Itchy skin, Pruritus


Pruritus is a medical condition of an itchy skin. This is an uncomfortable feeling of itchiness that forces you to scratch in an attempt to relieve it. Pruritus may be uncomfortable or irritating, and it may only affect a single area of your body or multiple locations. Because aging tends to make skin drier, pruritus is frequently caused by dry skin and is typical in older persons

Whether your skin appears normal or if it is inflamed, rough, or covered in bumps will depend on what is causing your itching. Scratching too often can result in thick, elevated patches of skin that might bleed or get infected

According to the cause of pruritus and the area of your body where it occurs, there are several types of pruritus. Among the pruritus types that are most common are:

  • Brachioradial pruritus: Upper arm itching due to injury to the nerves.
  • Nocturnal pruritus: There are a number of reasons why you could experience nighttime itching, such as an adverse reaction to a medication, contact with a skin irritant, or your body’s normal processes.
  • Pruritus ani: Skin irritants, infections, or hemorrhoids can all cause this itching around your anus.
  • Senile pruritus: Itching brought on by skin changes that primarily affect those over 65.
  • Uremic pruritus: Dialysis patients with renal dysfunction sometimes experience itching as a symptom.

Selfcare techniques such using moisturizers, mild cleansers, and taking warm baths help a lot of individuals feel better. Finding and addressing the source of itchy skin is necessary for longterm comfort. Antiitch medications used orally, moist bandages, and medicated lotions are common treatments


Itching is the primary sign of pruritus. An itchy feeling is one that makes you want to scratch your skin in order to relieve the discomfort. Small regions of the body, such the scalp, an arm, or a leg, may be completely covered in pruritus. It is possible for skin to become itchy in the absence of other obvious skin changes, or it may include the following

  • Bumps, spots or blisters
  • Dry or cracked skin
  • Leathery or scaly patches
  • Scratch marks
  • Skin inflammation.
  • Localized pain at the itchy skin
  • A yellow to white fluid oozes from broken skin, which also doesn’t heal and may feel crusty or scaly (infection). 

Itching can occasionally be extremely severe and last for a long period. The region becomes more itchy as you rub or scratch it. Additionally, you scratch more the more it ache. It can be challenging to break this scratchitch cycle

If you’re dealing with itching that persists beyond two weeks despite your own attempts at relief, severe itching that interferes with your daily life or sleep, sudden unexplained itching, itching all over your body, or if itching is accompanied by other concerning symptoms like weight loss, fever, or night sweats, it’s important to seek medical attention from a healthcare provider or dermatologist.

See a dermatologist to get checked for skin disease if the problem doesn’t go away after three months of treatment.


There are situations where the cause of the itching is unknown. The following causes of pruritus includes:

  • Skin conditions: Pruritus could result to inflammation or swelling within the body. Examples include dermatitis (dry skin), psoriasis, scabies, burns, scars, insect bites, and hives.
  • Internal diseases: A condition such as liver disease, renal disease, anemia, diabetes, thyroid issues, and some tumors may be the cause of pruritus throughout the entire body. Among other things, this could involve hormone shifts or agerelated natural changes to your body
  • Nerve disorders: Itching is a result of nerve injury or disorders of the nervous system. Herpes zoster, pinched nerves, and multiple sclerosis are a few examples.
  • Psychiatric conditions: Itching is an indication of mental health issues or disorders of the nervous system. Depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, and OCD are a few examples.
  • Irritation and allergic reactions: Among other things, wool, chemicals, and soaps can irritate the skin and result in rashes and itching. A material, like cosmetics or poison ivy, might occasionally trigger an allergic reaction. Itchy skin can also result from drug reactions to certain medications, such as opioid drugs used to alleviate pain
  • Environmental: Itching is caused by an irritation in the surrounding area. Clothing materials, insect bites, medicine reactions, temperature changes, or painful objects could all be examples of this

Risk factors

Everyone will experience pruritus at some point in their lives. Everybody experiences the severity and frequency differently. Pruritus may be more likely to strike if you

  • People who are at the age of 65 years older
  • Experience itching due to an underlying medical problem, such as dermatitis, thyroid illness, anemia, or kidney disease
  • Those who are undergoing dialysis.
  • Pregnant women.