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Itchy Eruptions on My Skin

Itchy Eruptions on My Skin

Overview

Many conditions cause itchy skin eruptions. An eruption, or breaking out, on the skin occurs as symptom of an irritation or a disease. Viruses, insect bites, skin parasites, allergens and certain skin diseases cause itchy skin eruptions. A raised patch of skin, a rash or any inflamed bump may induce an immune response from the skin cells and cause an itch. When the itch is scratched, the skin can break open and become an eruption, sometimes continuing as an itch-scratch cycle.

Viral Skin Eruptions

Several viruses cause itchy skin eruptions. According to the Mayo Clinic, varicella-zoster virus causes red itchy blisters, which eventually erupt and spread viral particles. This virus enters the body as chickenpox and can lie dormant in the nervous system for years, appearing as shingles later in life. Another virus, human parvovirus B19, causes an itchy rash after its initial symptoms. It is also known as fifth disease. Other viruses cause rashes but do not induce itching.

Skin Parasites

Parasitic infestations and insect bites result in itchy skin eruptions. Fungus is a parasitic skin infection with signs of intense itching and blistering. Examples of fungal infections include ringworm, athlete's foot and jock itch. Parasitic worms, mites and lice burrow into the skin, causing local swelling and small itchy eruptions. A scabies mite will burrow into the skin, lay eggs and return to the surface. Intense itching is caused by the immune reaction to the eggs within the skin. Swimmers itch is a tiny freshwater worm that uses birds and snails during its life cycle but accidentally enters a human host.

Allergic Dermatitis

Allergic dermatitis is a hypersensitive immune reaction of the skin resulting in itchy rashes and skin patterns. Chemicals, plants, fabrics, drugs and even sunlight cause itchy skin eruptions during an allergic reaction. Poison ivy may leave a small trail of blistering toxin, while a reaction to penicillin may give the whole body an itchy rash. If the culprit of the reaction cannot be determined, long-term chronic changes will occur due to damages inflicted by scratching. Itchy eruptions at specific locations on the body indicate a contact dermatitis, such as a hand reaction to hand soap or a foot reaction to wool socks.

Skin Diseases

Some specific skin diseases cause itchy skin eruptions. Psoriasis is a disease affecting the life cycle of the skin cells. Not only does it cause itching, burning and soreness, it can also cause debilitation from swollen and stiff joints. Eczema's rash becomes severely itchy at night and causes thick, crusted eruptions. Usually, eczema affects children before the age of 5 and it has no specific cause or treatment, appearing on their arms and behind their knees. Frequently, these skin diseases occur along with allergies within a family.

Other Causes

Foreign objects lodged in the skin cause itchy skin eruptions. Since the object is foreign to the body, an inflammatory immune reaction occurs and causes a swelling at the sight of entry. Tiny slivers of wood, metal or grass are common foreign bodies that become embedded in the skin. Also, heat can be a culprit in itchy skin eruptions. An itchy heat rash or sunburn is the result of the skin's reaction to too much heat.

Considerations

Skin eruptions leave the skin open to bacterial contamination. Skin is the first barrier to infection, and when it is compromised by injurious scratching, it cannot fight bacterial invasion. You should keep all open wounds clean and avoid scratching to prevent secondary infections. Cleanliness is important when dealing with foreign bodies, because they typically bring in secondary bacterial invaders. After the object is removed, the skin puncture site needs to be cleaned thoroughly.

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