How Is The Psoriasis Itching And Burning Treated
The aim of treating itch caused by psoriasis is to break the cycle of itching and scratching. In people with psoriasis that causes frequent itching, scratching is a particular problem because it can damage the skin and cause new plaques to form in healthy areas of skin 1.
For people with milder psoriasis, itching can often be relieved by treating the underlying condition with the usual range of treatments . Other treatments that can help with itching and burning, include2:
- Over-the-counter antihistamines
- Moisturizers that contain colloidal oatmeal
Some prescription medicines can be used specifically to treat itch. A medicine made with capsaicin is an ointment that can help with psoriatic itch when applied three or four times a day. Certain types of antidepressants can also have an itch-relieving effect, as can a medicine called gabapentin3.
Patients with moderate or severe psoriasis may need to treat the condition with medicines called biologic therapies, such as etanercept, adalimumab, infliximab, ustekinumab, secukinumab, and ixekizumab.
These are very powerful drugs that affect the immune system, unlike topical treatments that are applied directly to the skin. Biologic drugs can have the effect of disrupting the signal sent from the itch receptor to the brain4.
Researchers are currently developing new types of drugs specially designed to treat itching at its source in the brain.
Psoriasis And Itching: Managing The Itch
- Itching affects most people with psoriasis and negatively impacts quality of life.
- Stick to your treatment plan to help manage itching with psoriasis.
- Avoid scratching. Use a moisturizer or cool compress instead.
- A healthy diet and lifestyle can help reduce disease activity that causes itching.
Itch is one of the most distressing symptoms of plaque psoriasis, the most common form of psoriasis. Some 60 percent to 90 percent of people with psoriasis report that itching also known as pruritus worsens quality of life. Itching can negatively impact daily functioning and psychological well-being.
MyPsoriasisTeam members often discuss their frustrations with itching. Bad start to my morning. Im very itchy today. I have to be at work and can’t take any antihistamines. Fighting the itch! one member posted. So tired of my scalp being itchy, another member wrote. People look at me as if I had head lice. What can I use to stop this itch?
My face is killing me today, all red, tight, and itchy. Im now into day four of barely sleeping. I feel so itchy and its 10 times worse at night, a third member said. No amount of moisturizer is helping. It just seems to aggravate the itch.
In the past, itching in psoriasis was not always taken seriously by doctors. Researchers and health care professionals now recognize that itching is a crucial symptom to manage when treating psoriasis, due to the impact of itch on quality of life.
Closing Thoughts For Itchy Psoriasis
It can be highly tempting to itch your skin when you have psoriasis. But remember that it can do more harm than good. Instead, try one of these tips and talk to a dermatologist at Complete Family Dermatology. Our team will focus on relieving your symptoms and making sure you stay comfortable in your skin. To schedule an appointment, please call 402-423-1111 or visit our website.
previous postAug 3,2020
Also Check: Herbal Remedies For Scalp Psoriasis
Let Us Know In The Comments Below
Bio: Laura is a contributor and content developer for Its An Itchy Little World. She is in no way a medical professional. Her comments, suggestions, and reflections are not intended to replace any medical advice. Always seek the help of a medical professional before undertaking any diet or lifestyle changes. Please see Its An Itchy Little Worlds disclaimer for information about affiliate links and more.
Natural Remedies For Psoriasis Relief
If you suffer from psoriasis, you are far from alone. There are around 7.5 million people in the United States who have it, and over 100 million around the world. Psoriasis causes dry and rough skin on different areas of your body such as hands, lips, mouth, feet, ears, scalp, nails, elbows, and eyelids. These areas can be itchy, sore, and downright uncomfortable when severe.
There is no cure for psoriasis, and the best way to manage and control your symptoms is to see a physician, who can recommend medications and other treatment options to calm the inflammation, ease pain and itching, and reduce redness of psoriatic skin. However, if you are looking for a more holistic approach for relief, there are a number of natural remedies that may help relieve symptoms in the meantime.
