Pruritus is a medical term derived from Latin, in which "prurire" means "to itch." It refers to an unpleasant sensation on the skin that provokes the desire or reflex to scratch. This can be caused by various factors, such as skin conditions (e.g., dryness, eczema, psoriasis), systemic diseases (e.g., liver disease, kidney failure), nerve disorders, psychological conditions, or reactions to certain medications.
Pruritus can significantly affect a person's quality of life, leading to sleep disturbances, anxiety, and depression. Proper identification and management of the underlying cause are essential for effective treatment.
Antipruritics are a class of medications or substances that are used to relieve or prevent itching (pruritus). They work by reducing the sensation of itchiness and can be applied topically to the skin, taken orally, or administered intravenously. Some common antipruritics include diphenhydramine, hydroxyzine, and corticosteroids.
Pruritus ani is a medical condition characterized by intense itching around the anal area. The term "pruritus" means itching, and "ani" refers to the anus. It can cause significant discomfort and affect a person's quality of life due to the constant urge to scratch the affected area.
Pruritus ani can have several causes, including:
1. Skin conditions: Dermatitis (inflammation of the skin), psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis, or contact dermatitis may lead to pruritus ani.
2. Infections: Bacterial, fungal, or parasitic infections like candidiasis, pinworms, or threadworms can cause itching in the anal region.
3. Hygiene issues: Excessive cleaning or using harsh soaps, perfumed wipes, or toilet paper may irritate the skin and result in pruritus ani.
4. Moisture: Perspiration or moisture from feces can lead to maceration (softening of the skin) and itching.
5. Systemic diseases: Conditions like diabetes mellitus, liver disease, or kidney failure may cause pruritus ani as a secondary symptom.
6. Medications: Certain medications, such as some chemotherapy drugs, can lead to pruritus ani as a side effect.
7. Dietary factors: Consuming spicy foods, caffeine, or alcohol may exacerbate symptoms of pruritus ani in some individuals.
Treatment for pruritus ani typically involves addressing the underlying cause and implementing good hygiene practices. This may include using gentle, fragrance-free soaps, avoiding scratching, wearing breathable underwear, and making dietary changes if necessary. Topical treatments like corticosteroid creams or antihistamines may also be recommended to alleviate symptoms.
Pruritus vulvae is a medical term used to describe the sensation of itching or irritation in the vulvar area, which is the external female genital region. This condition can have various causes, including dermatological issues (such as eczema, psoriasis, or contact dermatitis), infections (like candidiasis, bacterial vaginosis, or scabies), hormonal imbalances, menopause, or systemic diseases (such as diabetes, liver disorders, or kidney problems). In some cases, the cause of pruritus vulvae may remain undetermined even after a thorough evaluation.
The itching and irritation associated with pruritus vulvae can significantly impact a person's quality of life, causing discomfort, sleep disturbances, and emotional distress. Proper diagnosis and treatment typically require a consultation with a healthcare professional specializing in gynecology or dermatology, who will consider the patient's medical history, conduct a physical examination, and potentially order further tests to identify the underlying cause. Treatment options vary depending on the specific cause but may include topical creams, oral medications, lifestyle changes, or a combination of these approaches.
Emollients are medical substances or preparations used to soften and soothe the skin, making it more supple and flexible. They work by forming a barrier on the surface of the skin that helps to prevent water loss and protect the skin from irritants and allergens. Emollients can be in the form of creams, lotions, ointments, or gels, and are often used to treat dry, scaly, or itchy skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis. They may contain ingredients such as petroleum jelly, lanolin, mineral oil, or various plant-derived oils and butters. Emollients can also help to reduce inflammation and promote healing of the skin.
Uremia is not a disease itself, but rather it's a condition that results from the buildup of waste products in the blood due to kidney failure. The term "uremia" comes from the word "urea," which is one of the waste products that accumulate when the kidneys are not functioning properly.
In uremia, the kidneys are unable to effectively filter waste and excess fluids from the blood, leading to a variety of symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, fatigue, itching, mental confusion, and ultimately, if left untreated, can lead to coma and death. It is a serious condition that requires immediate medical attention, often involving dialysis or a kidney transplant to manage the underlying kidney dysfunction.
