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Related to itches: scabies


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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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 ?
"That's the hottest topic in the field right now, the idea of different pathways for different itches," says Earl Carstens, a neurobiologist at the University of California, Davis who studies the details of how these itches travel to the brain.
"Itches that rash" include conditions such as eczema and lichen simplex chronicus, which arise in skin that appears normal.
The Itch Eraser Gel is an anti-itch and skin care gel for instant itch relief; The Itch Eraser Spray is an anti-itch and skin care spray that features antihistamine and zinc acetate for instant outdoor itch relief; and The Itch Eraser Sensitive is a gentle, nonstinging sensitive anti-itch and skin care cream that provides immediate soothing relief from pain, itching and swelling of outdoor itches including insect bites and stings, and poison ivy, oak and sumac.
A report on the research suggests that even when the itch-specific nerve cells receive stimuli that are normally pain-inducing, the message they send isn't "That hurts!" but rather "That itches!"
To illustrate this point, he described "five easy itches" that find their way into physicians' offices: