What to do for itchy allergy skin
Have you noticed that your skin is itchy or dry since starting dialysis?
If so, you are not alone. Numerous dialysis patients own these issues. It is called uremic pruritis. Itchy skin is diverse for everyone, and it can happen at any time of day, on any part of the body, and be a annoy for some more than others.
Some dialysis patients tell they feel itchy in one area, and others feel itchy every over. What’s significant is trying to understand what may be causing it and finding the best way to manage it.
What causes dry, itchy skin?
A combination of things can cause your skin to be itchy and dry. Some issues are:
- Limited fluid intake: Your dialysis treatment removes additional water from your body, and your limited fluid intake between treatments can cause dry skin and trigger itchiness.
- Unmanaged phosphorous: Often, itching is caused by high blood levels of phosphorus.
In your body, additional phosphorus can bind with calcium and lead to feeling itchy. If your healthcare provider has given you phosphate binders, taking them as instructed, and at the same time every day, will help.
- Not enough dialysis: Talk to your healthcare team about your symptoms and discover out if you are getting the correct quantity of dialysis. Sometimes too much or too little dialysis can lead to symptoms love dry, itchy skin.
- Allergies and other causes: Be certain you are not sensitive to the soaps, laundry detergents, lotions, or perfumes you may be using.
Sometimes the dyes and fragrances in these products can cause allergic reactions that make skin itchy. Also, taking baths with water that is too boiling can leave your skin too dry and lead to itchy skin.
- Try to figure out what is causing the itching. Is it better at some times than others? What helps or makes it worse? Tell your healthcare team what changes you feel and see with your skin.
- Find a excellent skincare routine, with daily cleansing and moisturizing. Enquire your healthcare team which moisturizers work best for your symptoms.
- Don’t scratch your skin!
Scratching tends to make the itching worse, and may even damage the skin and lead to infection.
- Stick to the diet given to you by your healthcare team along with your phosphate binders.
Resources We Love
Favorite Organizations for Essential Psoriasis Information
American Academy of Dermatology (AAD)
The AAD represents the vast majority of practicing dermatologists in the United States.
Its website includes a tool that allows you to search its database to discover dermatologists in your area.
American College of Rheumatology (ACR)
This global organization of physicians, health professionals, and scientists has provided a comprehensive website that offers a wealth of patient and caregiver resources, including educational videos, information on available medication and therapies, and a search tool to discover a local rheumatologist.
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)
Dedicated to supporting research to treat diseases affecting muscles, bones, joints, and skin, NIAMS offers a website that provides an exhaustive guide to skin conditions and related topics, as well as news on the most recent clinical trials.
National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF)
As the leading patient advocacy group for people living with psoriatic disease, the NPF provides an huge online support community for people dealing with psoriasis.
It provides a wealth of patient resources, including personalized guidance on how to deal with the disease.
Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis Alliance (PAPAA)
Founded in , this alliance of two previous psoriasis-based foundations operates a website offering information, advice, and support for those living with psoriasis, including a special section for children coping with the disease.
Psoriasis Cure Now
This patient advocacy group specializes in raising awareness about the seriousness of psoriasis and the need for additional medical research.
It also provides resources and information to urge patients to advocate for themselves when seeking medical care.
The Itch to Beat Psoriasis
Everyday Health contributor Howard Chang provides a firsthand perspective on psoriasis with an additional dose of encouragement, education, and empathy. Chang’s posts deal with the everyday details of living with psoriasis, including topics such as navigating the condition as a parent and how best to use the frequent time you spend in doctors’ waiting rooms.
Just a Girl With Spots
Having been diagnosed with psoriasis at 15, blogger Joni Kazantzis writes about not only her personal battles with the condition but also the mental and physical challenges that each person with psoriasis must battle daily.
Todd Bello was diagnosed with psoriasis at age Through his blog, Bello shares regular posts about living with psoriasis as well as his patient advocacy efforts as a extremely athletic volunteer for the NPF.
His passionate efforts on behalf of others with psoriasis own helped build a community of support for those dealing with the condition.
The National Psoriasis Foundation blog
With the motto “the P is silent but we are not!” this blog is a frequently updated resource that covers a wide spectrum of psoriasis-related topics, including health, advocacy, and inspirational personal stories.
