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Answer to your Health Question

Question (01/28/2011):

Hi, I have really itchy skin all over my body, itchy red patches on my breasts and itchy lumps over my body as well, and then the other day an itchy bump come up on my old BCG scar.

I've had these symptoms for over a month and its getting on my nerves always itching everywhere

Answer:

In generalized pruritus, or itching all over, a systemic disease (one that affects a number of organs and tissues, or affects the body as a whole) may be the cause in about 50 percent of people.

Symptoms also may be caused by medication use, various infections (including parasitic infections of the intestines), iron deficiency, liver disease, kidney disease, high or low thyroid function, as well as certain cancers such as lymphoma.

Chronic urticaria (hives), especially dermatographism, and systemic forms of contact dermatitis, are also common causes of generalized pruritus, even if no visible rash is present.

Medications that are well known to cause itching include opiates, such as Vicodin(acetaminophen/hydrocodone), morphine and codeine.

Other groups of medications causing itching include Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine), aspirin, NSAIDs, and any of a large number of medications that cause itching by affecting the liver.

Tests for generalized pruritus, especially when no rash is present, may include a complete blood count, kidney function, liver function, thyroid function, iron level, stool studies for parasites, and a chest x-ray (looking for evidence of lymphoma).

You can find more information at:

Itching in healthy people

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