Histamine antagonists, also known as histamine blockers or H1-blockers, are a class of medications that work by blocking the action of histamine, a substance in the body that is released during an allergic reaction. Histamine causes many of the symptoms of an allergic response, such as itching, sneezing, runny nose, and hives. By blocking the effects of histamine, these medications can help to relieve or prevent allergy symptoms.
Histamine antagonists are often used to treat conditions such as hay fever, hives, and other allergic reactions. They may also be used to treat stomach ulcers caused by excessive production of stomach acid. Some examples of histamine antagonists include diphenhydramine (Benadryl), loratadine (Claritin), and famotidine (Pepcid).
It's important to note that while histamine antagonists can be effective at relieving allergy symptoms, they do not cure allergies or prevent the release of histamine. They simply block its effects. It's also worth noting that these medications can have side effects, such as drowsiness, dry mouth, and dizziness, so it's important to follow your healthcare provider's instructions carefully when taking them.
Intrahepatic cholestasis is a medical condition characterized by the interruption or reduction of bile flow within the liver. Bile is a digestive fluid produced by the liver that helps in the absorption of fats and fat-soluble vitamins. Intrahepatic cholestasis occurs when there is a problem with the transport of bile components inside the liver cells (hepatocytes). This can lead to an accumulation of bile acids, bilirubin, and other substances in the liver, which can cause damage to liver cells and result in symptoms such as jaundice, itching, and dark urine.
Intrahepatic cholestasis can be caused by various factors, including medications, alcohol abuse, hepatitis viruses, autoimmune disorders, genetic defects, and cancer. Depending on the underlying cause, intrahepatic cholestasis can be acute or chronic, and it can range from mild to severe. Treatment typically involves addressing the underlying cause of the condition, as well as providing supportive care to manage symptoms and prevent complications.
Atopic dermatitis is a chronic, inflammatory skin condition that is commonly known as eczema. It is characterized by dry, itchy, and scaly patches on the skin that can become red, swollen, and cracked over time. The condition often affects the skin on the face, hands, feet, and behind the knees, and it can be triggered or worsened by exposure to certain allergens, irritants, stress, or changes in temperature and humidity. Atopic dermatitis is more common in people with a family history of allergies, such as asthma or hay fever, and it often begins in infancy or early childhood. The exact cause of atopic dermatitis is not fully understood, but it is thought to involve a combination of genetic and environmental factors that affect the immune system and the skin's ability to maintain a healthy barrier function.
Epidural analgesia is a type of regional anesthesia used to manage pain, most commonly during childbirth and after surgery. The term "epidural" refers to the location of the injection, which is in the epidural space of the spinal column.
In this procedure, a small amount of local anesthetic or narcotic medication is injected into the epidural space using a thin catheter. This medication blocks nerve impulses from the lower body, reducing or eliminating pain sensations without causing complete loss of feeling or muscle movement.
Epidural analgesia can be used for both short-term and long-term pain management. It is often preferred in situations where patients require prolonged pain relief, such as during labor and delivery or after major surgery. The medication can be administered continuously or intermittently, depending on the patient's needs and the type of procedure being performed.
While epidural analgesia is generally safe and effective, it can have side effects, including low blood pressure, headache, and difficulty urinating. In rare cases, it may also cause nerve damage or infection. Patients should discuss the risks and benefits of this procedure with their healthcare provider before deciding whether to undergo epidural analgesia.
Mucuna is a genus of tropical leguminous plants, and the term is often used in a medical context to refer to one specific species: Mucuna pruriens. This plant, also known as velvet bean, has been used in traditional medicine for various purposes, including the treatment of Parkinson's disease.
Mucuna pruriens contains high levels of L-dopa, a precursor to dopamine, which is a neurotransmitter that plays an important role in regulating movement and mood. As such, Mucuna has been studied as a potential alternative treatment for Parkinson's disease, which is characterized by low levels of dopamine in the brain.
It's worth noting that while some studies have suggested that Mucuna may be effective in reducing symptoms of Parkinson's disease, more research is needed to fully understand its safety and efficacy. Additionally, Mucuna can contain other compounds that may have negative effects, so it should only be used under the guidance of a healthcare professional.
A "drug eruption" is a general term used to describe an adverse skin reaction that occurs as a result of taking a medication. These reactions can vary in severity and appearance, and may include symptoms such as rash, hives, itching, redness, blistering, or peeling of the skin. In some cases, drug eruptions can also cause systemic symptoms such as fever, fatigue, or joint pain.
