If you want to know the connection between autoimmune diseases and the occurrence of itchy skin, we recommend reading this article.
Itching is a very common symptom and manifestation of inflammatory and autoimmune disorders and diseases of the skin, or more properly, inflammatory dermatoses. This itching can be very severe and to the extent that it changes the quality of life of the affected person, in some diseases and autoimmune disorders, itching depends on the degree of wakefulness, activity, and flare-up of the underlying autoimmune disorder, and In some diseases, the severity of the itching may be completely independent of the underlying disease.
Despite the high prevalence of this manifestation, we still need more studies to collect reliable statistics and data.
There are still many studies needed to more accurately describe the association between itching and autoimmune disorders, autoimmune diseases that may be associated with pruritus are include:
autoimmune blistering dermatosis, Connective tissue diseases and autoimmune dermatoses such as, atopic dermatitis and psoriasis
What is autoimmune disease?
In a healthy person, the immune system and defense system should only be stimulated against foreign and unknown and pathogenic factors and fight and destroy them, in a person with autoimmune disorder and disease His or her immune system undergoes changes, so that the person’s immune cells may completely misidentify certain cells in certain tissues of the body as foreign and damage them, or inflame and destroy them.
Autoimmune diseases may be a generalized disease with involvement of different tissues, such as systemic lupus or systemic sclerosis, or they may cause only a primary lesion in a particular tissue.
In the following, we will name and describe a number of autoimmune diseases that are associated with itchy skin.
Atopic dermatitis, sometimes referred to as atopic eczema, is an inflammation and inflammatory condition of the skin that recurs frequently and causes discomfort.
Atopic dermatitis or eczema is two to three times more common in industrialized societies. Fifteen to twenty percent of children and one to three percent of adults worldwide suffer from atopic dermatitis.
- What causes atopic dermatitis or what is the etiology of atopic dermatitis?
Atopic eczema is a chronic, recurrent dermatitis that commonly affects children and young adults in the first place. Atopic refers to the inherent ability and potential to produce increased Immunoglobulin E (IgE) in response to environmental stimuli such as house dust mites and airborne and food allergens.
- What are the triggers for atopic dermatitis?
Irritation of dry skin
Sweating and heat
can be triggers for the onset of dermatitis or atopic eczema in individuals.
- What are the risk factors for atopic dermatitis?
Having an individual or family history of eczema, allergy, hay fever and asthma can be one of the most important risk factors for developing dermatitis or atopic eczema.
- What are the symptoms and manifestations of atopic dermatitis atopic or atopic eczema?
Symptoms and manifestations are as follows:
Itching can be very severe and can be exacerbated, especially at night when sleeping, Red to gray-brown patches that are usually found on the arms, legs, feet, neck, waist, and above the chest, eyelids, and the inner surfaces of the knees and elbows.
We must say that dermatitis and atopic manifestations in infants and toddlers are in their face and scalp. In these people, small bumps are seen that may contain fluid.
It should be noted that due to the itching of the lesions, the main area may be irritated with itching and only the crust can be seen on the lesion.
How is atopic dermatitis treated?
The two main pillars in the treatment of atopic eczema are emollients and moisturizers: Products that are suitable for allergic skin should be used. These products should be free of irritating and allergenic colors and odors, The sufferer should use these substances several times during the day to prevent the skin from drying out. The second base is the use of topical corticosteroids, creams and ointments that contain topical corticosteroids.
It should be used according to the location of the lesion to reduce swelling and inflammation, reduce redness and also reduce the severity of the attack during the flare-up period of the disease, but avoid taking topical steroids arbitrarily.
Another autoimmune disease that can be associated with itchy skin is psoriasis. Psoriasis gets its name from the Greek word meaning itching. In a person with psoriasis, part of the skin becomes inflamed, prominent, red and itchy. Psoriasis is characterized by the presence of silver-colored scales that adhere to these lesions, sometimes psoriasis is mild and the patient is unaware that they have it, and sometimes the disease is so severe that it covers a wide area of the body. It should be noted that psoriasis is not contagious and will not be transmitted from person to person.
The prevalence of psoriasis is one to two percent of the world’s population, and another drawback is that people with a family history of psoriasis are more likely to develop the disease.
- Psoriasis and its symptoms:
Manifestations of psoriasis can be seen in several areas:
Elbows, knees, buttocks, arms, legs and scalp, nails and genitals are involved in psoriasis. Usually, the two sides of the body are involved symmetrically and there are small depressions on the nails with psoriasis.
