is the medical term for itchiness. Elderly people often have
localized or generalized pruritus.
some people the skin itch is merely a minor but frustrating problem.
But for others, the urge to scratch long and hard can lead to other
skin problems, from redness and irritation to large sores and
infection. Suffering from pruritus can also mean lost sleep, which
can lead in turn to irritability and slower mental functioning.
are many possible causes of pruritus. Dry skin or a rash are
generally the first possibilities to consider, even if there is no
obvious skin eruption. Because inflammatory responses can be muted
in older people, the first manifestation of such disorders as
eczema, allergic or contact dermatitis, bullous pemphigoid,
urticaria, or a parasitic infection may be pruritus.
prescription drugs can cause itchiness. They include:
- certain hormone
small percentage of people will actually have itchiness caused by a
more serious disease. Systemic disorders causing itching can
- liver disease,
especially when there is obstruction of bile flow
- kidney failure
polycythemia, and other blood disorders,
- iron deficiency
the root cause of the pruritus is determined, treating that disorder
will usually help relieve the itching.
medications may also be needed simply to help you avoid scratching.
These might include moisturizers or soothing preparations such as
calamine lotion. Corticosteroid creams may be used, but only if the
itching is only occurring in one area of the body.
your physician canít find the cause of your pruritus right away,
he or she may have you undergo blood tests or other assessments, or
visit a dermatologist or other specialist.