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Sheep Sorrel Rich in vitamins, minerals and trace elements, high in life-giving properties. Check the spelling of your email address and try again. This will further damage the liver and perhaps cause you to go into liver failure and hepatic encephalopathy, which is loss of brain function due to your liver being unable to remove toxins. Int J Vitam Nutr Res. Best Pract Res Clin Gastroenterol.

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Another type of parasitic infection resulting in an itchy sensation is the so-called swimmer's itch. Swimmer's itch, also called cercarial dermatitis , is a skin rash caused by an allergic reaction to infection with certain parasites of birds and mammals that are released from infected snails in fresh and saltwater. Itch may also result from skin infestation by body lice , including head lice and pubic lice.

Scabies is a highly contagious skin condition caused by an infestation by the itch mite Sarcoptes scabiei that is known to cause an intense itch that is particularly severe at night. Brachioradial pruritus is a neurologic condition that results in intense itching of the arms.

It usually develops on the forearm over the head of the brachioradialis muscle, but it can occur anywhere on the upper extremities. This is often caused by a pinched nerve in the neck. Itching can also result from other conditions that affect the nerves or nervous system, such as diabetes , shingles herpes zoster , or multiple sclerosis.

Irritation of the skin from contact with fabrics, cosmetics , or other substances can lead to itching that may be accompanied by rash, known as contact dermatitis. Poison ivy is another example of contact dermatitis.

Reactions to drugs or medications can also result in widespread itching that may be accompanied by a rash or hives. Sometimes women report that they experience generalized itching during pregnancy or a worsening of the conditions that normally cause itching.

Contact dermatitis from allergy to nickel, poison ivy , poison oak , or poison sumac is also a common cause of localized itching. Itching of the scalp can be caused by a number of conditions, including dandruff , psoriasis, or seborrheic dermatitis. As with any condition, a careful medical history and physical examination will suggest to your health care provider the particular diagnostic tests that may be needed to learn the cause of itching. Some common causes like dry skin or sunburn may be obvious, while causes such as chronic systemic diseases or conditions may require blood or imaging tests to identify.

If a skin condition is responsible for the itch, sometimes a scraping or biopsy may be performed to identify the condition. Nevertheless, many common rashes and skin ailments have a characteristic symptom or appearance that may suggest the correct diagnosis. Because the causes of itchy skin are so varied, many different medical practitioners can be involved in treating itching. Itching is commonly treated by specialists in family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics , or dermatology.

Itching related to allergy may be treated by an allergist or immunologist. Itching related to STDs may be managed by a gynecologist or urologist. An obstetrician-gynecologist may treat women suffering from itching during pregnancy or vaginitis. People with itching due to chronic diseases may be treated by the specialists who manage these conditions, such as endocrinologists, gastorenterologists, nephrologists, oncologists, hematologists, neurologists, and infectious-disease specialists.

Some causes of itching are treated by emergency-medicine specialists. Itching usually prompts scratching, which can sometimes lead to a vicious itch-scratch cycle. Scratching can initially feel satisfying, but prolonged scratching just leaves you with irritated skin that can still itch and often worsens the itching itself. Since scratching provides only temporary relief and doesn't promote healing of the underlying problem, it is best to avoid scratching if at all possible.

If scratching breaks open the skin, bacterial infection can set in. This is known as secondary infection. And if scratching continues for many months or years, the area that is scratched may develop thickened skin lichenification or pigmentation that darkens the area. The best way to allow irritated skin to heal is to stop scratching it.

However, willpower often is not enough since the urge to scratch can be compelling. The following sections discuss some general measures and home remedies to help to stop scratching and control itch, regardless of the cause.

I also agree to receive emails from MedicineNet and I understand that I may opt out of MedicineNet subscriptions at any time. Because cold and itch travel along the same nerve fibers, the use of cold can "jam the circuits" and deaden itch. Methods of applying cold include the following:. Hot water in the shower, for instance feels good temporarily, but it can leave you feeling even itchier later. Therefore, the use of hot water is not recommended.

You can apply these products over and over, every few minutes if needed. These preparations help numb the nerve endings and stop you from a frenzy of scratching, which leaves the skin raw, sore, and even itchier. Although hydrocortisone-containing creams and lotions are often promoted as itch reducers, this ingredient only helps an itch that is caused by a rash responsive to cortisone, such as the skin diseases eczema and seborrhea.

