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What is the cause of itching all over the body?

Q: Me and my partner have a terrible itch all over our body for the past 17 months. We initially believed that we were infected by the scabies mite. We applied Derbac M over and over again during this time but to no avail. We got relief for a couple of weeks after application but after that it was back to square one. We carried out all the necessary precautions i.e. changing clothes, bedclothes, avoided wearing shoes which might be infected etc. I am extremely concerned as I have developed white oval patches on the backs of my hands, torso/abdomen and on the arms and other parts of body for the past 3 months. I am afraid that it might be vitiligo. However, we still have the itch. A dermatologist briefly looked at my patches and diagnosed it as vitiligo. She didn't notice my itching symptoms. She then prescribed to apply an anti fungal shampoo for a couple of weeks. I visited a homeopath who, on thinks that these white patches were caused by something which was connected to the itch or the cream I used for treatment. Please advise. The homeopath has given me an anti fungal spray along with a herbal medicine containing vitamin E to be taken orally.

A:Generalised itching can be caused by dermatological disorders, drugs, systemic diseases, internal malignancy, psychogenic causes etc. Amongst dermatological disorders, human scabies is the commonest cause, followed by animal scabies, urticaria, allergic contact dermatitis, atopic dermatitis etc. If you are taking some drugs, they can also cause itching. Underlying diabetes mellitus, renal failure, liver disorder, haematological disorder etc can cause itching. To arrive at diagnosis, you need to be examined and investigated thoroughly to find the cause. The treatment will be directed at the cause and relief of itching. Apply emollients after bath, avoid hot water bath and take oral antihistaminics like tablet hydroxyzine (Atarax) 10 or 25 mg three times daily.

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