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If you suffer from itchy skin, referred to medically as 'pruritus', skin will feel uncomfortable and irritated, making you want to scratch. While the result is the same: you itch, therefore you scratch, causes may range from rashes or other skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis or dermatitis. Itchy skin may also result from a more serious condition such as liver disease or kidney failure. And, it could also be the result of an allergy. Itchiness may be accompanied by a rash or bumps, or skin may appear perfectly normal.

Treating Itchy Skin  

The objective to managing itchy skin is to identify the cause and treat it, which will deliver longer term relief. Synthetic fibers or coarse wool and other fabrics, jewelry (nickel is particularly problematic), perfume or cosmetics can all potentially cause itchy skin.

Scratching, while it may offer relief, may actually intensify the itch and lead to skin that is thickened and leathery in appearance. It can also lead to bacterial infection or permanent skin damage.

Here are some tips to help soothe irritated, itching and/or inflamed skin:

- Short-term use of topical anesthetics such as lidocaine or benzocaine, or topical preparations containing pramoxine, menthol, camphor or calamine may help.
- Non-prescription hydrocortisone cream, topical and oral antihistamines may also be beneficial. Keep in mind that some individuals have allergies to lidocaine or benzocaine. If this is the case, then consider a product containing pramoxine instead. [Link Removed]for more information
- Avoid scratching. Easier said than done, but scratching can worsen an itchy skin situation and damage skin.  

Sharmani Pillay is a Registered Pharmacist who specializes in anti aging skin care and women's wellness. She owns and operates an online skin care store at [Link Removed].
For a limited time, Fabulously 40 members save 5% off all purchases. Code fab40 at checkout.

Pharmagirl, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.

Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Bluebird wrote Dec 4, 2009
    • Hello everyone!

      I wanted to ask for some advice concerning my grand baby.  She is two years old and has a pretty terrible rash.  It started on her legs, but has now spread to her back, stomach and tummy.  It is black and scaly, and then it peels. Does anyone have any idea what to use to bring her comfort.  She scratches and it bleeds.  The doctor said that she just has dry skin, but I think it is more than that.  Please help.

      Thank you!

            Report  Reply

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Tweety007 wrote Dec 4, 2009
    • sounds like more than dry skin to me, maybe she should see a skin specialist

            Report  Reply

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