Skin Itching and Kidney Disease

Skin Itching and Kidney Disease


Skin itching is an uncomfortable, irritating feeling that makes you want to scratch. It is also known as pruritus. Itchy skin is usually caused by dry skin, and it can also related to kidney disease which causes toxins build up in blood and result in damage in skin system.

Depending on the causes of your itchy skin, it may appear normal. Or it may be red or rough or have bumps or blisters. Repeated scratching can result in raised, thickened and damage of skin that may bleed or become infected.

Patients can use some self-care measures to release it, such as moisturizing, anti-itch products, cold baths and etc. Long term of relief requires identifying and treating the causes of itchy skin. Itchy skin treatment includes medications, wed dressings, and light therapy. And for skin itching caused by kidney disease, we should use the treatment above combined with treatment for kidney disease.


You may have itchy skin over certain small areas, such as on an arm or leg, or over your whole body. Itchy skin can occur without any other noticeable changes on the skin. Or it may be associated with:


Bumps, spots or blisters

Dry, cracked skin

Sometimes itchiness lasts a long time and can be intense. As you rub or scratch the area, it gets itchier. And the more it itches, the more you scratch. Breaking this itch-scratch cycle can be difficult, but continued scratching can damage your skin or cause infection.


Possible causes of itchy skin include:

Dry skin. If you don't see a crop of bright, red bumps or some other dramatic change in the itchy area, dry skin (xerosis) is a likely cause. Dry skin usually results from older age or environmental factors such as long-term use of air conditioning or central heating, and washing or bathing too much.

Skin conditions and rashes. Many skin conditions itch, including eczema (dermatitis), psoriasis, scabies, lice, chickenpox and hives. The itching usually affects specific areas and is accompanied by other signs, such as red, irritated skin or bumps and blisters.

Internal diseases. Itchy skin can be a symptom of an underlying illness. These include liver disease, kidney failure, iron deficiency anemia, thyroid problems and cancers, including leukemia and lymphoma. The itching usually affects the whole body. The skin may look otherwise normal except for the repeatedly scratched areas.

Nerve disorders. Conditions that affect the nervous system — such as multiple sclerosis, diabetes mellitus, pinched nerves and shingles (herpes zoster) — can cause itching. Irritation and allergic reactions. Wool, chemicals, soaps and other substances can irritate the skin and cause itching. Sometimes the substance, such as poison ivy or cosmetics, causes an allergic reaction. Food allergies also may cause skin to itch.

Drugs. Reactions to drugs, such as antibiotics, antifungal drugs or narcotic pain medications, can cause widespread rashes and itching.

Pregnancy. During pregnancy, some women experience itchy skin, especially on the abdomen and thighs. Also, itchy skin conditions, such as dermatitis, can worsen during pregnancy. Except the last one, others can relate to kidney disease. when kidney get damaged, it can cause several complications such as skin system disease, nerve system disease and blood disease. These all can cause skin itching.


Once a cause is identified, treatments for itchy skin may include:

Toxin-Removing Therapy. It is a natural treatment in Shijiazhuang Kidney Disease Hospital that using Chinese medicine and herbal medicine to treat kidney diseases and its complications. If the skin itching is caused by kidney disease, this treatment can help you release it.

Corticosteroid creams. If your skin is itchy and red, your doctor may suggest applying a medicated cream to the affected areas. He or she may also suggest that you cover these areas with damp cotton material that has been soaked in water or other solutions. The moisture in the wet dressings helps the skin absorb the cream and also has a cooling effect on the skin, reducing itch.

Calcineurin inhibitors. Certain drugs, such as tacrolimus (Protopic) and pimecrolimus (Elidel), can be used instead of corticosteroid creams in some cases, especially if the itchy area isn't large.

Antidepressants. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, such as fluoxetine (Prozac) and sertraline (Zoloft), may help reduce various types of skin itching.

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