Do you suffer from chronic itch?
If so, you’re not alone. I do, as well as tens of millions of my fellow Americans. Providing an all-natural and organic means of fighting this challenge is my priority.
Here are three of the most important steps you can take to address this issue.
How To Stop Being So Itchy
1. Get the facts and speak to the experts
Researchers know more about chronic itch than ever before. Seize the chance to contact these professionals, or read their findings online.
Indeed, there are major academic institutions – one at Temple University in Philadelphia, the other at Washington University in St. Louis – that have teams of respective scientists searching for the causes and potential cures for chronic itch. Email or call these individuals, so you may ask them about their conclusions, thoughts and recommendations concerning treatment options for chronic itch.
Related: 4 Doctors For Chronic Illness
Find credible outlets with relevant facts about chronic itch. According to a report from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Disease:
“Itch was once thought to be sensed through the body’s pain pathways, but research over the past few decades has revealed that it uses its own dedicated nerves, molecules and receptors. While itch is ultimately conveyed through nerves to the brain, the most well-understood itch pathway initiates with immune molecules called histamines.”
2. Remember: prescriptions are not the only option
We should not limit ourselves to the use of prescription medications for the treatment of chronic itch. We must not limit our choices by limiting ourselves to steroid-based drugs. We must, instead, be aware of the following:
•A prescription is not a panacea. There is no single solution for the variety of skin conditions (eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, and chronic or seasonal itch) patients endure.
•We have, as a community, that most coveted commodity – options!
•We can choose the care we receive, ending the false choice between steroids and no treatment at all.
As the spouse of a chemist, and as someone who understands that there is no single treatment (never mind cure) for the overwhelming variety of illnesses patients face, I think we must shift our goals to something more practical and readily available: Relief from the very symptoms that undermine quality of life for the young, in addition to the longevity of our otherwise active and vibrant seniors.
Related: 4 Ways To Love Your Skin
We need to think in terms of relief, not permanent remission, because the former can improve lives right now while the latter is a false choice between the status quo and nothing.
That amounts to no choice at all, imprisoning people – yes, the literal confinement of innumerable men, women and children – within their own skin.
I would be remiss if I did not offer this disclaimer, along with some words of encouragement: There are patients who enjoy relief from severe skin conditions, which would typically require hospitalization but for a combination of intravenous steroids and biologics.
I would never try to stigmatize these treatments – to do so would be an attack against science – and I would never act as an obstacle to a patient’s recovery.
Still, it is time to talk about a more expansive kind of relief.
3. Avoid the toxins that worsen chronic itch
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 13 million workers in the United States have some degree of itch or inflammation because of chemicals that can be absorbed through the skin.
Contributing factors responsible for this form of itch include:
•Irritating substances like acids, bases, tar, reducing agents, detergents and other compounds.
•Exposure to benzene vapors, resulting in dry, itchy, red skin.
•Perfumes and cosmetics that contain formaldehyde, resulting in dermatitis, chronic itch, rashes and blisters.
All of which underscores my emphasis on transparency of ingredients.
I believe doctors should do likewise about serious (though necessary, given the circumstances) prescription pills, topical creams, injections and/or patches.
That “itch” for data is one we should scratch.
It is a demand that every physician must honor because, if we are to benefit from the relief that already exists, we can only do so with the confidence that education offers.
Related: 5 Reasons To Boost Self-Confidence
Pragmatic and holistic by design, if not effect, relief should be part of our medical vocabulary.
It should be our universal greeting of good health, today and forevermore.
There is helpful information available for patients with chronic itch. By all means, be an active and engaged patient. Ask questions – and a lot of them, so you can enjoy the safest and most effective relief from chronic itch.
Merry Richon is an entrepreneur and the founder of Kiss My Itch Goodbye, an all-natural and holistic means of alleviating the itching sensation caused by variety of external factors.
Photo by loganfidler