Pruritus, or itching skin, is an unpleasant sensation on the skin that cause intense desire of scratching. Pruritus may originate in the peripheral nervous system - due to external stimuli, or central nervous system - is only perceived as originating in the skin. In severe cases, itching causes sleeping problems, anxiety and depression, and scratching causes permanent skin damages.
Pruritus is often a warning for many skin diseases or systemic diseases, such as chronic renal damages, cirrhosis and some cancers. According to estimates, 8 to 10% of the entire population suffers from chronic itching, and itching were most common symptom met by dermatologists.
Source of itching is an issue that has tormented mankind way before, when it was suspected that itching may have origins that are not related with skin. With about 10 years ago, the itching was considered to be very similar with the pain. In part, itching is activated and processed in the same brain regions as well as pain, plus amygdala, the emotional center. It also found that, like yawning, scratching can be contagious.
The causes of itching skin
Causes of localized pruritus:
- Scalp: seborrheic dermatitis, Pediculosis.
- Backup: dorsal pain, Grover's disease.
- Groin: itching vulva, Candida vulvo, vulvar and vaginal problems.
- Anus: Anal itching.
- Feet: foot of athlete.
Systemic diseases that may have itching as a symptom:
- Kidney disease: chronic renal failure.
- Diseases of liver: biliary obstruction intra hepatic and extra hepatic impairment (pruritus cholecystitis).
- Endocrine / metabolic: diabetes mellitus, hyper thyroid.
- Blood Diseases: Iron deficiency - anemia, lymphatic leukemia, Hodgkin's disease.
- Neurological: itching neuropathy, schizophrenia.
Studies developped, shown that itches which do not respond to antihistamines could respond to drugs which would aim the neurons that produce the protein Mrgpr, mainly MrgprA3.
Itch is an irritation in the skin caused by several ways. In this condition there is an urge to scratch. Itches are a very common problem. It can be limitted or not limited to specific area. Itching can be caused by different conditions.Some times it may be due to stress and other times it may be caused psychologically.UV radiation from sun also causes itching.Dry skin is another cause for itching.Itching can also result from insect stings and bites such as from mosquito or flea bites.Itches can also occur with or without skin lesions. Itch may also result from skin infestation by body lice, including head lice.
Itching is actually not associated only with allergy,it is the imp part of inflammatory process,that is assoc. with body's immune response-redness,swelling,hotness are assoc with it.