Created by the LEO Innovation Lab, this user-friendly app is a social media platform for people living with psoriasis.
In addition to providing an easier way to join with others dealing with the condition, it provides groups based on topic (parenting, diet, exercise, travel) and offers tools to assist host meetups.
This app allows you to document and track how your psoriasis develops over time by using your phone’s camera. The split-screen feature enables you to compare your condition over time and relate it to the effectiveness of your treatment with your dermatologist.
The first approach in managing seasonal or perennial forms of hay fever should be to avoid the allergens that trigger symptoms.
- Stay indoors as much as possible when pollen counts are at their peak, generally during the midmorning and early evening (this may vary according to plant pollen), and when wind is blowing pollens around.
- Wear glasses or sunglasses when outdoors to minimize the quantity of pollen getting into your eyes.
- Wear a pollen mask (such as a NIOSH-rated 95 filter mask) when mowing the lawn, raking leaves or gardening, and take appropriate medication beforehand.
- Don’t hang clothing outdoors to dry; pollen may cling to towels and sheets.
- Avoid using window fans that can draw pollens and molds into the house.
- Try not to rub your eyes; doing so will irritate them and could make your symptoms worse.
- Keep windows closed, and use air conditioning in your car and home.
Make certain to hold your air conditioning unit clean.
- Reduce exposure to dust mites, especially in the bedroom. Use “mite-proof” covers for pillows, comforters and duvets, and mattresses and box springs. Wash your bedding frequently, using boiling water (at least degrees Fahrenheit).
- To limit exposure to mold, hold the humidity in your home low (between 30 and 50 percent) and clean your bathrooms, kitchen and basement regularly. Use a dehumidifier, especially in the basement and in other damp, humid places, and empty and clean it often. If mold is visible, clean it with mild detergent and a 5 percent bleach solution as directed by an allergist.
- Clean floors with a damp rag or mop, rather than dry-dusting or sweeping.
Exposure to pets
- Wash your hands immediately after petting any animals; wash your clothes after visiting friends with pets.
- If you are allergic to a household pet, hold the animal out of your home as much as possible.
If the pet must be inside, hold it out of the bedroom so you are not exposed to animal allergens while you sleep.
- Close the air ducts to your bedroom if you own forced-air or central heating or cooling. Replace carpeting with hardwood, tile or linoleum, every of which are easier to hold dander-free.
Many allergens that trigger allergic rhinitis are airborne, so you can’t always avoid them. If your symptoms can’t be well-controlled by simply avoiding triggers, your allergist may recommend medications that reduce nasal congestion, sneezing, and an itchy and runny nose.
They are available in numerous forms — oral tablets, liquid medication, nasal sprays and eyedrops. Some medications may own side effects, so discuss these treatments with your allergist so they can assist you live the life you want.
Intranasal corticosteroids are the single most effective drug class for treating allergic rhinitis. They can significantly reduce nasal congestion as well as sneezing, itching and a runny nose.
Ask your allergist about whether these medications are appropriate and safe for you.
These sprays are designed to avoid the side effects that may happen from steroids that are taken by mouth or injection. Take care not to spray the medication against the middle portion of the nose (the nasal septum). The most common side effects are local irritation and nasal bleeding. Some older preparations own been shown to own some effect on children’s growth; data about some newer steroids don’t indicate an effect on growth.
Decongestants assist relieve the stuffiness and pressure caused by swollen nasal tissue.
They do not contain antihistamines, so they do not cause antihistaminic side effects. They do not relieve other symptoms of allergic rhinitis. Oral decongestants are available as prescription and nonprescription medications and are often found in combination with antihistamines or other medications. It is not unusual for patients using decongestants to experience insomnia if they take the medication in the afternoon or evening. If this occurs, a dose reduction may be needed. At times, men with prostate enlargement may encounter urinary problems while on decongestants.
Patients using medications to manage emotional or behavioral problems should discuss this with their allergist before using decongestants. Patients with high blood pressure or heart disease should check with their allergist before using. Pregnant patients should also check with their allergist before starting decongestants.
Nonprescription decongestant nasal sprays work within minutes and final for hours, but you should not use them for more than a few days at a time unless instructed by your allergist. Prolonged use can cause rhinitis medicamentosa, or rebound swelling of the nasal tissue. Stopping the use of the decongestant nasal spray will cure that swelling, provided that there is no underlying disorder.
