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 is Hep C 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 usually it is a symptom of 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 causing this terrible Hep C rash and itching?
Hepatitis C and the Circulatory system
Hepatitis C effects many areas of the body and our general health. This is because one of the liver’s main functions is to clean the blood and remove toxic material.
So, if your blood is not getting cleaned properly this will affect every cell in your body in some way.
Toxins will build up and cause damage.
As well as filtering toxins out of you blood the liver also produces proteins needed for healthy blood and regulating blood clotting.
When I first learned that I had Hep C I was suffering from regular nose bleeds, bleeding gums and slow healing wounds. All of those symptoms left me once the Hep C was cured.
The Hep C Rash: Itching, Scratching and Cryoglobulinemia
Cryoglobulinemia is a very long word for a condition that causes many health problems.
Basically cryoglobulinemia means “your blood gets thicker”. Cryoglobulinemia is one of the most common side effects of Hepatitis that affects many areas of your health yet is rarely talked about. Cryoglobulinemia is caused by the Hepatitis C infection causing your body to produce a huge number of antibodies called immunoglobulins. The result is that your blood will end up containing very high levels of these immunoglobulins, which then cluster into large protein clusters called cryoglobulins. These cryoglobulins are particles that will move around in your blood until they begin to clog up your fine blood capillaries, restricting blood flow to various parts of your body.
When these blood proteins clump together your blood gets thicker… particularly when your blood cools a little. Blood cools and thickens when is gets close to the skin so Cryoglobulinemia can become a serious problem in the skin and the fingers and toes where it blocks or obstructs the small blood capillaries just beneath the skin. This has many unpleasant effects, such as rashes, sores, pimples and other damage.
Nerve Damage and Hepatitis C induced Itching
Nerves are fed by your blood and if the nerves beneath the skin do not get good blood flow they may die or be damaged. Likewise, if the skin does not get good blood flow the skin itself may lose quality and develop rashes, pimples, weeping sores. All of these things can contribute to a rash or that irritating itch.
Conversely, for some people, when they start treatment and the virus is removed, and the liver starts to function properly again, the “clearing” of these fine blood vessels that may have been blocked for some time may create the itches.
If the blood capillaries have been blocked a long time this may remain a problem after the Hepatitis C virus is no longer present.
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:
2. Sauna or hot baths.
3. Vigorous exercise
4. Drink plenty of water
5. 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.
More on Cryoglobulinemia
Cryoglobulinemia will cause problems with circulation as well as effecting your kidneys, liver, skin, joints, and nerves.
Cryoglobulinemia is one of the most common symptoms of Hepatitis C and yet it is rarely discussed.
Hep C Symptoms caused by Cryoglobulinemia include: Joint pain, aching muscles, shortness of breath, fatigue, spots or patches on the skin and skin ulcers or sores and also itchy skin.
Click here to look at the graphics associated with Greg’s blog. This blog originally appeared on Greg Jefferys’ Hep C Treatment Home Page, and is republished with permission.