It should be noted that the treatment of nail psoriasis is very difficult.
Another type of psoriasis is called Guttate psoriasis and usually affects children and young adults. These people develop this autoimmune disease following a sore throat. The skin of these people will be covered with a large number of small red and droplet-like spots. The disorder usually resolves spontaneously within a few weeks to a few months and leaves no symptoms.
Another type of psoriasis is Inverse psoriasis, which occurs in the crease areas, such as the underarms, breasts and the creased area near the groin. Due to the wetness of these areas, peeling may not be seen, other manifestations include joint involvement, joint pain, and swelling.
It is said that this joint involvement is seen in 30% of psoriasis patients and only in 5% of these people the joint inflammation becomes very high and debilitating. It is said that people with high severity of skin involvement are generally at higher risk for joint involvement. it is said that By improving skin lesions, joint pain, inflammation and swelling are reduced.
Diagnosis of psoriasis is made after obtaining a history and direct observation of the lesions, and in some cases following a biopsy of the lesions.
- Treatment of psoriasis:
There are various treatments for psoriasis. The goal of treatment is to reduce inflammation and slow down the division of skin cells.
Moisturizing creams, and moisturizing lotions are the basis of treatment for psoriasis, which controls the itching of the patient by softening the skin. It is said that diet has not been successful in treating psoriasis.
In limited psoriasis, topical medications containing corticosteroids and synthetic vitamin D anthralin is used. Sometimes natural sunlight or ultraviolet light is used in combination with these medications. For severe forms of psoriasis, oral medications are needed along with phototherapy.
autoimmune blistering dermatosis (AIBD)
This group is one of the most specific autoimmune disorders.
- What causes these autoimmune skin blisters?
The formation of antibodies against proteins that are in the structure of the skin causes these diseases. In fact, these structural proteins cause cell-to-cell contact in the stratum corneum of the skin in the epidermis and also cause the epidermis to adhere to the dermis.
- Types of autoimmune blistering dermatoses:
This group of diseases will be divided into four main groups based on the target protein and the location of the blisters.
- A) Pemphigus diseases, which include Dermatitis herpetiformis (DH), Pneumococcal and Pemphigus diseases, Paraneoplastic and Epidermolysis bullosa
In Pemphigus diseases the blisters form very superficially and break easily, while in many others the blisters are very deep and hard.
These will be characterized by the formation of subepidermal blisters near the basement membrane. The types of this disease are as follows: bullous pemphigoid or BP and Pemphigoid Gestationis or PG.
Lichen planus pemphigoides:
Pemphigoid diseases, have 1.3 to 4.2, new cases per 100,000 people each year across Central Europe and North America. Bullous pemphigoid is the most common of these diseases, and it is most common in Europe and North America.
The disease affects the elderly. Bullous pemphigoid causes prominent blisters on the skin, but in some cases it may be present for weeks and months without blisters, Therefore, it is recommended that in the elderly with prolonged skin problems, physicians consider the possibility of Bullous pemphigoid.
Pemphigus Diseases have diseases with superficial or intraepidermal blisters. In these diseases, the autoimmune system targets the molecules that bind keratinocytes. Desmoglein is present on the mucosal surfaces and epidermis.
Desmoglein 3 surrounds the entire length of the mucosal epithelium, for example inside the mouth.
Manifestations of pemphigus also primarily affect the audience in two ways: the person has blisters in the mouth, and in some people, in addition to the mucosa, the epidermis is also involved. The annual incidence of pemphigus vulgaris per hundred thousand people in the world will be 0.7 to 1.6.
In addition to dermatitis, paraneoplastic pemphigus can be associated with a specific or hidden tumor, often a blood tumor.
- Herpetiform dermatitis
In this disease, blisters form inside the dermis. Antibodies against gliadin are produced. This disease has a very special place in autoimmune blister skin inflammations because its blisters are deeper and can be a skin manifestation of important diseases. Celiac sprue is associated with gluten tolerance and intolerance. Sprue is found in almost all patients with herpetic dermatitis, but not every patient with celiac disease will necessarily develop herpetic dermatitis.
A regular gluten-free diet is a key element in treating dermatitis.
Diagnosis of autoimmune blistering dermatosis will be possible by combining findings from clinical manifestations and laboratory findings.
Diagnostic tests of this group have 100% specificity and ninety-six to 100% sensitivity.