There is no generally accepted medical classification of itching in a child. This is mainly due to the fact that itching discomfort in itself is not a disease: it is only one of the symptoms indicating any disturbances in the body, among which hypersensitivity reactions are especially common.
In medical terminology, a symptom can be divided into allergic or non-allergic, local or focal, minor and intense.
Doctors often describe the problem according to its localization:
- skin itching - indicates the presence of problems of a psychiatric, dermatological, endocrine nature, as well as the presence of allergies;
- anal itching - often a sign of rectal pathology, helminthic invasion;
- genital, inguinal itching - indicates gynecological, andrological, urological, parasitic and dermatological problems.
As a rule, itching in the intimate area of a child, itching of the extremities or anus requires different approaches to treatment, therefore, the doctor always focuses on the issue of localization of the lesion.
Localization of itching
Itching in a child all over the body with skin rashes requires additional diagnosis, since there is no single reason for this phenomenon. The cause can be both an allergic process and infectious (bacterial, fungal or viral) diseases, systemic pathologies (for example, intoxication or liver disease). Allergies in childhood are especially common, due to imperfect immune protection and many provoking factors (both external and internal). Therefore, when an itchy rash appears all over the body, the doctor, first of all, must exclude an allergic reaction.
Itching in the intimate area of a child can disturb both boys and girls. Additionally, there are signs of anxiety, irritability, as well as local symptoms such as burning, discharge, and an unpleasant odor. The reasons may be a violation of hygiene rules (insufficient hygiene of the genital organs, or excessive hygienic activity), anal fissures, allergic processes, pubic lice, candidiasis, etc. Periodic itching in the groin in children can indicate skin hypersensitivity to certain materials and substances - for example if discomfort occurs when putting on synthetic underwear, or when using certain detergents.
Itching of the vagina in children can indicate various pathologies, for example:
- candidiasis, fungal infection;
- inflammatory processes in the vagina;
- helminthic invasions;
- tumor processes;
- endocrine pathologies (for example, diabetes mellitus).
Sometimes itching of the genitals in a child is caused by banal factors: lack or insufficiency of personal hygiene, wearing synthetic or tight underwear, which becomes a favorable environment for the spread of pathogenic microorganisms. Many underestimate these factors, but they can provoke not only the appearance of itching, but also an unpleasant odor, and even inflammatory processes.
If a child has discharge and itching, this is a reason to see a doctor, and this should be done as soon as possible. With secretions of a curdled nature, it is possible to suspect a fungal infection, and tumor processes are often hidden behind bloody secretions. And the appearance of such symptoms during active puberty indicates strong hormonal changes in the body. A doctor's consultation is necessary in any of the above situations.
Itching in a child on the hands, palms is a common symptom that accompanies liver disease. When bile circulation is disturbed, the content of bile acids in the bloodstream increases. These acids exhibit a toxic effect on the receptor network of the skin. As a result, the baby experiences itchy sensations. Another common root cause is diabetes mellitus: this disease is characterized not only by the failure of the insulin apparatus, but also by metabolic disorders, blood circulation and trophic processes in tissues.
Itching between the fingers of the child's hands, as well as in other skin folds (in the armpits, in the groin) often becomes a sign of scabies - a parasitic pathology that develops when a scabies mite is damaged. Why does the skin itch during scabies? The fact is that the female parasite, before laying eggs, makes whole labyrinths of passages in the skin layers. The skin, of course, is damaged, the mites crawl in their own passages, which gives such an unpleasant sensation.
Itching on the legs of a child provokes not only a fungal infection, but also a violation of blood circulation in the limbs. Fungal infection is manifested by severe discomfort between the fingers, as well as in the foot area. The nail plates are modified and exfoliate, sometimes an unpleasant odor appears. Violation of blood circulation is observed as a result of other diseases - for example, impaired liver or kidney function, diabetes mellitus, vascular pathologies, infectious and endocrine disorders.
