Prurigo nodularis is the formation of hard, intensely itchy bumps on the skin, which results in scratching and that in turn cause the skin to open. It is an uncommon skin disease with unknown causes. More about the condition is explained below. We will know if Prurigo nodularis is contagious and also know about some ways to get rid of it.
An Introduction On Prurigo Nodularis:
An uncommon skin disease with unknown cause is Prurigo nodularis; where the affected person gets nodules on the skin which causes itching. It is known to be an autoimmune disease. There may be severely unbearable itching in the patients of Prurigo nodularis. Though this skin disease can affect on any part of the body, it affects mostly on forearms, neck and legs. They are multiple nodular skin lesions with tiny open wounds, caused because of severe itching. They are found in groups. The skin between the nodules is basically dry with intense itching that causes the patient to keep on scratching it for hours, which in turn results in secondary infection. The condition can run for a long time in a person and result in stress and a lot of depression in patients.
Prurigo nodularis can occur at any age; however, it is mainly in adults between the age group of 20-60 years and both the sexes are affected equally. Though, the exact cause of this skin disease is not known, autoimmunity and genetic factors seem to play crucial role in the development of this disease. This skin disease is mostly associated with internal diseases like kidney failure, anemia due to iron deficiency, or metabolic disease, like intolerance to protein, and many other diverse conditions, like Psoriasis, HIV infections and Lichen Planus.
Is Prurigo Nodularis Contagious?
Intense pruritus is the primary symptom with Prurigo nodularis; where the affected person cannot control the urge to scratch the area; which then results in discrete, nodular, hyper-pigmented lesions, with scaly, excoriated and possibly crusted surfaces. Prurigo nodularis itself is not contagious.
How To Get Rid Of Prurigo Nodularis?
Prurigo nodularis is an inflammatory skin disease that is quite difficult to treat. There is a mild to moderate, success rate of treatment in case of Prurigo nodularis. Usually the treatment is done with a combination of medications.
The primary aim of treating Prurigo nodularis is to stop the patient from scratching, which proves to be really difficult on the part of the patient. Scratching worsen the skin condition and is thus required to alleviate the pruritus, via medical means and not from scratching.
Antihistamines, Corticosteroid creams, Capsaicin creams, and Topical anesthetics are the treatments used to get rid of the itchiness and to reduce the inflammation and the lesions. However, for severe cases of prurigo nodularis and for systemic treatments; anticonvulsants, phototherapy, Systemic retinoids, Thalidomide, Oral steroid, and Tricuclic antidepressants are used. There are also some home remedies to get rid of Prurigo nodularis.
Let us look at the treatments in a more precise manner below.
Topical Treatments to Get Rid of Prurigo Nodularis:
Topical corticosteroids have been used in prurigo nodularis so as to get rid of the inflammations and sense of itching and also to soften and smooth out firm nodules. Menthol, phenol, Capsaicin cream, Pramoxine, Vitamin D-3 ointment, and topical anesthetics are some other topical agents that are used to reduce pruritus.
There is a use of intralesional corticosteroid, usually Triamcinolone acetonide, in resistant cases; where topical corticosteroids are not effective. Here, intralesional steroid injections (a corticosteroid, such as Triamcinolone acetonide suspension) are injected directly into a lesion on or immediately below the skin.
Occlusive Therapies to Get Rid of Prurigo Nodularis:
The use of occlusive dressings or soak and smear therapy is known to be effective in getting rid of the intense itching in the affected patients. An occlusive dressing is an air and water-tight trauma medical dressing that is used in first aid; and these are made with a waxy coating so as to provide a complete seal, and as a result do not have the absorbent properties of gauze pads.
Treatments with DuoDerm or other occlusive therapies has been suggested to flatten lesions and also for preventing the individuals from directly scratching nodules.
Treatments Via Topical Immunomodulators:
There are some patients who are unresponsive to steroids, and for such cases, topical immunomodulators tacrolimus and pimecrolimus, have shown their effectiveness. These are also effective in those patients with lesions on the thin skin.
One more way to get rid of Prurigo nodularis is by Phototherapy treatment. Though there is limited evidence on showing its potential benefits and efficacy; Psoralen plus ultraviolet (UV)-A(PUVA), Narrowband UV-B, Broadband UV-B, Excimer laser, and UV-A, have been used successfully.
Monochromatic 308-nm light therapy may be beneficial for recalcitrant lesions; although this modality may be more effective in atopic dermatitis. It is believed that the combination of UV-B 308-nm excimer light and bath PUVA Therapy may be effective in treating Prurigo nodularis. UV-A1 has also been reported to be effective in case of Prurigo nodularis.
Habit Reversal Therapy:
Habit reversal therapy can also be a useful treatment to get rid of the itch-scratch cycle that is associated with Prurigo nodularis. This therapy can be administered by dermatology nurses, trained in this specific therapy.
Home Remedies For Prurigo nodularis:
Nodular prurigo is an aggressive skin condition that is difficult to treat; however there are some home remedies that could be beneficial in treating the condition. Below are some of them.
Salt Bath: A bath in the sea salt or even a trip to the sea beach could be an effective home remedy for reducing prurigo nodularis. During a soak, the salt water penetrates the pores and gets absorbed into the blood stream. This salt aids in removing accumulated lactic acid in the body, eliminates infection and dries out the sores.
Sunlight: There is also a great benefit of sunlight in getting rid or Prurigo nodularis naturally. Exposure to the sunlight has a rehabilitating effect for treating the skin condition. When exposed to the sun, our skin releases a compound called nitric oxide, which helps in stimulating the blood flow and lower blood pressure. Nitric oxide also functions to remove toxins from the blood as it enhances blood filtration.
Dietary Changes: Yet another effective home remedy to get rid of prurigo nodularis is through dietary changes. It is important to identify and eliminate trigger foods for treating the condition through diet. Many people benefit from limiting soy lecithin, gluten and artificial sweeteners.
Now, we are aware of some of the ways to get rid of prurigo nodularis. In case you suspect any such skin condition, do talk to an expert dermatologist and get yourself treated well.