Sunday, June 16, 2024

Symptoms Of Hepatitis C Itchy Skin

My Hepatitis C Diagnosis

Itchy Skin from Liver Problems

When I was diagnosed with hepatitis C at the age of 18, the world was supposed to be my oyster. I was young, and up until then, very healthy and had big plans for my future. My experience with the diagnosis was abysmal and I was left with no education, no options, nothing. I returned to my hometown shortly after diagnosis, as I felt I may be able to find more help in the community I knew.

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Symptoms Of An Acute Infection

Few people show symptoms during acute infection . These symptoms can include: fatigue tenderness or an aching feeling on the right side of the abdomen decreased appetite perhaps with weight loss flu-like symptoms nausea tendency to bruise or bleed easily jaundice rash dark-coloured urine and light or clay-coloured stools. These symptoms often go away after a short time.

Stages Of Alcoholic Liver Damage

People who drink excessively and continue to drink heavily develop cirrhosis in 3 separate stages. These are described below.

  • The first stage of alcohol-related liver disease is known as “fatty liver”, which almost all excessive drinkers develop. It’s a side effect of the liver breaking alcohol down and disappears when you drink less.
  • The second stage of alcohol-related liver disease is alcoholic hepatitis. Around 20-30% of people who continue to drink heavily develop alcoholic hepatitis. During this stage, the liver becomes inflamed. If alcoholic hepatitis deteriorates into its most extreme form it can lead to death.
  • About 10% of heavy drinkers develop cirrhosis, which is the third stage of alcohol-related liver disease.

This risk of developing cirrhosis, along with the risk of alcoholic hepatitis, is one of the main reasons the government recommends that men and women should not regularly drink more than 14 units a week. If you do drink as much as 14 units a week, it is advised that you spread your drinking over three or more days.

A unit of alcohol is roughly equivalent to half a pint of normal-strength lager or a single measure of spirits. A small glass of wine is about 1.5 units.

The Lab Tests Online UK website has more information about ALT and AST measurements.

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Causes And Triggers Of Itchy Rashes In Lupus

Lupus is a chronic condition. A person will experience periods of remission and flares. Often, flares occur in response to a trigger, or a stimulating force.

Triggers can be internal or external and can vary from person to person. Common triggers that may cause an itchy rash to appear include:

  • exposure to toxins, such as silica
  • use of household chemicals

A person may benefit from trying to figure out their triggers. If a person can identify their triggers, they can take steps to avoid them and potentially reduce the frequency and severity of their flares.

Who Is At High Risk And Should Be Tested For Hepatitis C Infection

Hepatitis Rash

The U.S. Preventive Health Services task force recommends that all adults born between 1945 and 1965 be tested once routinely for hepatitis C, regardless of whether risk factors for hepatitis C are present. One-time testing also is recommended for:

  • People who currently inject drugs or snort drugs, or ever did so, even once many years previously
  • People with persistently elevated alanine aminotransferase level, a liver enzyme found in blood
  • People who have HIV infection
  • Children born to HCV- or HIV-infected mothers
  • People who were ever on long-term hemodialysis
  • People who got a tattoo in an unregulated setting, such as prison or by an unlicensed person
  • People who received clotting factor produced before 1987
  • People who received transfusions or organ transplants before July 1992, or who were notified that they received blood from a donor who later tested positive for hepatitis C infection
  • Health care, emergency medical, and public safety workers after a needlestick, eye or mouth exposure to hepatitis C-infected blood

People who may have been exposed to hepatitis C in the previous 6 months should be tested for viral RNA load rather than anti-HCV antibody, because antibody may not be present for up to 12 weeks or longer after infection, although HCV RNA may be detectable in blood as soon as 2-3 weeks after infection.

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Asymptomatic And Symptomatic Hepatitis C Infection

Hepatitis C progresses in stages. During the initial acute phase, the disease is usually asymptomatic. As many as 30% will spontaneously clear the virus without knowing they had it. The rest will develop a chronic infection, of whom 15% to 30% will develop cirrhosis within 20 years.

As the disease slowly progresses, the likelihood of symptoms will increase. Even so, most people with chronic HCV infection will have either no symptoms or nonspecific signs such as chronic fatigue or depression.

While most people associate hepatitis C with liver-related symptoms, one in four people with a chronic HCV infection will develop extrahepatic symptoms .

These include skin-related symptoms that can occur during the acute and chronic stages and from hepatitis C treatment.

Treatment Of Relapse Or Non

Sometimes you may need to take a different combination of medicines if your first round of treatment didnt work very well. If it was not done before, your doctor may do a test to find out which genotype caused the infection. This may help the doctor choose a medicine that is more likely to cure the infection.

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Symptoms Of A Chronic Infection

If the hepatitis C infection progresses to a chronic infection , it can take years before symptoms develop. Symptoms of advanced liver disease caused by long-term chronic infection can include: jaundice fluid build-up and blood in stool or vomit. Sleep disturbances, depression, weight loss, dry or itchy skin, and brain fog also occur in people with chronic hepatitis C but the cause of these symptoms remains uncertain.