The exact mechanism by which drugs cause eruptions is not fully understood, but it is thought to involve an abnormal immune response to the medication. There are many different types of drug eruptions, including morphilliform rashes, urticaria (hives), fixed drug eruptions, and Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis (SJS/TEN), which is a severe and potentially life-threatening reaction.
If you suspect that you are experiencing a drug eruption, it is important to seek medical attention promptly. Your healthcare provider can help determine the cause of the reaction and recommend appropriate treatment. In some cases, it may be necessary to discontinue the medication causing the reaction and switch to an alternative therapy.
Skin diseases, also known as dermatological conditions, refer to any medical condition that affects the skin, which is the largest organ of the human body. These diseases can affect the skin's function, appearance, or overall health. They can be caused by various factors, including genetics, infections, allergies, environmental factors, and aging.
Skin diseases can present in many different forms, such as rashes, blisters, sores, discolorations, growths, or changes in texture. Some common examples of skin diseases include acne, eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, fungal infections, viral infections, bacterial infections, and skin cancer.
The symptoms and severity of skin diseases can vary widely depending on the specific condition and individual factors. Some skin diseases are mild and can be treated with over-the-counter medications or topical creams, while others may require more intensive treatments such as prescription medications, light therapy, or even surgery.
It is important to seek medical attention if you experience any unusual or persistent changes in your skin, as some skin diseases can be serious or indicative of other underlying health conditions. A dermatologist is a medical doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of skin diseases.
Renal dialysis is a medical procedure that is used to artificially remove waste products, toxins, and excess fluids from the blood when the kidneys are no longer able to perform these functions effectively. This process is also known as hemodialysis.
During renal dialysis, the patient's blood is circulated through a special machine called a dialyzer or an artificial kidney, which contains a semi-permeable membrane that filters out waste products and excess fluids from the blood. The cleaned blood is then returned to the patient's body.
Renal dialysis is typically recommended for patients with advanced kidney disease or kidney failure, such as those with end-stage renal disease (ESRD). It is a life-sustaining treatment that helps to maintain the balance of fluids and electrolytes in the body, prevent the buildup of waste products and toxins, and control blood pressure.
There are two main types of renal dialysis: hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis. Hemodialysis is the most common type and involves using a dialyzer to filter the blood outside the body. Peritoneal dialysis, on the other hand, involves placing a catheter in the abdomen and using the lining of the abdomen (peritoneum) as a natural filter to remove waste products and excess fluids from the body.
Overall, renal dialysis is an essential treatment option for patients with kidney failure, helping them to maintain their quality of life and prolong their survival.
Obstetrical analgesia refers to the use of medications or techniques to relieve pain during childbirth. The goal of obstetrical analgesia is to provide comfort and relaxation for the mother during labor and delivery while minimizing risks to both the mother and the baby. There are several methods of obstetrical analgesia, including:
1. Systemic opioids: These medications, such as morphine or fentanyl, can be given intravenously to help reduce the pain of contractions. However, they can cause side effects such as drowsiness, nausea, and respiratory depression in the mother and may also affect the baby's breathing and alertness at birth.
2. Regional anesthesia: This involves numbing a specific area of the body using local anesthetics. The two most common types of regional anesthesia used during childbirth are epidural and spinal anesthesia.
a. Epidural anesthesia: A catheter is inserted into the lower back, near the spinal cord, to deliver a continuous infusion of local anesthetic and sometimes opioids. This numbs the lower half of the body, reducing the pain of contractions and allowing for a more comfortable delivery. Epidural anesthesia can also be used for cesarean sections.
b. Spinal anesthesia: A single injection of local anesthetic is given into the spinal fluid, numbing the lower half of the body. This type of anesthesia is often used for cesarean sections and can also be used for vaginal deliveries in some cases.
3. Nitrous oxide: Also known as laughing gas, this colorless, odorless gas can be inhaled through a mask to help reduce anxiety and provide some pain relief during labor. It is not commonly used in the United States but is more popular in other countries.
When choosing an obstetrical analgesia method, it's essential to consider the potential benefits and risks for both the mother and the baby. Factors such as the mother's health, the progression of labor, and personal preferences should all be taken into account when making this decision. It is crucial to discuss these options with a healthcare provider to determine the most appropriate choice for each individual situation.
