Causes of Pruritus in the Elderly

Causes of Pruritus in the Elderly

Pruritus in older people can be caused by a variety of causes. It depends on the individual characteristics of each patient, on the condition of the skin, postponed and currently existing diseases. However, there are signs that are common to all patients:

1. Wavy flow

Attacks of itching occur periods during the day, then growing, then calming down. Especially acute outbreaks occur more often at night, when itching becomes unbearable, leading the patient to extreme agitation. The wave-like course can manifest itself in long periods of exacerbation and a subsequent lull, i.e., a complete absence of signs of illness, a state of remission.

2. Lack of scratches and scratches

For other diseases with similar symptoms, scratching, scratching, rubbing wounds are common. In patients with pruritus, these signs are rare.

3. Dryness and other skin defects

Itching is usually accompanied by various symptoms that appear on the skin: dryness, peeling. The epidermis is disturbed by rashes, which are related to eczema or herpes. Erythema may be formed in the form of redness, swelling, irritation. Pruritus is often accompanied by boils and age spots. All these signs indicate an unsatisfactory condition of the skin and serious disorders in the body.


There is no single cause for pruritus in the elderly. It develops on the background of disorders in various body systems and chronic diseases.

The following reasons most often provoke pruritus in the elderly:

Dysfunction of sweat and sebaceous glands.

Diseases of the joints and spine.

Diseases of the digestive system or related disorders.

Dystrophy and degeneration of the nervous system.

Irritation of nerve fibers.

In old age, disorders of the gastrointestinal tract in the form of dysbacteriosis are regular, as well as nutrient absorption disorders. Due to atrophy and other abnormalities in the work of the sebaceous and sweat glands, the protective function of the epidermis is impaired and its overall condition worsens. The skin becomes very dry.

It is very difficult to identify the factors that provoke the symptoms, but if the research reaches the goal, then the so-called etiotropic treatment is prescribed, which aims to eliminate the root cause.

Dermatologist deals with the treatment of pruritus. But before prescribing any medications, they must eliminate all negative effects on the skin from major diseases, namely:



Liver disease;

Kidney disease;

Hormonal disorders.

About Medigap for Older Individuals: Medicare supplement plans are here http://AARP medicare advantage (plan(s) 2019 seen as beneficial for the elderly since they enable them in covering expenses which might include co-pay, coinsurance, etc.