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any skin disorder, such as scabies, characterized by intense itching



a distressing sensation caused by constant weak irritation of the cutaneous nerve endings that are pain receptors and accompanied by the need to scratch the skin.

Itching may be stimulated by a number of metabolic products—for example, bile acids in jaundice. There is localized and universal (generalized) itching. Localized itching is found in certain inflammatory diseases of the skin. Causes of universal itching may be diseases of the skin proper, diseases of various internal organs (jaundice, diabetes mellitus); certain allergic states, and decrease in function of the sex glands. The very notion of a habitual source of itching familiar through past experience (for example, an insect bite) may produce the corresponding sensation of itching (conditioned-reflex itching). Itching may be chronic or come in attacks lasting from a few hours to many weeks. Scratching leads to disruption of the integrity of surface layers of the skin and to infection of itching areas, which may cause a secondary inflammatory disease of the skin.

Treatment of an itch consists in eliminating the disease that is causing it. Sedatives (bromine, valerian, calcium preparations) are prescribed and menthol and sea baths are applied externally. Hormone preparations are used for climacteric and geriatric itching. Localized itching can be prevented by the observance of personal hygiene.



An irritating cutaneous sensation allied to pain.
References in periodicals archive ?
The FDA-approved emollient contains all of the essentials for total skin barrier repair to help relieve itching, dryness and redness.
But when the genetically altered mice were injected with serotonin, they scratched as mice would be expected to in response to compounds designed to induce itching.
Emollients will help moisturise dry and itching skin, particularly if you apply them after washing or bathing.
If itching goes on long enough, it can take over neurons that transmit pain -- which may be why chronic itch is so agonizing.
Working in mice, the scientists have shown that chronic itching, which can occur in many medical conditions, from eczema and psoriasis to kidney failure and liver disease, is different from the fleeting urge to scratch a mosquito bite.
4) Sedating antihistamines (hydroxyzine) and antidepressants (doxepin) may help break cycles of itching and depression or itching and scratching.
Scientists have discovered what causes the sensation of itching and believe their find could lead to the development of drugs to target chronic conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.
Both products provide temporary relief from the pain and itching associated with insect bites, minor skin irritations, sunburn, rashes due to poison, ivy, poison oak or poison sumac, and minor cuts and scrapes.
More than 50 per cent of patients attending a skin clinic complain of itching and more than 15 per cent with generalised itching have an underlying internal cause.
It will not cure his rare genetic disease but would permanently ease the itching, caused by a build-up of bile in his body.
WAIKOLOA, HAWAII - Oral aprepitant has shown considerable promise as a novel therapy in patients with refractory pruritus, including those with severe itching induced by biologic therapies for cancer.