itch

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itch

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

Itch

 

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.

V. S. ROTENBERG

itch

[ich]
(physiology)
An irritating cutaneous sensation allied to pain.
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.
The causes of some itches are obvious--insect bites, a sunburn or wound that's healing, or poison ivy.
The medicated skincare market includes products treating a variety of skin conditions, including minor wounds, rashes and itches, acne, chapped lips, athlete's foot, warts and lice.
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.