Itch (Itching or Pruritus)
Table of Contents
- Itch facts
- What is an itch?
- What are associated symptoms and signs of itching (pruritus)?
- What causes itching?
- What causes itching? (Continued)
- How do health care professionals diagnose itching?
- What types of health care specialists treat itching?
- Should people scratch the itch?
- What are topical itch treatments? Are there any home remedies for itching?
- What are topical itch treatments? Are there any home remedies for itching? (Continued)
- What are oral medications that treat itch?
- Is it possible to prevent itching?
- When should the doctor be consulted for itching (pruritus)?
- What are possible complications of itching?
- What is the prognosis (outlook) for itching?
What causes itching? (Continued)
Brachioradial pruritus is a neurologic condition that results in intense itching of the arms. It usually develops on the forearm over the head of the brachioradialis muscle, but it can occur anywhere on the upper extremities. This is often caused by a pinched nerve in the neck.
Irritation of the skin from contact with fabrics, cosmetics, or other substances can lead to itching that may be accompanied by rash, known as contact dermatitis. Poison ivy is another example of contact dermatitis. Reactions to drugs or medications can also result in widespread itching that may be accompanied by a rash or hives. Sometimes women report that they experience generalized itching during pregnancy or a worsening of the conditions that normally cause itching. Contact dermatitis from allergy to nickel, poison ivy, poison oak, or poison sumac is also a common cause of localized itching.
Most people who have itching do not have a serious underlying condition.