Oral decongestants are found in numerous over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medications, and may be the treatment of choice for nasal congestion.
They don’t cause rhinitis medicamentosa but need to be avoided by some patients with high blood pressure.
If you own high blood pressure or heart problems, check with your allergist before using them.
Leukatriene pathway inhibitors
Leukotriene pathway inhibitors (montelukast, zafirlukast and zileuton) block the action of leukotriene, a substance in the body that can cause symptoms of allergic rhinitis. These drugs are also used to treat asthma.
Immunotherapy may be recommended for people who don’t reply well to treatment with medications or who experience side effects from medications, who own allergen exposure that is unavoidable or who desire a more permanent solution to their allergies.
Immunotherapy can be extremely effective in controlling allergic symptoms, but it doesn’t assist the symptoms produced by nonallergic rhinitis.
Two types of immunotherapy are available: allergy shots and sublingual (under-the-tongue) tablets.
- Allergy shots: A treatment program, which can take three to five years, consists of injections of a diluted allergy extract, istered frequently in increasing doses until a maintenance dose is reached.
Then the injection schedule is changed so that the same dose is given with longer intervals between injections. Immunotherapy helps the body build resistance to the effects of the allergen, reduces the intensity of symptoms caused by allergen exposure and sometimes can actually make skin test reactions vanish. As resistance develops over several months, symptoms should improve.
- Sublingual tablets: This type of immunotherapy was approved by the Food and Drug istration in Starting several months before allergy season begins, patients dissolve a tablet under the tongue daily. Treatment can continue for as endless as three years.
Only a few allergens (certain grass and ragweed pollens and home dust mite) can be treated now with this method, but it is a promising therapy for the future.
Antihistamines are commonly used to treat allergic rhinitis. These medications counter the effects of histamine, the irritating chemical released within your body when an allergic reaction takes put.
Although other chemicals are involved, histamine is primarily responsible for causing the symptoms. Antihistamines are found in eyedrops, nasal sprays and, most commonly, oral tablets and syrup.
Antihistamines assist to relieve nasal allergy symptoms such as:
- Sneezing and an itchy, runny nose
- Eye itching, burning, tearing and redness
- Itchy skin, hives and eczema
There are dozens of antihistamines; some are available over the counter, while others require a prescription.
Patients reply to them in a wide variety of ways.
Generally, the newer (second-generation) products work well and produce only minor side effects. Some people discover that an antihistamine becomes less effective as the allergy season worsens or as their allergies change over time. If you discover that an antihistamine is becoming less effective, tell your allergist, who may recommend a diverse type or strength of antihistamine. If you own excessive nasal dryness or thick nasal mucus, consult an allergist before taking antihistamines. Contact your allergist for advice if an antihistamine causes drowsiness or other side effects.
Proper use: Short-acting antihistamines can be taken every four to six hours, while timed-release antihistamines are taken every 12 to 24 hours.
The short-acting antihistamines are often most helpful if taken 30 minutes before an anticipated exposure to an allergen (such as at a picnic during ragweed season). Timed-release antihistamines are better suited to long-term use for those who need daily medications. Proper use of these drugs is just as significant as their selection. The most effective way to use them is before symptoms develop. A dose taken early can eliminate the need for numerous later doses to reduce established symptoms. Numerous times a patient will tell that he or she “took one, and it didn’t work.” If the patient had taken the antihistamine regularly for three to four days to build up blood levels of the medication, it might own been effective.
Side effects: Older (first-generation) antihistamines may cause drowsiness or performance impairment, which can lead to accidents and personal injury.
Even when these medications are taken only at bedtime, they can still cause considerable impairment the following day, even in people who do not feel drowsy. For this reason, it is significant that you do not drive a car or work with dangerous machinery when you take a potentially sedating antihistamine. Some of the newer antihistamines do not cause drowsiness.
A frequent side effect is excessive dryness of the mouth, nose and eyes. Less common side effects include restlessness, nervousness, overexcitability, insomnia, dizziness, headaches, euphoria, fainting, visual disturbances, decreased appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal distress, constipation, diarrhea, increased or decreased urination, urinary retention, high or low blood pressure, nightmares (especially in children), sore throat, unusual bleeding or bruising, chest tightness or palpitations.
