I want to talk briefly about itching in what will be a lowfalutin blog post. Itching has been a problem of mine, it seems forever, and has anything but abated in my old age. I’ve always had skin problems of which itching is the one that never gets talked about. So now I’ll break into that silence, though I’ll keep down the volume.
I’ll start out by saying that it’s annoying to be itching. It’s not on the level of sharp pain, but it competes with the sort of dull pain one tends to call “nagging.” It certainly doesn’t get credit for that; it is even on occasion thought to be a source of humor. Well, that may be true for the little doves I watch on a ledge outside my window, with beaks constantly busy as if they were dealing itching under their feathers.
Of the itching to which I am subjected, there seem to be too varieties. One is a gentle itch spread over an area of perhaps several inches where you can neither feel or see something on the skin. The other is focused on a quite small area and sports either a low bump or has the skin roughed up to some degree. These are not medical descriptions (I ain’t no doctor no-ways); call the differences (and their labels) phenomenal, for want of a less fancy label.
Both kinds are annoying or worse, though in my case the latter are by far the greater evil. What makes a lesser or greater evil is a combination of the degrees to which the phenomena are bothersome, a matter that is closely tied to the relative ease or difficulty to which they are relieved, not to mention gotten rid of.
In my case—I remind the reader that these remarks are not medical talk, but merely a small chunk of autobiography. In my case, the invisible itch that affects a small area of the skin is mostly assuaged, if you can reach the spot, by gentle rubbing—sometimes permanently, with no guarantee that its like won’t show up elsewhere.
The much tougher type is the pointed bump/roughed skin variety. It needs real scratching or vigorous rubbing; that’s the type that backscratchers are made for. I have often thought of buying such a contraption, but have refrained from doing so, convinced that I would scratch myself bloody on more than one spot on my back.
As it is, I rub those itches vigorously with a rough towel of Turkish cloth after coming out of the shower. I have some ointment for those Type II itches that I can reach, but haven’t found it to help very much.
In short itching will be with me, a condition more or less equivalent to a dull pain, if not as celebrated.