Ask Your Doctor About Skin Symptoms

Hepatitis C Symptoms

First, consider scheduling an appointment with your doctor or dermatologist. Not every skin rash is indicative of a hepatitis C infection or of liver damage. Your physician will be able to identify your rash and either explain why it is occurring or order tests to verify or rule out other illnesses, including hepatitis C. If you are diagnosed with hepatitis C, your physician will be able to provide you with both the test results and the information so you can begin to understand what happens next to rid your body of the virus. Together, you and your doctor will plan a course of action that fits with your insurance, your budget, and your individual medical needs.

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Itching Scratching And Rashes From Hepatitis C

A commonly reported side effect of Hepatitis C is a skin rash associated with a terrible itching. Sometimes this Hepatitis C induced skin rash can involve spots or tiny little pimples.Sometimes this itching also occurs, or starts, at the beginning of Hepatitis C treatment but more often the itching and rashes is a symptom of chronic Hepatitis C.I have seen some people who have had this Hep C skin rash with itching so bad that they have scratched themselves so badly that they have bled terribly.So what is it about Hepatitis C that causes this terrible rash and itching?

A Hepatitis C rash can occur anywhere on the body but is often on the hands or feet

What Causes Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C is caused when blood from an infected person enters the body of an uninfected person. These are the most common methods of infection:

  • An infected person shares needles or syringes for injecting intravenous drugs. Even people who have used IV drugs infrequently may be at risk for infection.
  • Healthcare workers who accidentally stick themselves with needles used on infected patients are at risk of getting hepatitis C.
  • Patients who received donated blood or blood products or who had organ transplants before 1992 are at higher risk for hepatitis C.

Less common ways of spreading hepatitis C include the following:

  • Sexual contact with an infected person. Although the risk of getting hepatitis C through sexual intercourse is low, the risk increases for people who have several sex partners or those with HIV infections.
  • Sharing a razor, toothbrush or other personal item that may have come into contact with the blood of an infected person.
  • Becoming infected through body piercing or tattooing, if the facility does not use sterile equipment or does not follow infection control practices.

Babies born to mothers who have hepatitis C might become infected, although this is not common. In addition, baby boomers are at increased risk of having hepatitis C and should be screened for it.

Hepatitis C cannot be spread by simple contact or by coughing or sneezing.

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Hepatitis C Foot Damage: Arthritis

The hepatitis virus inflames your liver, but it can inflame your joints as well. This can trigger rheumatoid arthritis. And, since there are 33 joints in your feet alone, this form of arthritis can take a toll on your feetand your mobility. But we can manage your symptoms and help you keep doing what you love each day.

Rashes Associated With Chronic Hcv

Hep C Rash Pictures

Many skin conditions are associated with chronic hepatitis C, some common and others uncommon. They include pruritus , a common condition affecting up to 40% of those with chronic HCV infection.

Four skin conditions directly linked to HCV can cause rashes during the chronic stage of infection:

  • Lichen planus: This is an inflammatory condition caused by an abnormal immune response that affects the skin and mucous membranes. Symptoms include flat, purplish, itchy bumps on the skin, swollen gums, and painful erosive patches on the tongue.
  • Mixed cryoglobulinemia: This is an inflammatory condition caused by an abnormal immune response that affects blood vessels. Symptoms include a raised, purplish skin rash , typically on the lower legs. Itchiness is also common.
  • Porphyria cutanea tarda: This is a rare condition that causespainful lesions on sun-exposed areas of skin. Hyperpigmentation , hypopigmentation , and waxy, hardened skin plaques can also occur.
  • Necrolytic acral erythema: This is another rare condition that starts with an outbreak of blistering rash that soon evolves into darkened areas of hardened, cracked skin. The feet are most commonly affected.

These skin conditions can occur for reasons other than hepatitis C. Even so, HCV testing is recommended due to their strong association with HCV.

Prurigo nodularis, a chronic itchy skin condition with a symmetrical rash, is also more common in people with hepatitis C.

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So If You Have The Hep C Itches What Can You Do

Well the first thing is to cure the Hepatitis C ASAP.

Then to stimulate your blood circulation, particularly near the skin.A few suggestions that will help stimulate circulation and clear the blood capillaries near the skin are:1. Massage2. Sauna or hot baths.3. Vigorous exercise4. Drink plenty of water5. Good healthy diet with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables.Any thing that gets your heart pumping and stimulates your blood circulation will help with bringing your small blood capillaries back to health.The main thing is to get rid of the Hep C virus as soon as possible. You may be surprised how many other health issues improve once you cure the Hepatitis C infection.

Contaminated Needles And Infected Blood

You can get hepatitis C from sharing contaminated needles, syringes and other injecting equipment during recreational drug use. Banknotes and straws used for snorting may also pass the virus on.