Cholestasis is a medical condition characterized by the interruption or reduction of bile flow from the liver to the small intestine. Bile is a digestive fluid produced by the liver that helps in the breakdown and absorption of fats. When the flow of bile is blocked or reduced, it can lead to an accumulation of bile components, such as bilirubin, in the blood, which can cause jaundice, itching, and other symptoms.
Cholestasis can be caused by various factors, including liver diseases (such as hepatitis, cirrhosis, or cancer), gallstones, alcohol abuse, certain medications, pregnancy, and genetic disorders. Depending on the underlying cause, cholestasis may be acute or chronic, and it can range from mild to severe in its symptoms and consequences. Treatment for cholestasis typically involves addressing the underlying cause and managing the symptoms with supportive care.
Analgesics, opioid are a class of drugs used for the treatment of pain. They work by binding to specific receptors in the brain and spinal cord, blocking the transmission of pain signals to the brain. Opioids can be synthetic or natural, and include drugs such as morphine, codeine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, fentanyl, and methadone. They are often used for moderate to severe pain, such as that resulting from injury, surgery, or chronic conditions like cancer. However, opioids can also produce euphoria, physical dependence, and addiction, so they are tightly regulated and carry a risk of misuse.
Histamine H1 antagonists, non-sedating, also known as second-generation antihistamines, are medications that block the action of histamine at the H1 receptor without causing significant sedation. Histamine is a chemical mediator released by mast cells and basophils in response to an allergen, leading to allergic symptoms such as itching, sneezing, runny nose, and hives.
The non-sedating antihistamines have a higher affinity for the H1 receptor and are less lipophilic than first-generation antihistamines, which results in less penetration of the blood-brain barrier and reduced sedative effects. Examples of non-sedating antihistamines include cetirizine, levocetirizine, loratadine, desloratadine, fexofenadine, and rupatadine. These medications are commonly used to treat allergic rhinitis, urticaria, and angioedema.
Phototherapy is a medical treatment that involves the use of light to manage or improve certain conditions. It can be delivered in various forms, such as natural light exposure or artificial light sources, including lasers, light-emitting diodes (LEDs), or fluorescent lamps. The wavelength and intensity of light are carefully controlled to achieve specific therapeutic effects.
Phototherapy is most commonly used for newborns with jaundice to help break down bilirubin in the skin, reducing its levels in the bloodstream. This type of phototherapy is called bilirubin lights or bili lights.
In dermatology, phototherapy can be applied to treat various skin conditions like psoriasis, eczema, vitiligo, and acne. Narrowband ultraviolet B (UVB) therapy, PUVA (psoralen plus UVA), and blue or red light therapies are some examples of dermatological phototherapies.
Phototherapy can also be used to alleviate symptoms of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and other mood disorders by exposing patients to bright artificial light, which helps regulate their circadian rhythms and improve their mood. This form of phototherapy is called light therapy or bright light therapy.
It's essential to consult a healthcare professional before starting any phototherapy treatment, as inappropriate use can lead to adverse effects.
Prurigo is a dermatological condition characterized by the development of persistent, itchy papules (small, solid, raised bumps) on the skin. These lesions often result in scratching or rubbing, which can further exacerbate the itching and lead to the formation of new papules. The exact cause of prurigo is not well understood, but it may be associated with various underlying conditions such as atopic dermatitis, diabetes, HIV infection, or chronic renal failure.
There are two main types of prurigo: acute and chronic. Acute prurigo typically lasts for less than six months and is often triggered by an insect bite, drug reaction, or other short-term factors. Chronic prurigo, on the other hand, can persist for years and may be more resistant to treatment.
Prurigo can significantly affect a person's quality of life due to constant itching, discomfort, and potential sleep disturbances. Dermatological evaluation, identification of underlying causes, and appropriate management strategies are essential in addressing this condition effectively.
Ichthyosis is a group of skin disorders that are characterized by dry, thickened, scaly skin. The name "ichthyosis" comes from the Greek word "ichthys," which means fish, as the skin can have a fish-like scale appearance. These conditions can be inherited or acquired and vary in severity.
The medical definition of ichthyosis is a heterogeneous group of genetic keratinization disorders that result in dry, thickened, and scaly skin. The condition may affect any part of the body, but it most commonly appears on the extremities, scalp, and trunk. Ichthyosis can also have associated symptoms such as redness, itching, and blistering.
