Skin Disorders Itchiness Health News

Itchiness is a medical symptom that causes a strong desire to scratch or rub an area of the body. Itchiness is often thought of as a skin condition, but it can affect other parts of the body as well. The medical term for itchiness is known as pruritus.

Sources of Itchiness

A variety of different factors can contribute to itchiness. Allergies are a big cause, and different allergic reactions can provoke itchiness in the skin, eyes, nose and throat. Sometimes the source of itchiness is easy to determine, like dry skin or an insect bite. Other times the source of the itch is more complex, like nervous system damage that occurs after a stroke, a burn or shingles. Some medical conditions like eczema and psoriasis can also cause skin itchiness, as can certain medications like chemotherapy or radiation therapy for cancer.

Itchiness can affect other parts of the body besides the skin. Itchy eyes, known as ocular pruritus, can be a major nuisance. These are often tied to allergies or other problems like dry eyes. Genital itchiness can also be a problem for both men and women, which in some cases might be a disease called lichen sclerosus. This condition can also spread to other parts of the body.

Treatments for Itchiness

Treatments for itchiness can vary based on the cause and severity of the symptoms. In general, managing the underlying illness, like allergies or dry skin, tends to put a stop to the itchiness. This can be accomplished with antihistamines or creams. Dry eyes may simply require frequent application of lubricating eye drops, while other eye conditions may need more extensive measures. In the case of medication causing itchiness, an alternative might be available. But there are some treatments, like those for cancer, that may simply require putting up with the itchiness because no other medication is available.

SOURCES: American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology; U.S. National Cancer Institute; American Academy of Ophthalmology; Healthy Women

Date Posted
Article Title
10/20/2018
10/13/2018
9/19/2018
7/16/2018
12/27/2017
12/8/2017
10/27/2017
10/25/2017
Cyndi Lauper's Psoriasis Battle Shows Her 'True Colors'

Pop icon struggled for years with debilitating condition, but finally has it under control

10/13/2017
Black Children Missing Out on Eczema Treatment

But study finds they tend to have more severe cases of the skin condition than white children

6/1/2017
Scientists Spot Genetic Clues to Disfiguring 'Fish Scale' Disease

People with the disorder have dry scales on their skin

3/28/2017
New Eczema Drug Gets FDA's Blessing

Injections may ease itchiness, redness in patients who don't get relief with topical creams, agency says

3/3/2017
Don't Believe Everything You Read on Skin-Care Product Labels

Terms like 'hypoallergenic' and 'fragrance-free' may not mean what you think they do, doctor says

3/3/2017
Daffodils, Margaritas and Other Surprise Skin Dangers

There are many hidden hazards that can cause itch or rash, dermatologists warn

1/31/2017
Got an Itch? Use These Tips for Relief -- and Don't Scratch

Dry homes, chemical cleansers, contagious infections can cause common skin discomfort

1/18/2017
Men: Here Are Ways to Healthier, Younger-Looking Skin

Avoiding the sun and choosing products best suited to your skin type are key, dermatologist advises

1/8/2017
How to Exfoliate Safely and Give Your Skin a Healthy Glow

Harsh scrubs may leave some skin types red and irritated, dermatologists warn

11/27/2016
How to Prevent Spread of the Skin Infection Impetigo

It's a common childhood ailment, but adults can get it, too

11/7/2016
Mouse Study Suggests Way to Stop Poison Ivy's Itch

Blocking protein in immune system kept it from telling brain that skin was irritated

10/27/2016
Athletes Can Be Champs at Fighting Skin Infections

Watch out for shared equipment and mats as sources of fungi, bacteria and viruses

8/11/2016
4 Ways to Protect Yourself Against Poison Ivy, Oak and Sumac

But just in case, here's what to do if you develop the red, itchy rash and blisters that these plants can cause

6/14/2016
Health Tip: Coping With Itchy Skin

It may be a sign of diabetes

11/8/2015
What You Need to Know When Your Child Gets a Rash

Most clear up on their own or are easily treated, but some are contagious -- even dangerous

10/19/2015
Making Headway Toward Causes of Eczema

Researchers say they now know of 31 gene variants linked to the skin condition

10/9/2015
Psoriasis, Cold Sores Most Stigmatized Skin Disorders: Survey

Results show how misunderstood the conditions are, researchers say

9/1/2015
Health Tip: Coping With Mosquito Bites

Suggestions to help ease the itch

8/24/2015
Health Tip: Coping With Chickenpox

Easing itch and discomfort

8/20/2015
Got a Rash? You Might Be Allergic to Nickel, Dermatologist Says

Commonly used in metal jewelry, it's also found in food, topical medicines and medical implants

6/25/2015
Health Tip: Treating Poison Ivy

Don't scratch itchy skin

6/6/2015
Poison Ivy's Gonna Get Ya...

Unless you follow these handy tips

4/23/2015
Poison Ivy, Oak and Sumac Rashes Can Be Serious

But, expert says most can safely be treated at home

11/24/2014
Eczema Cases Rising Among U.S. Children: Report

For most, proper skin care and topical treatments help, experts say

7/23/2014
Painful, Itchy Patches Could Be Sign of Skin Cancer

But it's likely to be the non-melanoma type, dermatologist says

12/28/2013
Dermatologist Offers Tips on Dry Winter Skin

Keep showers short, apply moisturizer, wear soft fabrics such as cotton

11/30/2013
Coping Tips for Winter Skin

Moisturize, cleanse (but don't overdo), expert says

8/23/2013
Skin Care Tips for Psoriasis Patients

Expert suggests ways to ease itching and other discomforts

8/18/2013
Skin Allergies Can Flare Up in Summer Heat

Seasonal pitfalls include poison ivy, worsening eczema and hives, expert warns

7/8/2013
Health Tip: Ease the Itch of Poison Ivy

Bathe in oatmeal or baking soda

5/23/2013
Got an Itch? Mouse Study May Help Explain Why

Itch is a sensation distinct from others, such as pain, researchers say

3/1/2013
12/21/2012
Pain Intensity May Help Differentiate 2 Skin Cancers

Both squamous cell and basal cell cause itch, but pain more common with squamous, study finds

12/17/2012
Hair Concerns May Discourage Exercise for Some Black Women

Survey found issues ranged from desire to maintain hairdos to scalp and breakage problems

4/12/2012
Over-the-Counter Bug Bite Remedies Don't Work: Report

Mild reactions might not call for tablets or creams

2/2/2012
Pleasure in Scratching an Itch May Depend on Location

Sensation is especially intense in ankles, researchers say

1/13/2012
9/21/2011
Kids With Psoriasis Get Inconsistent Care

Medical guidelines are needed for youngsters with the skin condition, researchers say

7/7/2011
Giant Weed Can Cause Blisters, Even Blindness

Officials urge people to steer clear of the giant hogweed

5/16/2011
For Some, Bugs Crawling on Skin Is a Delusion

But the sensation is so real that 'lives are ruined,' researcher says

5/4/2011
Health Tip: Why am I Itchy?

Things that may make you scratch

3/13/2011
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies

Separating fact from fiction may help reduce spring misery, experts say

2/22/2011
Softening Water Does Not Seem to Ease Eczema

British study finds no benefit for kids with the skin disorder