Itching is a symptom that can be triggered by various conditions. Oftentimes, itching is brought about by a skin condition such as hives or eczema. An individual usually ends up with a rash if this is the cause. In other instances, the itchiness might be caused by a general condition such as kidney disease or jaundice.
Management of itching from an unknown cause
- Keep the nails trimmed – this limits the damage to the skin from scratching. It is best not to scratch the area since it can worsen the itching and lead to the “itch-scratch” cycle.
- Keep the body cool as much as possible – a cool bath or shower can provide a soothing effect.
- Avoid any known irritants such as detergents, soaps and bubble baths. It is recommended to switch to cotton clothes than the woolen ones.
- Application of moisturizers on dry skin – these can keep the skin moist and supple. It must be applied once a day or several times if the skin is very dry. Remember that soap and water can dry out the skin since they strip off the natural oils. Moisturizers are ideally used after a shower or bath and work by replacing these oils as well as keeping the skin moist.
- Relaxation techniques – these are beneficial in some individuals such as cognitive behavioral therapy.
- Antihistamines – these medications are effective in managing some skin conditions that cause itching such as hives. Nevertheless, they do not work in all types of itchiness. If the cause is unknown, it might have little effect at all.
- Some antidepressants – these medications might be prescribed occasionally by the doctor if the itching is quite distressing. These drugs work by reducing the chemicals in the brain that triggers the feeling of itchiness and the urge to scratch.
The degree of discomfort from the itching tends to vary from one individual to another as well as its frequency. A doctor should be consulted if the itchiness persists or becomes severe.