When it comes to having itchy skin, that could be very bad news. Itchy skin can be a sign of a skin disorder, which can be caused by other and more serious conditions.
Issues with infection, hormones, kidney disease and even cancer can lead to itchy skin. The only way to make sure none of these conditions are associated with your itch is to undergo blood testing and have a doctor do a complete physical.
People who deal with chronic itchy skin should definitely see a doctor, as you are simply treating the itch and probably not the underlying cause.
Pruritus Caused by Eczema
Intense itching and flaky red skin is called eczema. The itchy skin can also be referred to as pruritus, which can be caused by psoriasis or certain allergen triggers. Those triggers can be anything from laundry detergent to plants, makeup and lotions or food and medication that you take.
Infection Can Make for Itchy Skin
Infection can become a cause for itchy skin in childhood, when it comes to issues like chicken pox and measles. As you get older, the infections get more serious but still can also bring itchy skin as an unpleasant side effect. HIV has been linked to pruritus. Other issues, like scabies and lice, can cause an itchy feeling as well.
Cancer Can Cause Itchy Skin
One of the most frightening potential causes for itchy skin, and one that most people do not consider, is cancer of certain parts of the anatomy. Breast cancer, ovarian cancer and throat cancer all can cause itchy skin for someone who has not been diagnosed yet.
Itchy skin over your entire body, however, typically points to leukemia or another blood cell cancer. This is because autoimmune disorders are attacking the individual’s organs, including the skin, using the person’s own immune system. A potential side effect of this problem is itchiness.
Kidney Failure Can Give You a Case of Itchy Skin as Well
Another reason for consistently itchy skin can be the buildup of urea in the body. This happens when the kidneys are unable to perform their main function of filtering waste from the blood stream.
Other substances usually filtered out by the kidneys also can cause itchiness. Meanwhile, for those being treated for kidney failure, itchiness can occur directly following a round of dialysis.
One final thought to consider is the potential for liver disease, neurological issues and conditions that mean issues with your endocrine levels can all lead to skin that itches on a regular basis.
For the fact that itchy skin can mean nothing or can mean any one of a whole list of frightening issues and diseases can be going on “behind the scenes,” it is best to consult your doctor when dealing with prolonged cases of itchy skin where you can not easily resolve the problem with lotion and a good body wash. When caught early, most conditions can be resolved without impacting your quality of life.
However, ignoring something like itchy skin can mean you wait too long to be diagnosed with the more serious underlying issue. That can mean a big change to your life.