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Related to itch: jock itch, winter itch


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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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 ?
"Itch sensation plays a key role in detecting harmful substances, especially those that have attached to the skin.
This made the tingling sensation of the itch stop, the researchers wrote in the report published in the journal Nature Biomedical Engineering.
"You can think of itch being transmitted from the skin to the brain as a series of switches that get flipped," said researcher Santosh Mishra.
Patients were asked to complete the PDQ at the start of treatment, and the VAS score and itch intensity were determined at the same time.
This interaction appears to be important in producing inflammation and itch, he said.
The Itch Eraser comes in three formulations: a maximum-strength gel, a maximum-strength spray and a sensitive cream.
The first study comprised 32 healthy subjects in whom itch was induced with cowhage before and after skin treatment with the strontium gel, a control vehicle, topical 1% hydrocortisone, and topical 2% diphenhydramine (Acta Derm Venereol.
Leading cognitive frameworks on pain, which might to some extent also apply for itch, propose that pain draws attention and as such interrupts ongoing task performance and goal pursuit [7-12].
Available in a gel, cream and spray, all of the products fight itch with a steroid-free antihistamine and other skin calming properties.
"This is a major problem," says Gil Yosipovitch, a clinician at the Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia and director of Temple Itch Center.
A thoughtful serious fifteen year old with a passion for collecting all the elements in the periodic table, Itch's idealist zeal has led him into a number of very dangerous situations.