You May Like: Does Collagen Help With Psoriasis
Are There Complications Of Psoriasis
In some people, psoriasis causes more than itchiness and red skin. It can lead to swollen joints and arthritis. If you have psoriasis, you may be at higher risk of:
- Use medicated shampoo for scales on your scalp.
Other steps you should take to stay as healthy as possible:
- Talk to your healthcare provider about lowering your risk for related conditions, such as heart disease, depression and diabetes.
- Lower your stress with meditation, exercise or seeing a mental health professional.
What Causes Psoriasis To Itch And Burn
Itching happens when something irritating comes into contact with the skin and activates what are called itch receptors3. The receptors send a signal up the spinal cord to the brain, which triggers the need to scratch.
Scratching feels good at first because it temporarily interrupts the signal sent from the itch receptor to the brain. However, scratching can actually make the itching sensation worse and more intense. This is called the itch-scratch cycle5.
Recommended Reading: Best Over The Counter Scalp Psoriasis Treatment
Get Some Daily Exercise
Studies show that one of the best ways of fighting insomnia is through exercise, especially outdoors exercise. Before beginning any new exercise regimen, make sure to talk to your doctor first. Once they give you a go ahead, work your way towards a 30-minute exercise each day, five times a week. Aerobic activities such as walking, biking or swimming are highly recommended. The National Psoriasis Foundation also suggests that psoriasis patients include at least 15 minutes of stretching. Just do not exercise too close to your bedtime as it could affect the quality of your sleep.
How Can Parents Help
For some children, psoriasis is just a minor inconvenience. For others, it is a difficult medical condition.
To manage symptoms and make outbreaks less likely, your child should:
- Wash hands well and often and stay away from people who are sick to prevent infections.
- Manage stress through exercise, yoga, or meditation.
- Not smoke or drink alcohol.
- Keep a healthy weight. People who are overweight tend to have more severe psoriasis symptoms.
Kids and teens with psoriasis may feel uncomfortable with the way their skin looks. Help your child understand that psoriasis is common and treatments can help.
Whether your child’s psoriasis is mild or severe, learn about the condition together. Offer to help find a therapist or join a support group if that might help. Talk to your doctor or check websites like:
Also Check: Icd 10 Code For Plaque Psoriasis
Block The Itch With Capsaicin
Capsaicin the source of heat in chili peppers, and an ingredient in certain creams and ointments helps relieve itch by blocking the nerve endings that transmit pain, explains Yosipovitch. German researchers found that over-the-counter creams with capsaicin helped reduce pain and inflammation from psoriasis lesions. Warning: You might feel a burning sensation where you apply the ointment, and it should not be applied to cracked or open skin.
What Are Psoriasis Causes
Various factors can cause the condition, which include:
Recommended Reading: Best Over The Counter Shampoo For Psoriasis
The Vicious Cycle Of Stress And Itch
To make matters worse, itching isnt just triggered by stress it is also associated with increased anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders. And, in turn, stress and anxiety exacerbate itch, leading to a vicious cycle that worsens psoriasis and impacts quality of life.
Indeed, for many people, the itch of psoriasis which can be especially severe at night, disrupting sleep has a bigger impact on their quality of life than the patches of thick raised skin covered with silvery scales that represent the visible aspect of the disease.
Treating your psoriasis is the best way to reduce itching, and there are a host of treatments, ranging from topical creams and photo therapy to targeted biologics, that can help though lack of access to treatment due to the pandemic can still be an issue.
The goal in treating psoriatic itch is to inhibit the itch-scratch cycle. Biologic drugs like etanercept , adalimumab , infliximab , and ustekinumab , are better for itch than topical treatments because they have a central effect in the brain that reduces itch activation and improves mood.
