Itching is a common symptom for patients with long term conditions and can affect any area of your body. It may affect the whole of your body or just one particular area. Itching may be due to several factors, such as dry skin, medication (including painkillers), jaundice, liver or kidney problems.
Itching can be difficult to control, but there are medicines that may help. If a medicine is the cause, an alternative drug may be prescribed. For some liver problems there are specific medicines that can control itching. Your doctor can discuss with you possible solutions.
A pressure sore (also called a bedsore or pressure ulcer) is damage to the skin and the tissue underneath. It can be caused by the weight of the body pressing down on the skin. Friction from clothing or skin being dragged when you’re moved by others can also cause sores. If your mobility has been restricted by your illness or its treatment, you’re at a higher risk of developing a pressure sore. You’re also at a higher risk if you’ve lost a lot of weight or aren’t managing to eat and drink well. Some drugs can also increase your risk, including chemotherapy drugs, steroids and anti-inflammatory drugs. Inspect your skin, particularly bony areas like elbows and ankles. For areas that are difficult to see, like shoulder blades or the base of your spine, use a mirror or ask a friend to help. Look out for reddened or dark patches on these areas, or any blisters or breaks in the skin. Let your nurse know about them straight away.
Sweating is one of the ways our body keeps our temperature normal, but when people are unwell, they can have episodes of increased sweating. When this is severe it can be very uncomfortable and affect activities like sleeping. There are different causes, including certain medicines. Your doctor will be able to advise you on the best treatment, depending on the cause. There are also things you can do to help:
Some people will have night sweats caused by the menopause or as a side effect of hormonal treatment.