Kidney Disease and Itchy Skin: How Are These Two Conditions Related?

How are kidney disease and itchy skin related to each other?

KIDNEY DISEASE – Itching is common but an underlying serious condition to this is kidney disease and this is how these two are related.

What has been helping us remove waste products and excess fluid from the body is our pair of kidneys which is their main function. This process helps to maintain a stable balance of body chemicals. Aside from that, it also produce hormones that that affects functions of other organs.

Kidney Disease and Itchy Skin

However, if we can’t take care of this, this might lead to kidney disease to which, among the symptoms is itchy skin. Itchy skin is common in people who have advanced chronic kidney disease (CKD). 

Accordingly, the itch gets worse when the kidney function also worsens. Although it is still unclear why a person with this health problem suffers from itching, the following factors are the considered causes or worsens it:

  • Allergies
  • Dry skin
  • Eczema
  • Hot weather
  • Certain toiletries or cleaning products
  • Not enough dialysis
  • Diabetes
  • Hyperparathyroidism
  • High magnesium or aluminium levels in the blood
  • Uraemia
  • Higher levels of Phosphate
  • Anemia
  • Iron deficiency
  • Certain medicines such as morphine-based pain killers
  • Being on a restricted fluid intake

Based on an article from the American Academy of Dermatology Association, this is how kidney disease affects the skin:

  • Extreme dry skin is common to people who have end-stage kidney disease where they are in need of dialysis and transplant.
  • The itchiness of the skin to some patients can range from irritating to life-disrupting. 
  • Changes in your skin color which is due to toxins building up in your body after the kidneys stopped working as they should.
  • There will be swelling because when the kidney stopped working, the extra fluids and salt it removes from the body builds up in the body.
  • Too tight skin to pinch.
  • Lump in the belly which is probably a sign of kidney cancer.
  • There are calcium deposits under the skin.


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