Only a doctor will be able to answer the question of whether the itching of the feet, heels in a child is associated with an infection, or the root cause should be sought among systemic diseases. You should not ignore a visit to the doctor, since the cause of discomfort is not always harmless.
Itching of the abdomen in a child most often appears due to an allergic reaction. Such a reaction can develop on anything - even formula milk or any complementary food product. In young children, signs of allergy are primarily found on the abdomen and in the face (on the cheeks, on the forehead). When making a diagnosis, young children should also consider such a problem as prickly heat, which is characterized by the appearance of a small rash on the abdomen, back, and gluteal area. With prickly heat, itching is not very pronounced, but in some children it is one of the basic symptoms (especially with prolonged wearing of a wet diaper).
Itching in the anus in a child is an unfavorable sign that can be provoked by several reasons. In this situation, it is necessary to contact either a pediatrician, or a parasitologist or a pediatric proctologist. It should be noted that itching from worms in a child is the most common case, the provocateurs of which are pinworms - intestinal parasites, a feature of which is the night laying of eggs in the anus. It is with this that the appearance of uncomfortable sensations is connected, for getting rid of which it is necessary to undergo anthelmintic treatment and strictly adhere to hygiene rules. Parasitic infestation is often accompanied by other symptoms, such as dizziness, lack of appetite, headaches, and digestive disorders. In addition, signs of anemia are often found - pallor of the skin, the appearance of circles under the eyes, sleep disturbances.
Itching of the back in children is an equally common phenomenon associated with such pathological conditions:
- allergic reaction, atopic dermatitis;
- neuro-allergic processes;
- scabies, in which the discomfort increases in the evening and at night;
- dermatitis, folliculitis, impetigo;
- xeroderma (hereditary pathology);
- seborrhea (impaired production of sebaceous secretion);
- lichen planus;
If the interscapular region is especially itchy, then it is possible to suspect thyroid dysfunction, diabetes, and liver pathologies. Itching on the neck of a child occurs after insect bites, after exposure to ultraviolet radiation, or occurs as a result of prolonged friction of the skin on the collar of clothing, which especially often occurs with owners of sensitive skin.
Itching of the head, face in a child is a characteristic symptom of pediculosis (lice infestation). If you carefully examine the scalp, you can see bite marks, scratch marks, and even parasitic eggs called nits. In this situation, the discomfort in the baby occurs due to the fact that the lice bite the skin, releasing their own secret into the wound, which causes quite strong itchy sensations.
Itching on the cheeks of a child is most often the result of a food or contact allergy, but sometimes it also indicates a cold or solar reaction that develops when the skin is sensitive to temperature changes or to ultraviolet rays. In young children, the problem can be associated with dysbacteriosis, since problems with the digestive system in babies often affect the condition of the skin of the face, thighs and buttocks. Sometimes, to completely eliminate discomfort, it is enough to streamline nutrition, restore the balance of intestinal microflora.
Itchy eyes in a child becomes the first sign of incipient conjunctivitis, or a fungal infection of the conjunctiva. In many children, this is how an allergic reaction begins to manifest itself - for example, if the allergen is pollen, animal dander or house dust. Usually, itchy sensations are followed by redness of the eyes, swelling and even pain, cramps and burning.
With excessive accumulation of sulfur secretion in the auditory canal, itching occurs in the ears of a child. Such itching is persistent and may be accompanied by a slight decrease in auditory function. Other likely causes are sometimes:
- allergic processes;
- otomycosis, fungal lesions of the skin;
- the presence of a foreign body, an insect in the ear canal;
- erysipelas of the auditory canal.
Itching and burning sensations can manifest themselves in any area of the body, and they arise for a variety of reasons. As it becomes clear, itching is not always accompanied by a rash, just as a rash can appear in a child without fever and itching. In any case, if there is an itchy moment, as well as peeling, inflammation of the skin, discharge or pain is present, you should immediately show the baby to a medical specialist. You may need complex drug therapy.