Home |
Tags: itch | remedy

Finding an 'Off Switch' for Persistent Itch

Friday, 20 Oct 2017 10:14 AM Current | Bio | Archive

In the 1955 Billy Wilder film "The Seven Year Itch," The Girl (Marilyn Monroe) and her neighbor Richard Sherman (Tom Ewell) take a stroll in NYC. As she walks over a subway grate, a train passes below, blowing her skirt up, sparking Sherman's fantasies.

He's been married for seven years, and his urge to stray is dubbed "the seven-year itch." The film is a comedy, so (spoiler alert) no harm, no foul. But if you're one of the 25 percent of American adults who've had to deal with a persistent itch, called pruritus, you know it's nothing to laugh at.

Scratching the Surface: Pruritus can alert you to severely dry and aging skin, an allergy (dermatitis) or troublesome immune response (psoriasis), certain cancers and even kidney problems. That's why it's important to ID the cause.

-For dermatitis and psoriasis, try antihistamines, UV light therapy and/or topical compounds such as corticosteroid ointments; for dry skin, avoid harsh soaps and use lotions regularly.

-If it's kidney-disease-related, gabapentin and pregabalin (used to treat epilepsy and neuropathic pain) may help. Also, talk to your doc about foods to avoid.

-Cancer-related itching may result from infection or jaundice, or the tumors themselves. It can be treated with antihistamines, steroids, antidepressants and alternative, stress-reduction therapies.

Breaking News: There may be a way to turn off the itch sensation altogether! Chinese scientists isolated itch-processing neurons in the spinal cord and, in the lab, have been able to interrupt the pathway that triggers "itch-induced scratching behavior." Targeted therapy is under development.

© 2018 NewsmaxHealth. All rights reserved.

1Like our page
If you're one of the 25 percent of American adults who've had to deal with a persistent itch, called pruritus, here's how to treat it.
itch, remedy
Friday, 20 Oct 2017 10:14 AM
Newsmax Inc.

The information presented on this website is not intended as specific medical advice and is not a substitute for professional medical treatment or diagnosis. Read Newsmax Terms and Conditions of Service.

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved