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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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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 ?
Either skin testing or bloodwork can be used to diagnose inhalant allergies, and treatment may consist of small, increasing doses of the allergen under the skin over time (immunotherapy, or allergy shots) or medications to decrease itchiness (steroids are often effective, but again, they can have side effects).
CBS News reported that the few side effects demonstrated in the children were itchiness, stomach pains 4%1 and nausea.
It has been claimed that several areas has been infected by this disease and due to which scores of persons has been victimized of skin itchiness, pimples, pain in whole body.
Most SAR patients presented in spring and summer, and this group had the highest incidence of eye itchiness, pharyngeal itchiness, eye redness, and palatal itchiness.
Anything that can cause an acute, intense itchiness or pain can trigger a hot spot.
There are various types, and mild allergies such as hay fever are very common and cause symptoms such as red eyes, itchiness and a runny nose.
We defined a case-patient as any player who had eye redness and 1 of the following ocular signs or symptoms since April 21: pain, discharge, swelling, or itchiness.
Itchiness may finally have its own sensory highway.
The report said she remains under treatment because she suffers itchiness in her hands and legs.
You can also experience swelling, itchiness, eczema, cramps and a feeling of heaviness in the legs.
"Persistent itchiness (pruritus) has many causes and is the most common skin problem among seniors.
There are also medicines that can help the itchiness. Have your parents talk with your doctor.