Have You Ever Considered Treating Itching With This?

 Have You Ever Considered Treating Itching With This?

Do you constantly have the urge to… scratch, scratch, and scratch? Maybe, even just reading that was enough to trigger it?

At our Nashville practice, we see an endless stream of patients who are constantly coming in with concerns about itching that they can’t seem to get under control. Usually, it could be one of three underlying reasons:

  1. Hives. If a patient has broken out in hives, this kind of itching is extremely difficult to get under control, and even more difficult to find a direct cause of the hives.

  2. Eczema. For patients who have long suffered with eczema, itching is a lifelong issue that needs constant attention and treatment, to get under control.

  3. Internal issues. If none of the above apply, we then perform extensive lab work in Nashville to rule out an internal cause - like thyroid, liver or kidney issues, cancer or an autoimmune disease.

Now - there’s a potential fourth reason - a theory that I’ve always had, and is my go-to fourth option, if all three causes above are ruled out: try anti-depressants to treat the itch. And, now there’s research to back it up! A study carried out by Radboud University Medical Center in The Netherlands found that by evaluating 35 studies that looked at the efficacy of antidepressants for treating itching.

Their results found that for the majority of patients treated with oral antidepressants, there was a significant improvement in their condition.  It worked wonders. We are not sure exactly why antidepressants help calm the itch scratch cycle, but if it helps control this miserable cycle, we are grateful.  I often tell my patients who need to take these type of medications for their skin conditions, that they don’t have to be on the medication forever; just until they get their symptoms under control.  At that point in time they can likely come off of the medication and do just fine.

Need help with figuring out what’s causing your itching? Visit us at Skin Solutions Dermatology in Nashville, Franklin, Columbia, Smyrna, Hendersonville or Pulaski to chat with our amazing team of dermatology specialists! Take advantage of our online booking system and book an appointment today.

Source: Journal of The American Academy of Dermatology

Share this

Dr Pena

About The Author

Dr. Pena is a Board-Certified Medical Dermatologist, Mohs skin cancer surgeon, and cosmetic dermatologist. Her mission is to educate the diverse patient populations she serves, and their communities, on the importance of skin care in decreasing the risk of skin cancer and minimizing the early signs of aging. She founded Skin Solutions Dermatology with numerous clinics in Nashville, Tennessee and surrounding Middle Tennessee.

Dr. Julia Pena, MD