When pruritus is caused by irritations of other sorts insect bites, for instance , hydrocortisone doesn't help much at all. If you use hydrocortisone for 10 days and experience no improvement, you should go see a physician to help determine the cause of your itch. Traditionally, antihistamines are used to treat itch.

Examples include diphenhydramine Benadryl , hydroxyzine Atarax , and chlorpheniramine Chlor-Trimeton and others. These medicines can induce drowsiness in many people and must be used with care before driving a car or operating heavy machinery. Although antihistamines may help relieve itchy skin, they seem to do so mainly by helping people fall asleep and avoid scratching at night. If falling or staying asleep is not your main problem, you may want to try one of the nonsedating antihistamines.

Loratadine Claritin and fexofenadine Allegra and others are examples of newer second-generation antihistamines that are available without a prescription.

The second-generation antihistamines do not have the sedating effects of the older first-generation antihistamines but they are not very effective in quelling the itch. Itching can be prevented only to the extent that the underlying cause s of the itching sensation can be prevented. For example, careful use of sunscreen products can prevent the itching associated with sunburn.

Keeping well hydrated and using moisturizers can prevent the itch associated with dry skin. It is also possible to take preventive measures to avoid contagious conditions that may be transmitted by skin-to-skin contact like sexually transmitted diseases, or tick or bug bites , or lice infestations that may be the sources of itching.

Itching associated with serious conditions like skin cancers and liver or kidney disease cannot typically be prevented. If home treatment isn't helping, scratching is affecting the skin being scratched infection, lichenification [thickening and scarring], or pigmentation , or the itch is disturbing one's sleep , consult a doctor to ascertain what's causing the itching.

A doctor can also prescribe stronger cortisone-based creams for eczemas and allergies and prescription-grade antihistamines, if necessary, or treat the underlying condition that is causing the itch. As mentioned previously, a secondary bacterial infection of the skin is perhaps the most common complication of itching. This occurs not as a result of the itch but as a result of the scratching and associated skin damage. Antibiotics may be required to treat a bacterial infection of the skin.

Itching itself is unlikely to lead to other complications, although some of the underlying diseases that cause itching see above are associated with complications specific to the disease itself. Itching itself is not associated with long-term skin problems or harm, and most cases of itch are temporary and resolve on their own or with topical or oral treatments. Itching that is associated with a serious condition may persist if the condition worsens or it may be managed with medications.

Learn weird skin facts and facts about conditions like acne, vitiligo, shingles, acne, dermatitis, dandruff, and more. Quick Guide Rosacea, Acne, Shingles: Common Adult Skin Diseases. Can Stress Cause a Rash? What is an itch? What are associated symptoms and signs of itching pruritus? Readers Comments 16 Share Your Story.

Causes, Symptoms and Treatment. Adult Skin Problems Slideshow. Test Your Skin IQ. Readers Comments 26 Share Your Story. How do health care professionals diagnose itching? What types of health care specialists treat itching? Should people scratch the itch? Readers Comments 10 Share Your Story.

What are topical itch treatments? Are there any home remedies for itching? Readers Comments 21 Share Your Story. What are oral medications that treat itch? Is it possible to prevent itching? When should the doctor be consulted for itching pruritus? What are possible complications of itching? What is the prognosis outlook for itching? Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Related Article Skin Quiz: Patient Comments Itching - Treatments What treatment did you receive for your itching?

Post View 26 Comments Itching - Associated Symptoms In addition to itching, what other signs or symptoms did you experience? Please share helpful tips and suggestions. Post View 10 Comments. At the beginning, allergy shots will be administered once or twice a week for several months.

The dose is increased each time until a maintenance dose is reached. Side effects of allergy shots include itchy eyes, shortness of breath, runny nose, tight throat, redness, swelling, and irritation. Bedbugs from the insect family Cimicidae are small, reddish-brown tick-like insects that feed by sucking the blood of mammals. They are often found in poorly sanitized areas or in crowded living quarters. What does a bedbug look like?

