Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
In this Article
- Itch facts
- What is an itch?
- What are associated symptoms and signs of itching?
- What causes itching?
- How is the cause of itching diagnosed?
- Should I scratch the itch?
- What are topical itch treatments? Are there any home remedies for itching?
- What are oral itch treatments?
- Can itching be prevented?
- When should the doctor be consulted for itching?
- What are possible complications of itching?
- What is the prognosis (outlook) for itching?
- Find a local Dermatologist in your town
What are possible complications of itching?
As mentioned previously, a secondary bacterial infection of the skin is perhaps the most common complication of itching. This occurs not as a result of the itch but as a result of the scratching and associated skin damage. Antibiotics may be required to treat a bacterial infection of the skin. Itching itself is unlikely to lead to other complications, although some of the underlying diseases that cause itching (see above) are associated with complications specific to the disease itself.
What is the prognosis (outlook) for itching?
Itching itself is not associated with long-term problems or harm, and most cases of itch are temporary and resolve on their own or with topical or oral treatments. Itching that is associated with a serious condition may persist if the condition worsens or it may be managed with medications.
Medically reviewed by Norman Levine, MD; American Board of Dermatology
Butler, David F. "Pruritus and Systemic Disease." Medscape.com. May 31, 2012. <http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1098029-overview>.
Mann, Julianne. "Brachioradial Pruritus." Medscape.com. June 18, 2012. <http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1355312-overview>.
United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Cercarial Dermatitis." Nov. 2, 2010.<http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/swimmersitch/faqs.html>.
United States. National Cancer Institute. "Pruritus." Jan. 21, 2009. <http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/supportivecare/pruritus/Patient/page1>.
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