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any skin disorder, such as scabies, characterized by intense itching
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



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.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


An irritating cutaneous sensation allied to pain.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
% Sedation 9 36 10 40 Pruritis 0 0 1 4 Nausea-Vomiting 2 8 3 12 Respiratory Depression 0 0 1 4 Hypotension 0 0 1 4
The reaction is characterised by flushing, erythema, and pruritis of face, neck, and upper torso.
(1) Other symptoms may include dysesthesia and pruritis in the midscapular region (1), and radiation of the pain along the posterolateral aspect of the shoulder, arm, and forearm (21-23,43).
However, intense infestation as observed by high levels of pruritis, scaling and alopecia was noted only in 14.9% of the animals (Table I).
In addition, a non-opioid, such as acetaminophen, should be given regularly to minimize the need for opioids and their unwanted side effects, such as constipation, pruritis, nausea, and sedation.
Pruridexin is a patent-protected topical cream for the treatment of chronic pruritis (itching).
Pruritis and soreness may be alleviated by use of topical antihistamines and antiseptics.
Its lesions appear as red patches with silvery white scales on the scalp, elbows, knees and other parts of the body, with shedding of skin and in around 25% of cases localised pruritis may be experienced.
Patients had fever, a maculopapular rash, pruritis, myalgia, and arthralgia of large joints.
Mean improvement from baseline in outcome measures Week 2 Week 6 Eczema Area and Severity Index Score 34.20% 46% Family Dermatology Life Quality Index 19.70% 45.9% Pruritis visual analog scale 29% 39.1% Children's Dermatology Life Quality Index 39.80% 37.7% Investigator's Global Assessment 23.10% 35.7% Patient satisfaction questionnaire 19.90% 34.1% Body surface area involvement 21.80% 33.6% Note: Based on data from 50 subjects aged 6 months to 18 years.
Most common presenting symptom was hearing loss (77.7%) followed by pruritis (68.8%) and otalgia (40%).
She also denied any nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, melena, hematochezia, dysphagia, decreased appetite, or pruritis. Review of systems was otherwise positive for a 35-pound, unintentional weight loss over the prior three months.