Choose Your Diets Carefully
Some diets can trigger more toxins in our body, which means more bad bacteria. This environment leads to more severe psoriasis. Vice versa, some other dietary choices contain anti-inflammatory substances which keep psoriasis from spreading. If you are suffering from psoriasis, it is wise to cut down your consumption of red meat. Instead, you can replace it with more fruit and vegetables which are enriched with antioxidants. This is a good substance to promote natural collagen production to heal the affected areas. Garlic and turmeric are known as ingredients which are high in anti-inflammatory substances.
Read Also: What Helps Psoriasis Flare Ups
Does Psoriasis Itch More At Night
Getting enough sleep is an issue for some young people with psoriasis. Sometimes symptoms like itchiness became worse at night which made it difficult to sleep. Zara and Carys sometimes scratch their skin in their sleep, which is painful and causes bleeding.
Consider Hot And Cold For Itch Relief
Many people with psoriasis find that a cold-water bath or cold compresses help relieve their itch. Thats because nerves that send itch signals to the brain dont work as well when theyre cold, according to the AAD. Most dermatologists recommend that people with psoriasis avoid hot showers because hot water can dry the skin and dry skin itches. But Yosipovitch’s research shows that for many people, hot showers offer more itch relief than cold ones. His theory: Hot water activates nerve fibers that inhibit itch. Yosipovitch’s ultimate recommendation is to do what works best for you. If you find hot showers help relieve itch, keep them short to avoid drying out your skin too much. And dont forget to apply moisturizer when youre done.
Recommended Reading: Is It Ok To Swim With Psoriasis
What Causes Psoriasis And Eczema
Causes of psoriasis
We dont know the exact cause of psoriasis, but we do know that its a type of autoimmune disease, meaning that an overactive immune system is involved. The main symptom of psoriasis is thick skin plaques, caused by skin growing too quickly.
Your genes and family history can play a role in whether or not you develop psoriasis. About 40% of people with psoriasis have a family member with psoriasis. And if one parent has psoriasis, a child has about a 30% chance of having it.
Then, there are triggers that can worsen psoriasis symptoms. While each person is different, common triggers for psoriasis include stress and certain infections, like strep throat. Some medications can also act like triggers. Examples include lithium, propranolol , and hydroxychloroquine .
Causes of eczema
The word eczema actually refers to a group of skin conditions that can cause your skin to become red and itchy. Common types of eczema include atopic dermatitis, seborrheic dermatitis, and contact dermatitis.
Often, when people talk about eczema, theyre referring to atopic dermatitis, the most common type of eczema. In fact, over 18 million Americans have atopic dermatitis, 13% of which are children. For this article, well stick to talking about atopic dermatitis.
Like psoriasis, eczema can worsen with triggers. These can include dry skin, stress, and different irritants, like wool and perfumes. Everyday allergens like pollen and dust mites can also be triggers.
Cool Or Warm Compresses
Some people might experience temporary relief from the itching by using cold compresses and taking cool showers.
Others also find that warm compresses ease the pain, so alternating between warm and cold compresses may help with both itching and discomfort.
People should not take hot baths and try to avoid being in the shower for longer than 10 minutes, as this can increase irritation. Applying lotion after a cool bath can help a person retain moisture in the skin, reducing the risk of dryness and itching.
Read Also: What Oil Is Good For Psoriasis
How Is Psoriasis Diagnosed
Doctors usually diagnose psoriasis by examining the skin, scalp, and nails. They’ll also ask whether someone else in the family has psoriasis and if the child recently had an illness or started taking a new medicine.
Rarely, doctors might take a skin sample to check more closely. A biopsy can tell the doctor whether it’s psoriasis or another condition with similar symptoms.
Moisturize To The Max
Keeping your skin moist is extremely important, says Dr. Yosipovitch, because moisture reduces redness and allows your skin to heal. Thick, petroleum-like moisturizers are better than thin, watery lotions for itch relief. Cooking oil or shortening can also sub for drugstore moisturizers and be less expensive. Apply moisturizer and prescription creams or ointments alongside any prescription topicals right after your bath or shower to lock in natural skin oils. Bonus tip: Keep your creams in the fridge for a cooling effect.
