Universally called itching, pruritus is described as an unpleasant feeling which causes individuals to scratch a body area. This may be localized or generalized. When pruritus is accompanied with a body rash, the cause must be established and promptly treated.
Toxin accumulation is one main culprit in sudden appearance of a generalized itchy rash. Its manifestation signifies that there is something going on in the body. Another great cause is when the body area is not appropriately cleansed; as a result, sweat and dirt build up on the skin resulting to irritation.
In about 50% of the patients with a generalized pruritus, there is an associated systemic disease. Other causes may include certain medications and substances, hypersensitivity, numerous infections, iron insufficiency, diseases of the liver and kidney, pregnancy, cancers and abnormal thyroid function levels.
Heat rash is a cutaneous irritation brought by excessive sweating during the hot and humid season. When too much perspiration is present on the superficial skin, the outlet of the sweat gland is obstructed. This obstruction irritates the sweat glands resulting to a rash which comes out as tiny blisters formed in groups which can occur on the upper chest, groin, under the breast and elbow creases. It occurs at any age but is most widespread in young children.
The most familiar skin rash which is classically marked by red to pink skin bumps are hives. This type of rash may appear and diminish in a few hours. It can be caused by certain medications such as antibiotics or by an environmental allergen including pollens, animal dander, temperature variations, health conditions, food and anxiety.
Certain drugs are known to produce pruritus, some presents with widespread bodily involvement. Some of these drugs are opiates, morphine, codeine and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
Harsh Skin Care Products
There are a number of cases in which the application of these skin care products leads to the development of a localized rash which in due course becomes generalized.
Rashes of viral origin are often symmetrical. Typically, these viral rashes persist only for several days and fade away on their own.
Treatment for an itchy rash all over the body is aimed at treating the primary cause. To achieve temporary relief from pruritus, the patient can have non-specific treatment measures including topical corticosteroid ointment, oral antihistamine, Moisturization and proper skin hygiene.
Majority of pruritus cases can be temporarily relieved with the use of antihistamines. These drugs act by preventing vasodilation and the escape of fluid into the surrounding tissues. Regarded as the most effective antihistamine is diphenhydramine.
- Do not attempt to scratch or rub the affected areas. Always keep fingernails well-trimmed to avoid skin damaged when scratching becomes unavoidable.
- Wear cool, comfortable clothing. Do not wear wool on top of the itchy area.
- Have lukewarm baths with mild soap and rinse carefully. Add skin- relaxing oatmeal and cornstarch in the bath. One cup of oatmeal is scrubbed gently on the affected skin areas.
- To soften and calm the skin, lotion can be applied as soon as bathing is done.
- Especially in dry wintry weather seasons, skin must be moisturized knowing that skin dryness is a common cause of pruritus.
- In the itchy areas, directly apply cold compresses.
- Do not allow skin to be exposed to too much heat and moisture.
- Engage in leisure interests and activities in order to distract from the pruritus.
- Olive oil can be used as an effective treatment for rashes. Spread it over in unhurried circular motion.
- Aloe vera gel is also beneficial for skin inflammations.