Men with prostate enlargement may encounter urinary problems while on antihistamines. Consult your allergist if these reactions occur.
- Follow your allergist’s instructions.
- Do not use more than one antihistamine at a time, unless prescribed.
- Know how the medication affects you before working with heavy machinery, driving or doing other performance-intensive tasks; some products can slow your reaction time.
- While antihistamines own been taken safely by millions of people in the final 50 years, don’t take antihistamines before telling your allergist if you are allergic to, or intolerant of, any medicine; are pregnant or intend to become pregnant while using this medication; are breast-feeding; own glaucoma or an enlarged prostate; or are ill.
- Keep these medications out of the reach of children.
- Some antihistamines appear to be safe to take during pregnancy, but there own not been enough studies to determine the absolute safety of antihistamines in pregnancy.
Again, consult your allergist or your obstetrician if you must take antihistamines.
- Alcohol and tranquilizers increase the sedation side effects of antihistamines.
- Never take anyone else’s medication.
Nonprescription saline nasal sprays will assist counteract symptoms such as dry nasal passages or thick nasal mucus. Unlike decongestant nasal sprays, a saline nasal spray can be used as often as it is needed. Sometimes an allergist may recommend washing (douching) the nasal passage. There are numerous OTC delivery systems for saline rinses, including neti pots and saline rinse bottles.
Nasal cromolyn blocks the body’s release of allergy-causing substances.
It does not work in every patients. The full dose is four times daily, and improvement of symptoms may take several weeks. Nasal cromolyn can assist prevent allergic nasal reactions if taken prior to an allergen exposure.
Nasal ipratropium bromide spray can assist reduce nasal drainage from allergic rhinitis or some forms of nonallergic rhinitis.
Eye allergy preparations and eyedrops
Eye allergy preparations may be helpful when the eyes are affected by the same allergens that trigger rhinitis, causing redness, swelling, watery eyes and itching.
OTC eyedrops and oral medications are commonly used for short-term relief of some eye allergy symptoms. They may not relieve every symptoms, though, and prolonged use of some of these drops may actually cause your condition to worsen.
Prescription eyedrops and oral medications also are used to treat eye allergies. Prescription eyedrops provide both short- and long-term targeted relief of eye allergy symptoms, and can be used to manage them.
Check with your allergist or pharmacist if you are unsure about a specific drug or formula.
Favorite Sites for Financial Assistance and Advocacy
National Psoriasis Foundation — Advocacy
NPF Advocacy helps organize volunteers to share information and advocate with legislators for change in public policy regarding psoriasis.
This online nonprofit information resource helps users to discover programs that assist patients who can’t afford medication and healthcare costs.
Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA)
The free PPA website helps users locate public and private assistance programs that can assist cover expensive prescription medication costs.
Soap Lake Natural Resort and Spa
Soap Lake in Washington state has endless been a favorite destination for those dealing with skin conditions, thanks to the lake’s high natural mineral count and alkaline levels.
In addition to specialized treatments, the Soap Lake Natural Resort and Spa also provides healthy dining options and a number of outdoor activities. Its accommodations also include in-room Jacuzzis that use water pumped from the lake, allowing you to experience the lake’s waters from the privacy of your room at any time during the year.
Set in a volcanic Icelandic landscape, the Blue Lagoon resort provides luxury accommodations and fine dining, finish with a private lagoon at the Silica Hotel.
Its best feature, however, may be the clinic, which is widely favorite in treating psoriasis. Guests can bathe in the mineral-rich seawater of the lagoon, while other treatments include UV light therapy and a host of internally developed skin-care products.
Treatments that are not recommended for allergic rhinitis
- Antibiotics: Effective for the treatment of bacterial infections, antibiotics do not affect the course of uncomplicated common colds (a viral infection) and are of no benefit for noninfectious rhinitis, including allergic rhinitis.
- Nasal surgery: Surgery is not a treatment for allergic rhinitis, but it may assist if patients own nasal polyps or chronic sinusitis that is not responsive to antibiotics or nasal steroid sprays.
Itchy skin is not generally a sign of anything serious.
You can often treat it yourself and it should go away within 2 weeks.
How to treat itchy skin yourself
Sometimes, itching is simply caused by dry, cracked or irritated skin. You can do some simple things to assist ease the itching.
