When the itchiness appears, it’s hard to resist the scratching. To alleviate this irrepressible need and find the appropriate treatment, it is important to determine the cause: very dry skin, an allergy, an underlying pathology? We take stock of the various pruritus.
Itching can be tough. Difficult to control without appropriate treatment or lifestyle, they affect babies, children and adults, without any distinction. The causes of different pruritus (their name in medical jargon) can be multiple, so a dermatological consultation is necessary when they persist. Because if stress can lead to intense scratching needs, this can also be the case of an allergy (contact, food, skin …), an organ disorder, the presence of parasites, ” unbalanced skin due to the use of unsuitable products, or even repeated exposure to aggressive environmental factors (wind, cold, sun, pollution, tobacco, etc.).
According to the thousands of searches carried out every month on search engines, itchy scalp takes first place among the most common scratching areas. In children, they are mostly due to the presence of an undesirable well known to parents: lice. In adults, on the other hand, these little animals are less present, being overtaken by various pathologies such as diabetes, thyroid disorder, lymphoma … In parallel with these internal diseases, there are skin pathologies, like atopic dermatitis, psoriasis or urticaria. Differences in temperature, medication, and psychological factors can also trigger scalp itching. So many causes that (literally) take our head in the long term, if the right reflexes are not adopted quickly. Dr Philippe Assouly, dermatologist venereologist, tells us more in the dedicated article below.
Itching of the anus
Did you say taboo? However, they are frequent and are themselves a source of questions for many individuals. Again, different diseases and fungi can cause anal pruritus. If it is very often an eczema in children, on the side of the adults, it is more of a psoriasis or maceration. In this regard, no matter how responsible an adult you are, you may, against all odds, not know how to properly wipe yourself after a shower. However, a damp area is conducive to itching, just like underwear that is too tight, an irritating clothing, personal hygiene products with non-mild alkaline pH or even too hot water.
As Dr. Pierre Schneider advises in the dedicated article on this subject to be found below, it is necessary to treat anal pruritus quickly, in order to avoid any complications and to resolve the daily inconveniences that this causes. These include sleep disorders or the inability to concentrate (difficult to be when the anus is scratching …). Keep in mind that a specialist will be able to advise you and prescribe the right treatment to overcome it, without any judgment on his part.
The intimate area is definitely not spared from itching. While vulvar pruritus can appear at different stages of life, that caused by lichen vulva mainly affects women between the ages of 50 and 60. It can be perfectly asymptomatic, or can be identified by its white color, the thickening of the skin and the cracks it generates.
Vulvar pruritus manifests itself on the labia minora and labia majora, as well as on the pubis. It can arise from a general pathology of the skin (eczema, lichen, psoriasis …), an infection by fungus, an infection by bacteria, an external factor (condom, intimate gel, shower gel. ..) or be linked to the presence of pubic lice. Certain illnesses like hyperthyroidism and diabetes can also make the intimate area itchy. A gynecologist must then be consulted without delay. We tell you why and what are the signs to look for in the articles below.
As we saw above, the causes are multiple. And if the first instinct is often to swap your usual hygiene and care products (yes, even laundry) for perfume-free versions formulated for sensitive skin, drug treatment may then be necessary. Blood tests too. As common as the itching may seem, it can indicate the presence of a disease, sometimes serious. They should therefore not be neglected. Rest assured, however, there is no point in crying wolf, it is an itch that is easy to treat in the majority of cases. By determining their origin, and adopting an adapted skincare routine, everything is back to normal. In practice, this translates into:
- the use of a washing product that respects the skin’s pH and has an antipruritic action,
- rinsing with lukewarm (not hot!) water in the shower,
- wiping with a terry towel by gentle pressure (never rubbing on sensitized skin)
- the application of a very special moisturizing product: itchy skin is skin that lacks lipids, the natural factors responsible for retaining hydration. Hence the interest in giving pride of place to lipid-replenishing products, easy to find in para and pharmacies. They will gradually make it possible to rebuild the damaged skin barrier, and again avoid any intrusion of irritant and allergenic factors. Discover some references to test in our slide show dedicated to itchy skin.