PruritusFriday, October 07, 2011
Pruritus simply means itching. It can be associated with a number of disorders, including dry skin, skin disease or pregnancy. Dr. Edward Hill discusses pruritus in todays 60 Second Housecall.
Pruritus (proo-RY-tis) is itchy skin or a feeling that you need to scratch. It can hurt and can cause sleep problems and depression if it becomes severe.
The cause isnt always known, but dry skin is most common. Many other skin problems can cause itching, often with a rash. Serious medical conditions, like kidney or liver problems, sometimes cause itchy skin.
There are simple things you can try at home to treat the condition. Avoid common household products that might be making you itch, like perfumes, detergents and fabric softeners. To prevent dry skin, bathe less often and dont use hot water. Make sure you rinse off all of the soap, pat skin dry leaving some moisture and use a gentle moisturizing cream or ointment.
If using a moisturizer three times a day doesnt help, try using over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream. If home treatments dont work, you should see your doctor. Your doctor may need to prescribe a pill to stop the itching or to treat a skin infection.
For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.