ZocdocAnswersWhy would a man get really itchy?

Question

Why would a man get really itchy?

I know this is a pretty vague question, but for about a week I've been totally itchy. Everywhere on me is kind of itchy, but the worst is on my hands and face, especially around my eyes, mouth and nose. Is this an allergy problem, or something else? I've never had an allergy before.

Answer

Pruritus (the medical term for itchiness) can have several different causes. The most common cause of generalized pruritus on different parts of the body is the release of histamine in that area of the body. The release of histamine most often occurs when you develop an allergic reaction to something. If you have recently been exposed to a new soap, another household product, or new medicine, then you should stop using this new agent and call your doctor. Certain skin infections such as scabies can cause release of histamine and severe pruritus, but this does not usually effect the face as much as you are reporting. Other possible causes include the reaction to a drug. For example certain pain medicines such as morphine, oxycodone, and hydrocodone can cause pruritus without the release of histamine. This type is not usually helped by anti-histamine drugs. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician such as your family doctor or internal medicine doctor. He or she can take a more detailed history of your symptoms (when and where you started itching) and perform an exam to look for other signs of an allergic reaction. Depending on what is found, you may warrant referral to an allergist.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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