What is itching?

Itching is an unpleasant feeling on the skin, which is causing desire to scratch. Itching can actually be a low-grade pain sensation. It occurs when nerve endings in the skin become irritated for whatever reason (from insect crawling on the skin to some blood cancers).

What are the causes of itching?

Many skin diseases and conditions can cause itching, but also some medications, internal diseases, diseases of the nervous system as well as some emotional and psychological conditions.

Should I see my health care provider?

If you do not know the reason for your itch, or if your itch is ruining the quality of your life, and if it does not go away within few days, then you should for sure see your health care provider.  

How will my health care provider help me?

The first would be to find the reason for itching by listening to your story and examining you. However, sometimes additional testing would be necessary, especially if there is no obvious rash, or skin condition that could have caused your itch.

What is the treatment for itching?

The first step is the treatment of the underlying problem that could have caused the itch. However, if the itch persists, or the cause is still unknown, the treatment may include moisturization with plain Vaseline on wet skin, Sarna Sensitive skin lotion, topical corticosteroids with anesthetics (Pramosone), doxepin cream (Zonalon), oral antihistamines (Benadryl, Allegra, Zyrtec, Claritin etc.), reduction of stress etc.


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