normal episode of itchy skin
Itchy skin is also called pruritus. There are a number of “normal” causes for itching, meaning the cause is not disease-related and does not result in severely damaged skin.
The most common causes are:
- dry skin, due to bathing with soap or bubble bath which can be too harsh and is stripping the skin’s natural oils.
- mild allergies, which can be caused by dust; certain plants and flowers; jewelry containing nickel; and any type of soap, detergent, lotion, or perfume.
- pregnancy, due to stretching of the skin or a condition called prurigo. prurigo causes small, itchy bumps that may be due to autoimmune system dysfunction during pregnancy.
- menopause, due to hormonal changes that can leave the skin too dry.
- nickel, a metal often used in belt buckles, pants buttons, and jewelry, including piercings.
- poison ivy.
- various types of perfumes, including those found in soaps, fabric softeners, and detergents.
- Of course, there are many more.
diagnosis is made by physical examination and sometimes allergy testing.
treatment consists of bathing only with a mild hypoallergenic soap; regular moisturizing with unscented lotion; wear soft, loose, non-synthetic clothing; avoiding any substance that seems to cause itching; and sometimes prescription medicated creams.
main symptoms: itching or tingling sensation throughout the body
Symptoms that always occur with a normal episode of itchy skin: itching or tingling sensation all over the body
non-specific insect bite
Insect bites are very common. they often cause itching, redness, and some swelling. most insect bites can be treated at home.
rhinitis simply means “inflammation of the nose.” when it is caused by something other than allergies, it is called vasomotor rhinitis. “Vasomotor” simply refers to the constriction or dilation of blood vessels.
Different substances can trigger the vasomotor reaction, even if it is not an allergic reaction. common causes are certain medications; the air pollution; and chronic medical conditions.
Symptoms include runny nose, sneezing, congestion, and postnasal drip. Since there is no allergy involved, there will be no itchy throat and itchy eyes and nose from allergic rhinitis.
You should see a medical provider if symptoms persist, as they may interfere with quality of life. also, the use of over-the-counter medications intended for allergic rhinitis will not help in a case of vasomotor rhinitis.
diagnosis is made by history, physical examination, and allergy testing to rule out allergies as a cause of symptoms.
Treatment involves using appropriate medications to relieve symptoms and avoiding triggers as much as possible.
main symptoms: congestion, mucous dripping in the back of the throat, runny nose, frequent sneezing, itchy eyes
Symptoms that never occur with nonallergic rhinitis: fever, sinus pain, facial fullness or pressure
new onset seasonal allergies
new-onset seasonal allergies, also called adult-onset seasonal allergies, are sensitivities to pollen, mold, and other irritants that cause nasal congestion, runny nose, sneezing, itchy eyes, and sore throat.
Seasonal allergies commonly begin in childhood, but can begin at any age, especially among those with a family history. moving to a different geographic location can trigger the allergy in someone with a genetic predisposition. anyone with asthma is more likely to experience seasonal allergies as adults.
Sometimes, the symptoms are actually “pregnancy rhinitis”: nasal congestion and sneezing due to the effects of pregnancy hormones on the nasal tissue.
A new-onset allergy is often thought of as a cold, but a cold will go away without treatment. allergies persist, never get better or worse, and can interfere with quality of life.
The diagnosis is made by an allergist, who will use skin tests and blood tests.
There is no cure for seasonal allergies, but symptoms can be managed for comfort and relief. antihistamines, corticosteroid nasal sprays, and immunotherapy or “allergy shots” can be very effective.
main symptoms: sore throat, congestion, cough with dry or watery sputum, runny mucus in the back of the throat, fatigue
Symptoms that never occur with new-onset seasonal allergies: fever, greenish-yellow nasal discharge, chills, muscle aches
eczema (atopic dermatitis)
atopic dermatitis, also called eczema, dermatitis, atopic eczema or ad, is a chronic skin condition with an itchy rash.
the ad is not contagious. It is caused by a genetic condition that affects the skin’s ability to protect itself from bacteria and allergens.
AD is most commonly seen in infants and young children. those most susceptible are those with a family history of AD, asthma, or hay fever.
Infants will have a dry, scaly, itchy rash on the scalp, forehead, and cheeks. older children will get a rash in the creases of the elbows, knees, and buttocks.
Without treatment, a child may have trouble sleeping because of intense itching. constant scratching can cause skin infections and the skin can become thick and leathery.
diagnosis is made through physical examination, patient history, and skin testing for allergens.
The disease cannot be cured, but it can be managed with prescription medications, skin care, stress management, and treatment of food allergies. Those with AD often have allergies to milk, nuts, and shellfish. keeping skin clean and hydrated helps prevent breakouts.
dermatofibroma of the nose
A dermatofibroma is a fairly common skin growth that usually appears on the lower legs, but can appear anywhere on the body. These mole-like growths are benign (not cancerous).
The cause is unknown, although a dermatofibroma may develop after a minor injury. the growths are not contagious.
Dermatofibromas are more common in adults and are rarely found in children.
Symptoms include a hard, raised growth that is red, pink, or brown and less than a half-inch wide. They’re usually painless, but they can be tender or itchy, and they can appear singly or in groups.
A medical provider should view any new skin growth, especially if the growth is very dark in color or changes shape or appearance rapidly.
diagnosis is made by physical examination and sometimes biopsy.
A dermatofibroma does not require treatment unless it interferes with clothing or is unsightly. they can be surgically removed, although this will leave a scar and the growth may eventually return.
main symptoms: itchy nose, small lump in nose, skin-colored lump in nose, pink or red lump in nose, lump in nose the size of a marble
urgency: wait and watch
allergic contact dermatitis of the nose
allergic contact dermatitis means the skin has touched something that triggered an allergic reaction, causing swelling and irritation.
“contact” means that the allergic reaction occurred by touching something, not by eating it. the first exposure to the substance sensitizes the immune system and then the second exposure causes symptoms.
The most common causes of allergic contact dermatitis are:
Symptoms include redness, itching, peeling, and scaling of the skin that can be painful due to irritation and inflammation.
diagnosis is made by first avoiding contact with any suspicious substance, to see if the dermatitis clears up. patch tests may be performed if results are uncertain.
Treatment consists of completely avoiding the substance causing the allergy and using a topical steroid cream as prescribed. cold compresses and calamine lotion may help relieve discomfort.
main symptoms: itchy nose, redness of the nose, crusty area of the nose
symptoms that always occur with allergic contact dermatitis of the nose: redness of the nose