? Itch­ing to nd a cure for…

Health & Nutrition - - HEALTH FOCUS -

Every­body itches in win­ter, but if you are itch­ing like crazy, some­thing is wrong,” says Ger­ald Lazarus, MD, Chair of Der­ma­tol­ogy and Di­rec­tor of the Wound Cen­tre at Johns Hop­kins Bayview Cen­ter. “Itch­ing is a phys­i­cal sign, a com­plaint that should not be dis­missed.” Itch­ing is univer­sal among hu­mans and most other mam­mals and is a near rel­a­tive of pain, Itch­ing pro­duces scratch­ing (an al­most un­con­trol­lable re­flex ac­tion), which pro­vides mo­men­tary relief but can also dam­age skin, worsen itch­ing, and lead to in­fec­tion. Itch­ing may or may not be ac­com­pa­nied by a rash; in ad­di­tion, it may be lo­cal­ized or gen­er­al­ized – that is, you may itch in just one place or all over. Sur­pris­ingly, doc­tors know very lit­tle about the phe­nom­e­non of itch­ing. As a symp­tom, it may even seem triv­ial – though it is surely never triv­ial to the per­son who’s itch­ing. Your first step in get­ting relief is to see your physi­cian and then, if needed, a der­ma­tol­o­gist. Take a list of all your med­i­ca­tions, in­clud­ing over-the-counter drugs and any sup­ple­ments you take.

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