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Date of last update: 10/18/2017.

Forum Name: Dermatology Topics

Question: body CONSTANTLY itching

 thoward - Sat Mar 13, 2004 7:19 pm

For about a year (since I started noticing), I am constantly itching a part of my body. My face, arms and back are what itch most often. This is really starting to effect my love life, its bugging both my partner and I. I can not sit or lay still because I am constantly scratching. The only time I stop itching is when I am asleep. During the day, I probably scratch something at least every 5 minutes, sometimes less. I feel past drug use might have caused this. I have been off of drugs for a year now. My mother thinks its my nerves. I really want this to stop! Is this some kind of compuslive disorder? Are there any remedies to calm this down?

Someone please help me! :roll:

 Dr. Tamer Fouad - Sun Mar 14, 2004 3:02 am

User avatar Have a look at a list of possible causes of itching on our pruritus page (pruritus).

You will notice that the list is broken down in two: The first list includes all the causes that are accompanied by skin lesions (changes in skin appearance). If you don't have anything particularly strange about your skin appearance then take a look at the second list. A doctor will have to go through all the causes in that list and exclude (even if by common sense) to make sure you don't have anything serious. Towards the end of that list you will see a condition known as neurodermatitis.
This is a condition in which itching becomes a habit that must broken. This habit is increased by stress. The condition will not improve until the scratch-itch cycle is broken. Your doctor may suggest you wear a bandage that is hard to remove and that is left on for a week or more. Itching may be helped with drugs such as creams and lotions you rub on your skin. Drugs called, Corticosteroids, may be injected into skin.

Antihistamines, sedatives, or tranquilizers are drugs that your doctor may order for you to reduce itching and stress. Counseling, stress management measures and behavior modification can also be used to help people learn to stop scratching.

When you are at home, you should try to avoid things that increase symptoms. Reduce bathing and using soap since dry skin can make skin problems worse. Taking a bath two to three times a week is often enough for most people. Use warm, not hot water when bathing. Pat your skin dry with a towel. Moisten your skin with skin cream while your skin is still damp and many times during the day.

With proper treatment, you can expect itching and redness to slowly go away. Neurodermatitis is a chronic problem but it can be controlled with the right treatment and by avoiding things that are known to bother the skin.

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