Sunday, January 23, 2011

Identify That Itch!

What exactly is the problem when your skin or scalp get so itchy or scaly?
The following can help you find out:

Eczema: is marked by red, itchy patches, specifically characterized by swollen, red skin, tends to itch a lot and shows up twice as often in women. These patches are usually triggered by winter's dry hair, and usually appear on your arms or behind your knees. Eczema can also flare near your hairline and earlobe creases. It's often seen in people with asthma, allergies or pet sensitivities.
Antihistamines and steroid ointments ease the itch.

Dandruff: usually moist, yellow scales in your hair or in extra-oily areas. the problem, partly, is a shedding dead skin cells at a rate faster than normal.
Dry or oily skin, an overgrowth of a yeastlike fungus and even stress may lead to dandruff. The best treatment is a daily dose of anti-dandruff shampoo which contains pyrithione zinc and selenium sulfide.

Psoriasis: characterized by thick, scaly, silvery spots on your body and/or scalp that are tender or itchy. It is usually caused by a misfiring immune system and may also be connected to arthritic joint pain.
A diminishing sunlight and dry air in winter might make it worse or cause an outbreak. Light therapy can help for treatment.
Most can benefit from topical steroid ointment. For serious cases, some doctors recommend injected medications, such as Enbrel.