Learn to ID bedbugs and bedbug bites. Get tips on how to prevent, treat, and get rid of bedbugs. The first sign of bedbugs may be red, itchy bites on the skin, usually on the arms or shoulders. See a picture of Bedbug Bites and learn more about the health topic. Adding healthy carbs to your diet in moderation could help you achieve those goals. These nutritious carbohydrates contain fiber, which your digestive system works to break down before they can be absorbed.

As a result, they help keep your energy, blood sugar, moods and appetite levels in check between meals. About 50 to 60 percent of your total daily calories should consist of carbohydrates, according to the National Library of Medicine. Keep reading for a list of 16 healthful carbs that you may want to include in your diet.

Lowering your risk for type 2 diabetes may be as simple as swapping out white rice for brown. In a study from the Archives of Internal Medicine, researchers analyzed the diets, lifestyle habits and overall health of nearly , adults. Participants who ate two or more servings of brown rice per week were less likely to have diabetes risk factors compared to white rice eaters.

Unlike white rice, which is stripped of valuable nutrients during processing, brown rice is a whole grain. As a rule, whole grains provide more nutrients, satiation and wellness benefits than refined grains. When given a choice, select brown, black or wild rice, instead of white rice or instant brown rice. In a study in the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology Journal, adults ate their typical diets for three months, with or without calories of percent fat-free popcorn per day.

Participants who ate popcorn showed significant reductions in overall dietary fat and saturated fat intake and increases in fiber intake. Popcorn provides a nutritious, whole-grain alternative to low-nutrient processed foods like potato chips and pretzels.

So the next time you're itching for something crunchy, go ahead and grab some air-popped popcorn with a dash of salt. Squash probably isn't the first food that comes to mind when you think about fiber, but eating more squash provides a simple way to increase your fiber intake all year long, says registered dietitian Sharon Palmer.

Fiber has a wide range of health benefits, from helping you maintain a healthy digestive system to aiding in the prevention of heart disease. Palmer recommends using squash in soups, stews, casseroles and side dishes. One cup of cooked acorn squash provides 9 grams of fiber the recommended daily intake is 25 grams for women and 38 for men. Other varieties high in fiber are hubbard squash and summer scallop or patty pan squash. Gluten-free foods are important if you have celiac disease or a gluten intolerance.

Plus, quinoa only requires about 20 minutes of cooking time and can be used in place of rice or couscous in most any dish. Berries are particularly high in these nutrients and are considered brain food. According to a Harvard study, blueberries and strawberries help preserve brain function in women and delay memory decline by two and a half years.

Enjoy berries solo or as a healthy add-in to your smoothies, whole-grain pancakes and even salads. When buying frozen berries, select varieties without added sweetener. Berries are sweet enough on their own, and excessive sugar intake can lead to undesirable weight gain and blood sugar imbalances. The orange hue of sweet potatoes brings some color to your plate. Vitamin A may help reduce the risk for certain cancers, according to the Mayo Clinic and may also help slow the aging process.

Sweet potatoes also provide rich amounts of vitamin C, which plays an important role in immune function, and valuable amounts of heart-healthy fiber. Half of a large sweet potato contains a mere 81 calories, which is way less than most sugary sweets.

Enjoy sweet potatoes baked and topped with olive oil and spices. Or add it to soups, stews and curries. Beans really are a magical legume, but not for the reasons you might imagine. Lima, pinto and kidney beans each provide 16 grams of fiber per cooked cup.

If you're concerned about bloating and gas, gradually incorporate beans into an otherwise low-fiber diet. Soaking them in water overnight also helps. Dark, leafy greens are prime sources of beta-carotene and valuable sources of vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C, vitamin K and iron.

One cup of cooked turnip greens, mustard greens or collard greens provides 5 grams of fiber. Cooked spinach, beet greens and Swiss chard each provide 4 grams of fiber per cup. Fresh greens also make simple additions to salads, curries and casseroles.

Oats will forever have a place in the health food hall of fame, as they were the first food to have a label showing an FDA health claim. In January , the labels said that oatmeal may reduce the risk of heart disease, when combined with a low-fat diet. Oats have been linked with improved cholesterol levels, body weight and blood pressure. And as a fiber-rich food, oats have the added benefit of being quite filling. A bowl of steel cut oats for breakfast is sure to keep you full all the way until lunch.

To make oatmeal even healthier, use low-fat milk or water instead of whole milk, and top it with fresh fruit.

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