5 diseases that an itchy skin can reveal
The epidermal cells, if irritated, produce the itchy feeling , which is most often resolved by rubbing the nails in place. However, itching can be a symptom of many diseases.
Severe diseases like cirrhosis, AIDS, cancer, chronic kidney disease can present itching, but are uncommon diseases. It can be included among those that cause itchiness to Zika and Dengue. Among the most common causes are dryness, autoimmune diseases, thyroid, liver, allergy, anemia and stress. However, for this article, we will deal with those that cause only skin changes.
It is an autoimmune disease , that is, the body itself is attacked. It is not contagious, but there is a genetic component. People with psoriasis commonly report having relatives with the same problem. The cause of the onset of psoriasis is not yet well known, but it is common for people with a family history of psoriasis to develop the disease, which also occurs in obese, low-immune, stressed, and smokers.
The psoriasis causes the formation of lesions in the form of scaly plaques on the skin, affecting most often the scalp, elbow, knees and more rarely hands, nails and genitals. The itching varies from mild to severe or severe. People with psoriasis should seek medical advice for relief from itching and flaking.
The scabies , or human scabies is caused by mites, Sarcoptes scabiei, which parasite infected skin keratin and feeds. The itching, which is most intense at night, is a result of the skin’s reaction against the mite, its eggs and feces.
Contagion occurs in places where people congregate, such as in nursing homes, crèches, prisons, etc. It can be sexually contagious or by skin contact with infected relatives. Also through towels, sheets and clothes. Animals generally do not transmit the disease to humans. The treatment is with Permethrin 5% or Ivermectin tablets.
3. Chicken pox
Caused by the varicella-zoster virus, chickenpox or chickenpox is more common in school-age children. It is transmitted from person to person and its main feature is the formation of water bubbles with reddish edges and intense itching throughout the body. Usually the disease goes away with the virus cycle. However, the virus gets buried in the nerves and can cause herpes zoster at some point in life .
The treatment is topical, with lotions or ointments (acyclovir) to relieve itching. In case of fever and headache, with analgesics and antipyretics such as Dipirone or Paracetamol. If there are no complications the symptoms disappear in about 10 days.
Mycoses are infections caused by fungi that can reach the skin, nail and hair. Fungi usually develop in favorable environments, that is, hot and humid.
The most common superficial mycoses , which cause itchy skin, are:
The causative fungus can be found in the environment, both in animals, in soil and in humans. It causes intense itching and lesions with well defined edges, reddish, with blisters and crusts.
It is commonly known as “white cloth”, or beach ringworm. They appear on the skin in the form of white spots, dark or reddish, so called versicolor.
It is an infection by the fungus Candida albicans , which can reach both the skin and the nails and mucous membranes. It mainly affects people with low immunity as aids and diabetics and those who use antibiotics for a long time. Pregnancy, contraceptive use and steroids are also risk factors.
It causes intense itching throughout the genital region and whitish discharge. It is treated with antifungal, such as oral Fluconazole or vaginal cream, which should be indicated by the gynecologist.
The intertrigo is caused by bacteria and fungi of the dermatophyte genus that proliferate in warm and humid places of the body and that suffer the friction of skin with skin as in the armpits, groin, buttocks, etc. It occurs most often in obese, diabetic, and infants, and can be difficult to control in people with lower immunity.
It presents redness, peeling, and may even open the skin. The itching and burning cause the patient to scratch and attack the site of the infection, causing crusts and blistering.
In mild cases the treatment is done with zinc oxide ointments that soothes the itch and helps to reconstitute the skin. In more severe cases, antibiotic ointments are used, which can only be prescribed by a physician.