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Suggest treatment for bouts of chronic itching

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Posted on Mon, 18 May 2015
Question: my husband has been experiencing bouts of chronic itching, we have tried all over the counter lotions for exzema and psoriaisis, nothing works. i dont know whether to take him to a dermatologist or a G.P, and we DO NOT have insurance, so going to the right place to begin with is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT!!! Can you please help? Thank You, XXXX
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Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James (57 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
a dermatologist would be best

Detailed Answer:
HI, thanks for using healthcare magic

Itching can be due to : (1)allergies to food, drink, environmental factors such as dust/pollen/animal dander/creams/soap/detergent/medication

(2)liver disease

(3)infection such as scabies, insect bites

(4)kidney disease

(5)some autoimmune diseases

(6)rarely related to cancer, very rare

He may want to change all soaps/creams/detergents to low allergen formats eg cetaphil.

Also a food diary to note if there are any particular foods that cause a reaction can be started.

In addition, adding an oral antihistamine and pepcid to the creams may also help.

Pepcid also blocks histamine from acting, it acts at a different point than the antihistamine.Histamine is a chemical that is released in the body and plays a role in causing inflammation and itching.

By blocking the histamine with the antihistamine (Eg benadryl, zyrtec) and pepcid, may have some relief.

The doctor can examine and possibly suggest blood tests that may identify any specific causes.

I hope this helps, feel free to ask any other questions


Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Michelle Gibson James (23 minutes later)
Thank you so much Dr XXXXXXX
that actually does answer more than you know! He was already diagnosed with chirossis of the liver and he REFUSES to drink water, which is why kidney related issues makes perfect sense in his case. I will seek out a dermatologist based on your reply. Again, Thank you for your time and concern.
Most Sincerely, XXXX

One last question!!! I apologize! But, what is pepcid? And where can i get it? ALSO, what did you mean by " blocking the histamine with the antihistamine??? "
doctor
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James (7 hours later)
Brief Answer:
prevents histamine from causing itching/rash

Detailed Answer:
HI

Sorry about the late reply

Histamine is released in allergic/inflammatory reactions. It is one of the chemicals that is involved in causing itching/rash.

Antihistamines (allergy meds such as benadryl, claritine, zyrtec, allegra) work by preventing histamine in the body from exerting its effect. This is the reason that antihistamines are used in allergic reactions.

With a history of cirrhosis of the liver , this is the likely cause of his itching. He may need a strong antihistamine such as hydroxyzine which would require a prescription

Pepcid and zantac are also histamine blockers. They are used in persons with a history of recurrent weals/allergies.
They would work with one of the antihistamines mentioned above.

Can be obtained over the counter either at your local pharmacy or likely in the med section of your supermarket.

Please feel free to ask any other questions
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Michelle Gibson James

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2001

Answered : 16811 Questions

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Suggest treatment for bouts of chronic itching

Brief Answer: a dermatologist would be best Detailed Answer: HI, thanks for using healthcare magic Itching can be due to : (1)allergies to food, drink, environmental factors such as dust/pollen/animal dander/creams/soap/detergent/medication (2)liver disease (3)infection such as scabies, insect bites (4)kidney disease (5)some autoimmune diseases (6)rarely related to cancer, very rare He may want to change all soaps/creams/detergents to low allergen formats eg cetaphil. Also a food diary to note if there are any particular foods that cause a reaction can be started. In addition, adding an oral antihistamine and pepcid to the creams may also help. Pepcid also blocks histamine from acting, it acts at a different point than the antihistamine.Histamine is a chemical that is released in the body and plays a role in causing inflammation and itching. By blocking the histamine with the antihistamine (Eg benadryl, zyrtec) and pepcid, may have some relief. The doctor can examine and possibly suggest blood tests that may identify any specific causes. I hope this helps, feel free to ask any other questions