Origin Of Itching
Itching is an unpleasant sensation which can affect any part of the skin. The origin of itch is not entirely clear, but it seems that pain and itching are interconnected and have a lot in common. Namely, scientists discovered that in pain and itching, the same areas of the brain are activated and that itching can be temporarily stopped by inducing pain to that specific part of the skin. For example, try pressing a couple of times with the tip of your fingernail to the place of mosquito bite, and you will experience slight pain, while the itching will subside temporarily.
Possible Causes Of Itching In The Scrotal Area
The scrotal area is a part of the male genital region, which is exposed to several different factors that can cause occasional or long-term itching sensations. Some of them are increased moisture, closeness to the anus, loose and thin skin, and a high density of nerve endings.
Scrotal dermatitis is a relatively newly recognized clinical entity which was earlier classified as regular contact dermatitis. It is usually manifests as severe itching, redness of the scrotal skin, and rapid desquamation of the skin surface (peeling). Scientists claim that this condition is very common, but often overlooked and wrongly treated as fungal infection or contact dermatitis. Scrotal dermatitis has various causes including increased moisture, bad hygiene, contact with skin-damaging chemicals, and other causes of chronic skin inflammation. It seems that once the causative factor reaches the point of chronic inflammation, the process becomes self-sustaining and needs to be treated. Of course, removing causative factor is a must, but doctors usually need to include other types of treatment, such as topical absorbing powder, corticosteroids, and UVB radiation treatment.
Scabies is an infectious disease of the superficial layers of the skin caused by a tiny mite called Sarcoptes Scabiei. Although it is true that this condition is more common in people keeping poor body hygiene, it is very easily transferable, so anyone can get it in contact with the infected person, or even by using contaminated objects, such as towels, hair brushes, and clothes. This parasite feasts on dead skin cells, and it particularly likes moist regions, especially armpits, skin between fingers and toes, and genital region. Itching in these areas is the main symptom along with small and red bumps on the affected parts of the skin. It is easily treated with topical products called scabicides, but there is a frequent problem of auto-reinfection. Namely, it is not allowed to scratch the affected regions of the skin, because that way the parasite can be transferred to other parts of the skin and cause new infection.
Neuropathic Scrotal Itching
Damage of spinal nerves in the lumbosacral region can also cause different sensations in the genital and anal region, such as pain, itching, burning, or tingling. This is because the skin of the scrotal and entire genital regions is innervated by these nerves, so any damage of the spinal nerves and/or their branches can cause similar symptoms. Nerve damage can occur due to injuries or degenerative damage of the spine.
Bacterial And Fungal Infections
Both bacterial and fungal infections of the skin in the scrotal area can cause itching sensations. Genital region is a very comfortable environment for these microorganisms due to moist and warm conditions. They can get in the scrotal area from the outside, due to poor hygiene, and sexual intercourse with infected person. Bacterial infections are manifested with inflammation of the skin and treated with topical or systemic antibiotics. Fungal infections can produce both redness and peeling of the skin with more intensive itching. They are successfully treated with antifungal medications.
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