What Are the Symptoms of Pruritus?


Quick Answer

Symptoms of pruritus include skin rash; dry, cracked or flaky skin; and skin redness, according to MedicineNet. Additional symptoms include bumps, blisters and spots on the skin.

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Full Answer

Pruritus, or itching skin, is a sensation that makes an individual want to scratch the irritated area, notes Healthline. It has many causes, including dry skin due to hot or cold weather and low humidity; skin conditions and rashes, such as eczema, psoriasis, scabies and lice; and internal diseases, such as liver disease, kidney failure, iron deficiency anemia and some cancers, explains Mayo Clinic. Other causes include nerve disorders, such as multiple sclerosis, diabetes mellitus and pinched nerves; irritation and allergic reactions to chemicals, cosmetics and other substances; and drugs, such as antibiotics or narcotic pain medications.

Treating pruritus depends on determining the underlying cause of the itching and treating the skin disease, states WebMD. For instance, if the cause is an adverse reaction to medications, changing the medication may help. Other preventative measures involve general skin care and include using moisturizing skin creams and lotions to prevent dryness, regular application of sunscreens to prevent sunburns, use of mild bath soaps and showering with warm, as opposed to hot, water. For more severe cases, a physician may prescribe antihistamines, topical steroids, steroid pills and antibiotics.

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