What is Abdominal Itching?
The abdomen is the region what we call as stomach in layman terms and like any other part of the body this region can also get itchy at times. It may happen to both males as well as females but for different reasons. In some cases, abdominal itching may be accompanied by a rash also. There may be many different reasons for abdominal itching and is not a sign of a pathologic condition unless it really increases in intensity and interferes with working which may be an embarrassing situation when you get an inclination to scratch when in a meeting or during a presentation.
Itching at times also occurs when the body is inflamed or irritated, and depending on the underlying cause, the itching may increase or decrease in intensity with scratching. If accompanied by a rash, abdominal itching can be very irritating. In this article, we will give a brief overview of what causes abdominal itching and different ways to get rid of it and also how to prevent further abdominal itching.
What Causes Abdominal Itching?
Abdominal Itching is as common as itching in other areas of the body like the foot or the hands and hence the cause which leads to itching to other parts of the body can also be applicable to Abdominal Itching. In some cases Abdominal Itching may occur due to some causes specific to the abdominal region like when there is abdominal itching due to stretching of the skin in pregnancy. Below are some of the common causes of Abdominal Itching:
Poor Hygiene: This is one of the most common causes of Abdominal Itching. Taking a hot bath daily ensures that all the sweat, dead skin cells, or other bacteria that may have been sticking to the skin and causing irritation to the skin gets flushes away by water. These substances act as irritants and cause Abdominal Itching. An individual with poor hygiene or someone who does not believe in bathing daily allows these irritants to settle down and eventually these irritants act up and cause Abdominal Itching. Having said this, the soap and water that we use for bathing can also be potential irritants especially if you are allergic to the soap that you use.
Dry Skin: This is another cause for Abdominal Itching. Skin dryness is a common condition and a lot of people suffer from skin dryness. This is more so in the winter season when there is less moisture in the air and makes the skin that much more dry. Some of the other causes of dry skin are sunburns, antibacterial soaps, chlorinated water, and dehydration. Thus, if you know that you are prone to dry skin then use appropriate moisturizer to keep the skin wet especially in the areas where you usually get itchy skin like the hands, foot, and the abdominal areas.
Excessive Sweating: We often come across people who sweat more than others. Excessive sweating is a common cause for skin irritation resulting in Abdominal Itching. Excessive sweating may be caused due to a dry climate, or wearing extra warm clothing during winters which may cause you to get more warmer than required causing your body to sweat thus causing skin irritation resulting in abdominal itching. Some people have a condition called hyperhidrosis which causes excessive sweating even under normal conditions. This is yet another reason for that individual to have skin irritation causing abdominal itching.
Contact Dermatitis: This is a medical condition caused due to the body coming in contact with certain chemicals. These chemicals tend to act as allergens or irritants which trigger an inflammatory reaction in the skin causing Abdominal Itching. Some of the common causes of contact dermatitis are sweat, water, soap and clothing. Apart from these products, certain products like latex, nickel, color dyes, adhesives and certain fragrances also tend to trigger an inflammatory reaction resulting in the skin getting irritated causing abdominal itching.
Shingles: Also known by the name of "Chickenpox", Shingles is a viral infection caused by the chickenpox virus or the varicella zoster virus. This viral may lay dormant in the body for several decades before acting up resulting in blisters forming throughout the body including the abdominal area and causing abdominal itching.
Pregnancy: During the second and third trimester of pregnancy, the uterus starts to increase in size as the baby grows inside the womb. This results in stretching of the skin. Even though the skin has a certain amount of elasticity in it but as the pregnancy continues the skin stretches beyond its stretchable limits resulting in abdominal itching.
Apart from the above mentioned common causes, there are certain medical conditions which may also result in abdominal itching. These conditions are:
- Atopic dermatitis
- Reaction to certain drugs
- Fungal infections like candidiasis
- Liver disease and kidney dysfunction may also cause abdominal itching in some cases
Treatments to Get Rid of Abdominal Itching
Abdominal Itching may be irritating and annoying irrespective of the cause and treating it becomes a priority for many. Treatments to get rid of abdominal itching depends on the underlying cause of it. This may be done either by oral medication or by application of certain creams or lotions as prescribed by your dermatologist. Before embarking on any self treatment it is always recommended to consult with your dermatologist who can give you a better advice as to what is the best treatment to get rid of abdominal itching.
Some of the treatment methods for getting rid of Abdominal Itching are:
- Emollients are used to moisturize the skin and calm down the inflammation and thus help in getting rid of abdominal itching
- Using Urea creams are also a good way for soothing the skin and calming down the inflammation and get rid of itching around the abdomen.
- Corticosteroids are often recommended by physicians to treat the inflammation causing abdominal itching.
- Antimicrobial ointments are recommended to treat bacterial source of abdominal itching.
- For allergic reactions causing itching around abdomen, antihistamines are recommended by the physicians.
- Antibiotics are also a recommended treatment to get rid of abdominal itching caused due to bacterial infections.
What are the Preventive Measures That One Can Take for Abdominal Itching?
Some of the common ways to prevent Abdominal Itching are:
- Practice good hygiene by bathing daily. While bathing use soaps that are mild and preferably fragrance free as those are the best soaps for the body. After bathing, dry yourself thoroughly so that there are no wet spots around the abdominal area which may again trigger Abdominal Itching.
- Use moisturizers in case if you have problem with dry skin so that the skin does not get irritated. Using moisturizers will prevent the skin from getting dry and prevent any Abdominal Itching.
- When out in on hot day or in a warm climate always use sun screens which will protect the skin from getting dry and irritated and prevent Abdominal Itching
Use loose fitting clothes and avoid clothes that fit too tight as they may cause irritation to the skin and result in Abdominal Itching.