Itching

Itching, or pruritus, is a common symptom that can be caused by allergies, dry skin, insect bites, skin conditions, or underlying health conditions. Treating the underlying cause, moisturizing, staying hydrated, and avoiding scratching can help provide relief. Severe or persistent itching accompanied by other concerning symptoms should be evaluated by a healthcare professional.

Best medications for Itching

Drug NameClassRouteStandard DosagePrice
KenalogCorticosteroidsExternal0.147, 80, 10, 40 MG/GMfrom$101.20
CortefCorticosteroidsOral20, 10, 5 MGfrom$6.47
CordranTopical CorticosteroidsExternal4, 0.05, 0.025 %from$72.08
NolixTopical CorticosteroidsExternal0.05 %from$72.08
EpifoamLocal Anesthetic / Corticosteroid CombinationsExternal1-1 %from$97.86
Fluticasone PropionateCorticosteroidsExternal250, 110, 0.05, 113, 220, 232, 44, 55, 93, 0.005, 50, 100 %from$9.89
CutivateTopical CorticosteroidsExternal0.05 %from$182.84
BeserCorticosteroidsExternal0.05 %from$182.84
LidotranLocal AnestheticsExternal3.88 %from$1155.70
LydexaLocal AnestheticsExternal4.12 %from$245.53

Introduction

Itching, also known as pruritus, is a common symptom that can affect anyone at some point in their lives. It can be a bothersome and uncomfortable sensation that triggers the desire to scratch the affected area. Itching can occur in various parts of the body and can range from mild to severe. While itching is often a temporary annoyance, in some cases, it may indicate an underlying medical condition that requires attention and treatment.

Causes of Itching

There are numerous potential causes of itching, including:

Allergies

Allergic reactions to various substances, such as certain foods, medications, or environmental factors like pollen or animal dander, can lead to itching. The body's immune response releases histamines, which can cause skin irritation and itching.

Dry Skin

Dry skin is a common cause of itching, particularly during the colder months when humidity levels are low. When the skin lacks moisture, it becomes dry, flaky, and itchy.

Insect Bites

Insect bites, such as those from mosquitoes, fleas, or bed bugs, can cause localized itching. The body's inflammatory response to the insect's saliva triggers itching and irritation.

Skin Conditions

Several skin conditions can cause persistent itching, including eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis. These conditions result in inflammation and irritation, leading to itching sensations.

Underlying Health Conditions

Certain underlying health conditions, such as liver disease, kidney problems, thyroid disorders, or diabetes, can cause itching as a symptom. In these cases, treating the underlying condition often alleviates the itching.

Treatment and Relief

Treating itching often involves addressing the underlying cause. However, several self-care measures can help provide relief from itching:

Moisturizing

Regularly applying a moisturizer can help prevent and alleviate dry skin, reducing itching.

Hydration

Drinking an adequate amount of water each day can help keep the skin hydrated and reduce itching.

Applying Topical Creams or Ointments

Over-the-counter hydrocortisone creams or ointments can help relieve itching caused by allergic reactions or mild skin irritations. It is important to follow the instructions and consult a healthcare professional if symptoms persist.

Avoiding Scratching

While it may be tempting to scratch the itchy area, doing so can worsen the irritation and potentially lead to infection. It is advisable to gently pat or apply a cold compress to alleviate itching instead.

When to See a Doctor

While occasional itching is often not a cause for concern, there are situations where medical attention is necessary. Seek medical advice if:

  • Itching becomes severe and persistent, lasting longer than a few weeks

  • Itching is accompanied by other concerning symptoms, such as fever or unexplained weight loss

  • There are signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, or pus

  • The itching interferes with daily life or sleep

Remember, this article is for informational purposes only and should not substitute professional medical advice. Itching can have various underlying causes, and a healthcare professional is best equipped to provide an accurate diagnosis and recommend appropriate treatment options.