Prurigo nodularis is a skin condition triggered by persistent rubbing and scratching. Nodules (solid, raised bumps that are firm to the touch) typically appear on areas of the body prone to itching, such as the arms, legs, upper and lower back, and buttocks. The mid-back often remains unaffected as it cannot be reached, a phenomenon known as the “butterfly sign.” Its exact cause is unknown. Prurigo nodularis can have a huge impact on one’s quality of life because it often disturbs sleep and can cause people to miss work or school or to feel distressed.
Scratching the lesions releases histamine, causing them to become even itchier, so the goal with prurigo nodularis is to stop the itch-scratch cycle. Consider these tips to better control this condition:
- Keep your nails short – By doing so, you’ll minimize the potential for further skin damage through scratching.
- Wear protective attire – Shield your skin by wearing long sleeves and gloves or mittens overnight.
- Cover itchy lesions – Apply bandages to areas most prone to itching. These bandages act as a protective barrier.
- Try anti-itch creams – Look for products that contain soothing ingredients such as pramoxine, menthol, and phenol. These can be found over the counter.
- Routinely use gentle cleansers and emollients – Choose products designed for sensitive skin that are free from any fragrances. Use of thick emollients such as Vaseline will promote the healing process.
If these strategies fail to provide relief, consult a medical professional such as a dermatologist. They can provide additional treatment options that have shown success in treating prurigo nodularis.
Last modified on September 13th, 2023 at 11:28 am