Being exposed to unsterilised tattoo and body piercing equipment can also pass hepatitis C on. Occasionally, you can get it from sharing a towel, razor blades or a toothbrush if there is infected blood on them.

Hepatitis C infection is also passed on in healthcare settings, from needle stick injuries or from medical and dental equipment that has not been properly sterilised. In countries where blood products are not routinely screened, you can also get hepatitis C by receiving a transfusion of unscreened blood and blood products.

You can prevent hepatitis C by:

  • never sharing needles and syringes or other items that may be contaminated with infected blood
  • only having tattoos, body piercings or acupuncture in a professional setting, where new, sterile needles are used
  • following the standard infection control precautions, if youre working in a healthcare setting.

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What To Think About

There is no vaccine for hepatitis C, but there are vaccines for hepatitis A and hepatitis B. Your doctor may recommend that you have these vaccines to help protect you from more liver problems.

Researchers are working to develop other treatments, including gene therapy and medicines that help control the immune system.

Skin Signs Of Cirrhosis

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Cirrhosis not only affects the liver but also the blood and circulatory system. Abnormal blood clotting accompanied by bleeding and/or dilation of blood vessels near the surface of the skin can cause symptoms like:

  • Spider angiomas: Also known as spider veins or spider nevus, these are thin reddish or purplish lines on the skin’s surface that look like a spider’s web.
  • Petechiae: These are purplish dots on the skin caused by burst and bleeding capillaries, most often on the lower legs.
  • Purpura: Also known as skin hemorrhages or blood spots, these purple-colored spots are larger than petechiae, mainly on the lower legs and ankles.

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Keep An Eye On Your Skin Rashes And Report Any Changes

When thinking about Hepatitis C you need to consider not only its own ability to cause the appearance of a rash but also consider the effects of the actual treatments prescribed by the doctors.

However, lets not forget that a rash can appear on your skin for another variety of reasons, mostly not related to the virus whatsoever.

Its extremely difficult sometimes to self diagnose a skin rash, and to be honest, its probably wise to not try and do just that.

The most sensible thing to do is to go and see your doctor or skin specialist, let them have good look and only then, can they diagnose the cause of your skin rash and accurately determine a course of treatment.

  • What Are The Symptoms Of Hepatitis C

    You may have hepatitis C and not have any signs or symptoms.

    For those who do have symptoms, you may experience:

    • nausea and vomiting

    Hepatitis C can lead to liver damage, as it causes swelling . This swelling causes scarring of the liver, which affects how the organ functions.

    Liver scarring can worsen . This increases your chances of getting liver cancer.

    How quickly your liver undergoes damage will depend on if you:

    About 60% to 70% of people with hepatitis C do not develop symptoms until their liver has already been damaged.

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    Mechanisms Of Hcv Infection And Treatment

    Pruritus in HCV infected patients may be the results of HCV-induced mechanisms, particularly those associated with the induction of cholestasis as well as those associated with the alteration of chemokine and cytokines profile in patients with chronic HCV infection. HCV-associated cholestasis is well described in different reports on liver transplantation. Its occurrence is attributed to viral overload and the continuous suppression of host immune response as a consequence of anti- viral agents. Accordingly, the mechanisms of HCV-associated pruritus are attributed to HCV-induced cholestasis and the induction of interferon-stimulated genes as a result of viral overload. The elevated production of cytokines and chemokines during the course of cholestatic hepatitis C, is expected to be the main mediators for the induction of HCV-associated pruritus.

    The development of pruritus during the course of liver diseases is regulated by various pruritogenic mediators such as autotaxin . Thus, in addition to its role in the synthesis of lysophosphatidic acid, ATX may play a role in the regulation of vascular and neural development, wound healing, neuropathic pain, and cancer development.

    Rashes From Hcv Treatment

    Hcv signs and symptoms: Hepatitis C â Diagnosis and treatment

    While some skin rashes are caused by HCV, treatment for the infection can cause rashes, too. This is most common when anti-hepatitis medications are injected. In such cases, rashes may develop at the injection site as a sign of irritation.

    Cold packs and hydrocortisone cream may alleviate itchiness and discomfort as the rash heals. If you experience rashes that are not at the injection site, this can be a sign of a rare reaction to the medication. Call your doctor right away.

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    Treating Hepatitis C Matters

    When you see your doctor and start treatment for a chronic hep C infection, you can prevent these problems, improve them, or keep them from getting worse. New drugs can clear the virus from your body in a few months with fewer side effects than older medicines. If thereâs no virus in your blood 3 months after treatment, youâre considered cured.

    Getting rid of the infection protects others, too. Hepatitis C spreads through blood-to-blood contact. You could infect a loved one if you accidentally use their toothbrush or cut yourself and donât clean up the blood properly. People who get hep C treatment greatly lower the odds that they will pass the virus to someone else.

    If you arenât sure if you have hepatitis C, talk to your doctor to see if you should get tested. Learn why you should get tested for hepatitis C.

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