particular region or the entire body and makes you scratch the affected region. The tolerance threshold for itching varies depending on the stress, emotions and other factors related to the person. The severity of itching increases when the skin is warm and the person affected has few distractions around him, which is why itching is more intense during the night. Many medical/skin conditions or allergies can cause itching. These include atopic dermatitis, chicken pox, and eczema, fungus infections such as athlete's foot, hives (uriticaria), insect bites, lice, lichen planus, neurodermatitis, psoriasis, or even scabies. Often such itching all over the body can also be a result of diabetes, mellitus, liver disease, kidney failure, jaundice, thyroid disorders, blood disorders such as leukaemia, and even cancer. Surprisingly, itching all over the body can also be a result of bathing too often, which strips off the natural oils of the skin and lead to dryness and consequent itching of the skin.

If you suffer from an itching all over the body, you should avoid bathing too often and use only lukewarm water and use only gentle baby soap without harsh chemicals, while bathing. Also remember not to scrub your skin dry; rather pat it dry and always moisturise with a gentle lotion after bathing. If your itching is due to an allergy, make the best efforts to avoid the allergen. Apart from these preventive methods, it is also important to identify the cause for the itching to treat it accordingly and thus avoid the endless cycle of scratching which can even lead to wounds. You can also try various distraction methods such as relaxation techniques and other therapeutic methods such as music and yoga to avoid scratching.

The dark, prickly undergrowth in your underarms could be the hair growth due to shaving. If you shave, instead of waxing which removes the hair from the roots and leaves the skin smooth and soft, then you can suffer from dark underarms. Avoid shaving since that does not remove the hair from the roots and thus leads to dark underarms. It also makes the hair grow back faster, so shaving should be avoided unless you shave almost daily to ensure that there is no prickly growth.

answered by M W

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