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Pruritus: Itchy skin

There are people who are more prone to having skin that itch almost all the time.  Some of them attribute this bothersome skin condition immediately to irritants or allergens like dust or chemical substances from cosmetic products.  They instantly label what they are experiencing as skin allergies.

Although they could be correct, little do they know that there is also a medical term that applies to itchy skin?  This term, which is pruritus, is literally still classified as an itch.  It is, however, defined as being a sensation of the skin that is so dreadful one always gets the urge to scratch it to make the unpleasantness go away.  The scratching or rubbing motion always means relief to any person who is experiencing such sensations of unbearable itch.  

Pruritus is known to impair the normal activities of a person because the itchy sensation always gives them feelings of unease.  If they are unable to get rid of the itch, they become frustrated and more irritated as time goes by.  Because of this, cases of severe itchy skin could even lead to disturbances in the sleep pattern of a person.  In some cases, it even causes a great alteration of a person's psychological make-up because it can lead to the feelings of depression and anxiousness.

People who are experiencing this type of skin ailment should know though that they should take care especially in always scratching their skin.  They have to realize that if they will constantly scratch at the area where the itch is prevalent, it could lead to great skin damage like bruising, lichenification and excoriation.  In time, the capability of the skin area, which is always scratched on, as a protective covering will be lessened.

Because there are actually quite a large number of pruritus causes, the skin ailment has been categorized into 5 types according to the possible causes.  These are: the itch that is limited only to an area of the body; the one caused by disorders in the physiological system of a person; an itch that indicates the affliction of a skin disorder; one that is related to exposure to factors that are present in the environment and to certain to medications; and, that which is caused by hormonal changes in the body, especially among women.

The treatment of itchy skin would largely depend on determining what caused it.  Once the cause is known, then it is easier to ascertain if topical treatment like ointments and creams should be applied or if oral treatments like aspirins to get rid of the discomfort and antihistamines to treat it as a form of skin allergy should be administered.  While most of the treatment for this skin ailment could be bought over the counter of any local drug store, it is still best to consult a doctor first on what type of treatment should really be used.