Grow Youthful: How to Slow Your Aging and Enjoy Extraordinary Health
Grow Youthful: How to Slow Your Aging and Enjoy Extraordinary Health

Itching

What is itching?

Types of itching

Causes of itching

Remedies for itching

Anal itch (pruritus ani, anusitis)

Causes of anal itch

Treatments for anal itch

What is itching?

An itch (pruritus) is a sensation that causes the desire or reflex to scratch. Itching is different to pain in that an itch creates a scratch reflex, whereas pain causes a withdrawal reflex. Itching can be brought on by a wide variety of different stimuli, and several different mechanisms.

The sensation of itch can be reduced by pain. Various painful stimuli, including heat, physical rubbing / scratching, chemical and electrical forms of pain can stop an itch for a period lasting from seconds to minutes, on the painful area and surrounding skin.

Types of itching

Most itches are caused by triggering the itch receptors in the skin from a variety of stimuli, including mechanical, chemical, thermal and electrical stimulation. Itching is never felt in muscle or joints, and is probably only felt in the top two skin layers (the epidermis and the dermis).

Another type of itching is caused by diseases or disorders of the central nervous system or peripheral nervous system. Examples include trauma or irritation to nerves, notalgia paresthetica, brachioradial pruritis, brain tumours, multiple sclerosis and peripheral neuropathy. A neurogenic itch can be brought on by neural damage, usually from the accumulation of opioids.

Lastly, itching is associated with some symptoms of psychiatric disorders such as obsessive-compulsive disorders (as in OCD-related neurotic scratching), tactile hallucinations or delusions of parasitosis.

Causes of itching

Infections and parasites
Environmental / toxin / allergen
Skin disorders

Diseases
Pregnancy

Pregnancy can bring on various forms of itching.

Remedies for itching

Anal itch (pruritus ani, anusitis)

Pruritus ani (anusitis) is itchy skin around the anus or exit of the rectum, causing the desire to scratch. In the worst cases, anal itching causes intolerable discomfort accompanied by burning and soreness. Up to 5% of the American population experiences anusitis daily.

Causes of anal itch


Triggers that set anusitis off or make it worse.

Treatments for anal itch