Chronic Itching May Indicate Other Health Issues
Many people tend to ignore medical issues until they progress into something serious. Take for example, a persistently itchy skin. It’s only a minor thing when you think about it, but there could be worse underlying medical causes that should be attended to as soon as possible to reduce damage.
When you lightly scratch your skin, do your fingernails leave thin, raised red welts that take 15 to 30 minutes to disappear? If so, you may have dermatographia. This is an extreme skin condition where your skin is sensitive to touch and releases too much histamine. Areas of touch and clothing are the most susceptible to dermatographic flare-ups.
People with late stage kidney disease or those who suffer from chronic renal failure experience an intense itch all over the body. Doctors suspect that the itch has to do with the build-up of toxins in the body which the kidneys are not able to remove from the bloodstream.
An itchy upper middle of the back without a rash may be a sign of neuropathic itch, a symptom of nerve malfunction. According to studies, spinal disease can apply pressure on the nerve and pinch it, which leads to an itchy sensation on the skin.
Blood disorders such as lymphoma can also cause your skin to itch. According to experts, five to ten percent of lymphomas such as Hodgkin’s and non-Hodgkin’s can present with itch, most likely caused by cytokines which trigger inflammation in response to infection.
People who have thyroid disorders, particularly those who are hypothyroid, usually have dry and itchy skin. It might be that the changes in their sweat glands due to the absence of the thyroid hormone, cause skin dryness.
Women on their menopausal period experience having dry skin which often leads to itchy skin. This is caused by reduced estrogen production. Estrogen is vital in the production of collagen, which keeps the skin well-oiled and elastic.
Paget’s disease of the nipple is a condition where scaly, red, itchy patches develop around the nipple and areola. This condition accounts for less than 5 percent of all breast cancer cases in the U.S., according to the National Cancer Institute.
It might not be easy to identify the true cause of your itch. The best way is still to consult a doctor, particularly a dermatologist, if the condition lasts for more than two weeks or if the itch affects your entire body, has prevented you from functioning effectively, or if other extreme symptoms occur.