MedicineNet - Itch

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Symptoms & Signs

Itching is a symptom we have all experienced but cannot easily describe or define. While itching symptoms vary, it typically leads to a peculiarly uncomfortable skin sensation. It may feel as if something is crawling on (or in) your skin. Itching can be diffuse (generalized) or localized -- all over or confined to a specific spot -- and there are many causes of diffuse and localized itching. Itching symptoms can be associated with rash, dry skin, cracked skin, flaky skin, flaky scalp, redness, bumps, blisters, or spots on the skin. When there are itching symptoms, there can be a leathery or scaly texture to the skin depending on the cause.

Perhaps the best definition of itching is by the response it evokes -- it is a feeling that makes you want to scratch. Medically, itching is known as pruritus. Something that is itchy is said to be pruritic.

Summary of Common Itching Symptoms by MedicineNet Staff
A review of our Patient Comments indicated that people with itching may also have coexisting symptoms. One patient reported a sensation of something crawling on her skin, while another mentioned a feeling of something moving in his blood. Sometimes cramping and blistering accompany the itching. A couple of patients noted that taking certain medications caused itching while other medications calmed their itching. Read on to learn more about itching symptoms in our Patient Comments.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/27/2014

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Fauci, Anthony S., et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 17th ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2008.

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