Posted on: 4 December 2015Share
Prurigo nodularis, also called nodular prurigo, is a skin disease that is characterized by the presence of itchy bumps. This disease can be very distressing for sufferers. Here are three things you need to know about prurigo nodularis.
What are the signs of prurigo nodularis?
If you develop this condition, you'll notice itchy bumps on your skin. These bumps can be anywhere between 3 and 20 millimeters in diameter and tend to be firm, symmetrical, and scaly. Some sufferers only develop one or two of these bumps, while others get hundreds. You'll notice these bumps on the front of your arms and legs, and sometimes, on your torso.
What causes it?
Researchers still don't know the exact cause of prurigo nodularis, though many theories have been put forward.
One theory is that the disease has an allergic link, according to Medscape. People with prurigo nodularis tend to have higher levels of mast cells, a type of cells that are involved in allergic reactions. As many as 80% of people with this condition also have allergy-related conditions like atopic dermatitis or hay fever (or have family members who do), which supports this theory.
Another theory is that people with prurigo nodularis have more nerve endings in their skin than non-sufferers do. These additional nerve endings make them more sensitive to irritants that can cause itching.
How is it treated?
There are many treatments available for this condition, ranging from home remedies to medications. There is no standard treatment that works for every single sufferer, so your dermatologist may need to try many treatments before one of them works for you.
There are some simple home remedies that may help. Your dermatologist may recommend applying lotions to your skin to help soothe the itch. Bandaging can also be used to keep you from scratching the lumps, which gives them a chance to heal.
If home remedies aren't enough, many medications are available. Corticosteroid creams can be applied to your lumps to ease the itching, and oral steroids can be taken to instantly stop the itching. Unfortunately, corticosteroids have many side effects and are can't be taken long-term. For long-term relief of the itching, your dermatologist may tell you to take antihistamines (allergy medicines).
Some people also have success with alternative therapies like hypnotherapy. If nothing else is working, your dermatologist may recommend giving this a try.
If you think you may have prurigo nodularis, see a dermatologist right away.
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