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"Can asthma trigger itching around the chest?"

ZocdocAnswersCan asthma trigger itching around the chest?


Can asthma trigger itchiness in the chest area? I had never heard of this, even though I've suffered from asthma since I was a kid (I'm over 30). But this last summer, it felt like my chest was covered in bug bites all season. Could it have been the asthma?


As you know asthma is a disease where the bronchioles that transport air to the lung tissue constrict making it hard to breath. It is not typically associated with chest itching (pruritis). However, it does not mean that definitely not related. Let me explain. Asthma is caused by inflammation in the bronchioles. One cause of the inflammation is the release of histamine from mast cells. Histamine when released in our skin causes severe itching. Although it is unlikely that histamine released in your lungs would manifest itself as chest skin pruritis, the two may be related. The first step is for you to insure that your asthma is well controlled. This means that your treatment should be escalated until you are having breathing symptoms less than once per month. This will help rule out asthma as a cause of your chest pruritis. If your chest itchiness continues to be very severe, then your primary care physician may consider referral to a dermatologist. They can take a closer look at your skin to evaluate it for infections such as scabies or irritation and prescribe treatment depending on what they find. Good luck, I hope you feel better soon.

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