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



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.



An irritating cutaneous sensation allied to pain.
References in periodicals archive ?
But when the body responds to pain signals, that response actually can make itching worse.
Emollients will help moisturise dry and itching skin, particularly if you apply them after washing or bathing.
If itching goes on long enough, it can take over neurons that transmit pain -- which may be why chronic itch is so agonizing.
They found that the natriuretic polypeptide b (Nppb) molecule is released in the spinal cord and triggers a process that is then experienced in the brain as the itching sensation.
Prolonged itching may lead to skin changes with thick dark leathery appearance.
Aarron's mum Jacqueline, 40, from Baillieston, Glasgow, said yesterday: "When he is itching he gets completely frustrated.
Severe itching is increasingly recognized as a side effect of targeted biologic agents for cancer, including erlotinib (Tarceva) and cetuximab (Erbitux).
Itching is based in the same nerve pathways as pain but at a lower level, so some scientists think it could be a warning system to avoid injury.
Even then scientists knew that some itching didn't appear to involve histamine.
TRK-820 is a selective kappa opioid receptor agonist and is expected to be effective with its novel mechanism in treating itching which is resistant to conventional drugs such as antihistamines.
Your parents or doctor can help you figure out why you are itching and then decide the best way to treat it.
Doses of 25-50 mg/day sertraline (Zoloft) for 4 weeks had little effect on itching.