These things may also assist stop itchy skin returning and avoid skin damage from scratching.
- pat or tap the skin instead of scratching it
- own cool or lukewarm baths or showers
- use unperfumed moisturiser regularly
- hold your nails clean, short and smooth
- hold something cool on the skin – love a damp towel
- wear loose cotton clothing
- do not wear tight clothes made of wool or some synthetic fabrics
- do not own endless baths or showers – hold them to less than 20 minutes
- do not use perfumed soaps, deodorants or moisturisers
- do not eat spicy foods or drink alcohol and caffeine – these can make itching worse
Causes of itchy skin
Itchy skin has numerous possible causes.
If you own other symptoms (such as a rash or swelling) this might give you an thought of the cause.
But don’t self-diagnose – see a GP if you’re worried.
Many women also own itchy skin during pregnancy or after the menopause. This is caused by hormonal changes and should get better over time.
In rare cases, itchy skin can be a sign of a more serious condition, such as thyroid, liver or kidney problems.
Sheet final reviewed: 4 July
Next review due: 4 July
There are 2 types of contact dermatitis.
Irritant dermatitis: This is the most common type. It is not caused by an allergy, but rather the skin’s reaction to irritating substances or friction.
Irritating substances may include acids, alkaline materials such as soaps and detergents, fabric softeners, solvents, or other chemicals. Extremely irritating chemicals may cause a reaction after just a short period of contact. Milder chemicals can also cause a reaction after repeated contact.
People who own atopic dermatitis are at increased risk of developing irritant contact dermatitis.
Common materials that may irritate your skin include:
- Long-term exposure to wet diapers
- Pesticides or weed killers
- Rubber gloves
- Hair dyes
Allergic contact dermatitis: This form of the condition occurs when your skin comes in contact with a substance that causes you to own an allergic reaction.
Common allergens include:
- Adhesives, including those used for untrue eyelashes or toupees.
- Fabrics and clothing, including both materials and dyes.
- Nickel or other metals (found in jewelry, watch straps, metal zips, bra hooks, buttons, pocketknives, lipstick holders, and powder compacts).
- Preservatives commonly used in prescription and over-the-counter topical medicines.
- Fragrances in perfumes, cosmetics, soaps, and moisturizers.
- Nail polish, hair dyes, and permanent wave solutions.
- Rubber or latex gloves or shoes.
- Balsam of Peru (used in numerous personal products and cosmetics, as well as in numerous foods and drinks).
- Antibiotics, such as neomycin rubbed on the surface of the skin.
- Poison ivy, poison oak, poison sumac, and other plants.
- Formaldehyde, which is used in a wide number of manufactured items.
You will not own a reaction to a substance when you are first exposed to the substance. However, you will form a reaction after future exposures. You may become more sensitive and develop a reaction if you use it regularly. It is possible to tolerate the substance for years or even decades before developing allergy. Once you develop an allergy you will be allergic for life.
The reaction most often occurs 24 to 48 hours after the exposure. The rash may persist for weeks after the exposure stops.
Some products cause a reaction only when the skin is also exposed to sunlight (photosensitivity). These include:
- Shaving lotions
- Sulfa ointments
- Some perfumes
- Coal tar products
- Oil from the skin of a lime
A few airborne allergens, such as ragweed, perfumes, vapor from nail lacquer, or insecticide spray, can also cause contact dermatitis.
A pharmacist can assist with itchy skin
A pharmacist can recommend the best products to assist with itchy skin – for example, anti-itch creams, lotions or antihistamines.
Let them know where your skin is itchy and if you own any other symptoms.
They might also be capable to tell you:
- what you can do to treat it yourself
- if you need to see a GP
Find a pharmacy
Non-urgent advice: See a GP if your itchy skin:
- is affecting your daily life
- lasts for longer than 2 weeks or keeps coming back
- is caused by a new rash, lump or swelling and you’re worried
- is every over your body – this could be a sign of something more serious
Treatment from a GP
Your doctor might prescribe creams, lotions or tablets depending on what’s causing the itching.
They will glance at your skin and enquire about your symptoms.
They might enquire to wipe a cotton bud over the area of itchy skin and send it for testing, or arrange a blood test. This helps to check it’s not something more serious.
Your GP may refer you to hospital if you need specialist tests or treatment.