A majority of patients on hemodialysis experience skin itching at some point. However, some patients have itching all of the time, and it becomes worse during or just after Dialysis treatment. The two primary causes of skin itching for people on dialysis are: First, high levels of phosphorus in blood. Also, there may be an allergy to the dialysis machine, blood tubing, or the type of heparin.
Due to the fact that dialysis can only perform at 10% of the capacity of a well functioning kidney, it fails to effectively remove phosphorus from the blood. This causes an accumulation of phosphorus which leads to the itching of your skin. Individuals with End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) should limit the amount of phosphorus in their daily diet. Also, phosphorus binders may be taken with every meal and snacks to help prevent or stop itching. Meanwhile, adequate hemodialysis is also recommended to keep your phosphorus levels between 2.6 and 4.5.
Additionally, if itching occurs at the beginning of dialysis treatments, the patients may have an allergy to the dialysis machine, the blood tubing, or the type of heparin. KidneyBuzz.com recommends utilizing your healthcare team to help you identify the specific cause of the irritation. Appropriate changes can then be made to prevent your skin from itching again.
Finally, there are certain antihistamines and skin care products that are often used to treat allergies, and do in fact help to relieve skin itching. Nevertheless, KidneyBuzz.com strongly suggests that before using any of these products that you check with your doctor or nurse about which products are safest for you to use.