ON THE BLOG

CKD Itching

Why am I so Itchy?

June 18, 20242 min read

It's call Pruritis.

Currently, the cause is not known. There are some ideas and theories within the medical community, such as:

  • Long-term inflammation and/or swelling.

  • Dry skin, which is typical for those on dialysis due to the loss of sweat glands

  • High phosphorus levels

  • Hyperparathyroidism

  • High levels of aluminum and magnesium

  • Not attending all dialysis appointments (leading to mineral build-ups)  

Symptoms aren't always the same for everyone.

For some, the itching may be constant; for others, it may be reoccurring or cyclic.

  • Can feel differently; some feel itchy, crawly, or prickly

  • Scratching does not relive the feelings

  • Skin can become dry, raw, and have an uneven skin tone

  • Sleep disturbances are common

  • Hot weather can aggravate it

  • Stress can also contribute

No matter how it feels, it's freaking annoying to deal with!  

Treatment options can be discussed with your doctor. Currently, these are the best options:

  • Attend all dialysis appointments to avoid excessive mineral build-ups

  • Lotions may help

  • Switch soaps and laundry detergents to those made for sensitive skin

  • When bathing or showering, avoid hot water, try cool or lukewarm

  • Use a humidifier in your home, and have a second smaller one in the bedroom as you sleep

  • Avoid scratching, which can make it worse, can damage the skin, and lead to infections

  • Try rubbing or applying a cold, wet cloth to irritating patches

  • Try an oatmeal bath or apply anti-itching creams (thank goodness oatmeal isn't expensive!)

  • Try skin-sensitizing items that you can gently drag or brush over your skin, which will not remove or damage your skin but allow the sensation to aid in relief. There’s probably a word for that, but I chose to use the long, comforting-sounding explanation.

  • Reduce calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and aluminum by following a kidney-friendly diet

  • Have your parathyroid hormones tested and talk with your doctor Antihistamines

  • Ask your doctor about medication options. The FDA has approved a drug that can be administered during hemodialysis (not available for peritoneal)

blog author image

How to Eat for CKD

How to Eat for CKD. Learn safe CKD in just six weeks.

Back to Blog

A portion of all book proceeds are donated to American Kidney Fund. Linda also donates to Puerto Rico Rise Up.

© How to Eat for CKD/CKD Culinary Consulting 2024 and beyond. All rights reserved.

Most Photos Created Using AI

All material appearing on this website (“content”) is protected by copyright under U.S. Copyright laws and is the property of CKD Culinary Consulting/How to Eat for CKD, or the party credited as the provider of the content. You may not copy, reproduce, distribute, publish, display, perform, modify, create derivative works, transmit, or in any way exploit any such content, nor may you distribute any part of this content over any network, including a local area network, sell or offer it for sale, or use such content to construct any kind of database. You may not alter or remove any copyright or other notice from copies of the content on this website. Copying or storing any content except as provided above is expressly prohibited without prior written permission of the site owner or the copyright holder identified in the individual content’s copyright notice. For permission to use the content on this website, please contact [email protected]