Read Also: Best Lotion For Scalp Psoriasis
Do All Types Of Psoriasis Itch
Plaque psoriasis, a type that causes scaly, often gray-looking patches, is the most common type of psoriasis. It is also the most common cause of psoriatic itching, although other forms of psoriasis may also itch.
However, the severity of an itch may vary between one flare and the next. One psoriasis flare may only cause mild itching, while the following flare could result in severe itching sensations.
It is possible for one person to have multiple types of psoriasis at once and develop lesions that do not itch or only cause mild itching.
Many treatment options are available to help people who experience psoriatic itching.
What Medications Are Used To Treat Psoriasis And Eczema
There are many ways to treat psoriasis and eczema. In fact, some of the same treatments are used for both conditions.
Topical treatments are ones that you apply directly to the skin, like creams, gels, and ointments. Some topical treatments are available over the counter, while others need a prescription.
Corticosteroids are the most common topical treatments for both psoriasis and eczema. They reduce inflammation, which helps with redness and itching. They come in different strengths, ranging from weaker to very strong .
Other topical medication options for psoriasis include:
Calcipotriene: helps to reduce inflammation, is chemically related to vitamin D, and is available in combination with a steroid in the medication betamethasone/calcipotriene
Calcitriol: helps to slow down skin cell growth and is also related to vitamin D
Tazarotene: helps to slow down skin cell growth and is chemically similar to vitamin A
Zithranol: helps to slow down skin cell growth and is available as a cream or shampoo
These are other topical medication options for eczema:
Tacrolimus andpimecrolimus: help reduce immune system activity, while not carrying the same risk of side effects that steroids have
Eucrisa: blocks a specific protein that causes inflammation in atopic dermatitis
People with more severe eczema and psoriasis may need stronger treatments that work throughout the body. These are usually given as an oral pill or shot.
Also Check: Is Neem Good For Psoriasis
Scratching Can Irritate Your Skin Which Can Lead To A Psoriasis Flare
It might not be just the red, scaly plaques from psoriasis that drives you nuts. The itch that goes along with psoriasis can bother you even in places that are lesion free. Up to 90 percent of people with psoriasis experience itching, according to the National Psoriasis Foundation, and it can impact your quality of life. It can interfere with your sleep, increase your stress, and even take a toll on your sex life.
“It’s not always a pure itch,” says Gil Yosipovitch, MD, a professor of dermatology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine in Florida. Instead, you might feel a burning or pinching sensation. And though the urge to scratch can be hard to resist, scratching can just make psoriasis symptoms worse. Scratching can damage your skin, leading to infection or skin injuries that can trigger a psoriasis flare.
Following your psoriasis treatment plan is the best way to prevent bothersome itching. But there are other steps you can take to find relief when itching strikes.
How To Relieve Psoriasis Itching
One of the readers of our blog has recently asked me to give some tips about how to relieve psoriasis itching because it is giving him sleepless nights. Psoriasis is characterized by a high degree of skin dryness, coupled with skin inflammation and itching. If we observe closely, it seems that itching is not the primary symptom. It is actually a byproduct of other two symptoms- Skin dryness and inflammation.
When your skin is extremely dry and inflamed- you are prone to rub it and then a chain reaction starts- the more you itch, the more intense it becomes. Eventually, you end up making your psoriasis worse. It is known as Itch-Scratch cycle.
Also, this continuous itching can hamper your personal and professional life badly. For example- improper sleep, lack of concentration, social isolation, lack of self esteem and many others. All these negative after-effects would lead to more stress and anxiety in your life and would take you few more steps away from psoriasis healing because stress is one of the most obvious culprits for psoriasis.
Important note: Sometimes, during the early stages of recovery, the itching increases. Dont worry about that. It simply indicates that you are healing yourself from inside. So, keep walking on the path of holistic healing because a healthy skin and body awaits you
Recommended Reading: Treatments For Plaque Psoriasis Scalp