Working With A Dermatologist To Perfect My Skin

Common Causes of Pruritus

Itchy skin, also known as pruritus, can literally leave you scratching. Itchy skin is often a sign of a problem. Fortunately, most cases are treatable. When you know the cause, your dermatologist can help you find relief. Keep reading to learn more about the causes of itchy skin and some common treatments.

Pruritus Overview

Pruritus is the technical term for an itchy sensation and a desire to scratch. Everyone experiences itchy skin now and then. Usually, it occurs only in a small area. Most of the time, the cause goes away on its own. However, some causes may create severe itching and inflammation. You may also end up with a rash, especially if you scratch the same spot frequently.

Common Pruritus Causes

Itchy skin is frustrating when you have a cause that won't go away. Here are some common causes of itchy skin.

Dry Skin

Dry skin is one of the top causes of itchy skin. Soaps and other chemicals can dry your skin and contribute to dry-skin itchiness. Also, skin tends to get drier as people age.

Insect Bites

Insect bites cause chronic itching as well as inflammation, even if you don't remember being bitten.


Allergies can create a condition known as contact dermatitis and cause a great deal of itching. Hives are also a common cause of pruritus. Some plants, like poison ivy, can cause an allergic reaction.

Inflammatory Skin Problems

Inflammatory skin issues, like eczema, can create uncontrollable itchiness that won't go away.


Some medications cause the skin to dry out or become inflamed. Pain relievers and cancer treatments are common medicinal dry skin causes.

Diseases and Disorders

Some diseases can cause a rash or unusual itchiness. For example, shingles often produce an itchy, blistering rash. Some people with diabetes and liver problems may experience unexplained itchiness.

Ways to Stop or Reduce Pruritis

You can prevent many minor types of itching by taking care of your skin and avoiding common triggers. For example, you can protect yourself from most bug bites with bug repellent or keeping bed bugs at bay. You can prevent your skin from becoming too dry with moisturizers and sun protection. You may also be able to treat or avoid allergy-related itchy skin.

Itchy skin can be difficult to diagnose, but your dermatologist is an expert in recognizing common skin conditions. Most pruritis cases are treatable, or you should be able to lessen the severity. Your dermatologist may work with your regular doctor if a health problem is the cause. If you have been itching for a long period, contact a dermatologist for help.