The severity of ichthyosis can range from mild to severe, and some forms of the condition may be life-threatening in infancy. The exact symptoms and their severity depend on the specific type of ichthyosis a person has. Treatment for ichthyosis typically involves moisturizing the skin, avoiding irritants, and using medications to help control scaling and inflammation.
Neurodermatitis, also known as lichen simplex chronicus, is a skin condition characterized by chronic itching and scratching of the skin. It typically affects areas that are easy to reach and can be triggered by stress, anxiety, or other underlying skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis. The constant scratching leads to thickening and darkening of the skin, which can cause discomfort and distress. Treatment usually involves a combination of topical medications, lifestyle changes, and behavioral modifications to reduce scratching and alleviate symptoms.
Morphine is a potent opioid analgesic (pain reliever) derived from the opium poppy. It works by binding to opioid receptors in the brain and spinal cord, blocking the transmission of pain signals and reducing the perception of pain. Morphine is used to treat moderate to severe pain, including pain associated with cancer, myocardial infarction, and other conditions. It can also be used as a sedative and cough suppressant.
Morphine has a high potential for abuse and dependence, and its use should be closely monitored by healthcare professionals. Common side effects of morphine include drowsiness, respiratory depression, constipation, nausea, and vomiting. Overdose can result in respiratory failure, coma, and death.
Anion exchange resins are a type of ion exchange resin that are positively charged and used to remove anions (negatively charged ions) from aqueous solutions. These resins contain functional groups such as quaternary ammonium or tertiary amine groups, which can attract and retain anions like chloride, sulfate, or nitrate ions.
Anion exchange resins are commonly used in water treatment to remove excess dissolved salts, heavy metals, and other impurities from drinking water, industrial wastewater, and process water. They can also be used in the pharmaceutical industry for the purification of drugs and biomolecules, as well as in research and analytical applications.
When anions come into contact with the resin, they are attracted to the positively charged functional groups and exchanged for hydroxide ions (OH-) present on the resin surface. This exchange results in the formation of water and the release of the anion from the resin. The resin can then be regenerated by washing it with a strong base, which replaces the hydroxide ions and restores its ability to exchange anions.
Overall, anion exchange resins are important tools for removing unwanted anions from various types of solutions, including water, biological samples, and industrial process streams.
Cholagogues and choleretics are terms used to describe medications or substances that affect bile secretion and flow in the body. Here is a medical definition for each:
1. Cholagogue: A substance that promotes the discharge of bile from the gallbladder into the duodenum, often by stimulating the contraction of the gallbladder muscle. This helps in the digestion and absorption of fats. Examples include chenodeoxycholic acid, ursodeoxycholic acid, and some herbal remedies like dandelion root and milk thistle.
2. Choleretic: A substance that increases the production of bile by the liver or its flow through the biliary system. This can help with the digestion of fats and the elimination of waste products from the body. Examples include certain medications like ursodeoxycholic acid, as well as natural substances such as lemon juice, artichoke extract, and turmeric.
It is important to note that while cholagogues and choleretics can aid in digestion, they should be used under the guidance of a healthcare professional, as improper use or overuse may lead to complications like diarrhea or gallstone formation.
Psychophysiologic Disorders, also known as psychosomatic disorders, refer to a category of mental health conditions where psychological stress and emotional factors play a significant role in causing physical symptoms. These disorders are characterized by the presence of bodily complaints for which no physiological explanation can be found, or where the severity of the symptoms is far greater than what would be expected from any underlying medical condition.
Examples of psychophysiologic disorders include:
* Conversion disorder: where physical symptoms such as blindness, paralysis, or difficulty swallowing occur in the absence of a clear medical explanation.
* Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): where abdominal pain, bloating, and changes in bowel habits are thought to be caused or worsened by stress and emotional factors.
* Psychogenic nonepileptic seizures (PNES): where episodes that resemble epileptic seizures occur without any electrical activity in the brain.
* Chronic pain syndromes: where pain persists for months or years beyond the expected healing time, often accompanied by depression and anxiety.
The diagnosis of psychophysiologic disorders typically involves a thorough medical evaluation to rule out other potential causes of the symptoms. Treatment usually includes a combination of psychotherapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), relaxation techniques, stress management, and sometimes medication for co-occurring mental health conditions.