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 is the cause of itching diagnosed?
- What types of 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 itch treatments?
- Can itching be prevented?
- When should the doctor be consulted for itching (pruritus)?
- What are possible complications of itching?
- What is the prognosis (outlook) for itching?
Can Stress Cause a Rash?
Q: Before my wedding, before job interviews, and anytime I have a bit of stress, my arms, wrists, and hands break out in an itchy rash. Can stress cause a rash? How do I prevent this from occurring, and how do I treat it?
A: Stress is one of the known triggers of hives, an outbreak of raised, red spots (or welts) on the skin that often itch.
Quick GuideRosacea, Acne, Shingles: Common Adult Skin Diseases
- The medical term for itching is pruritus.
- Infections, bites and stings, infestations, chronic diseases, allergic reactions, sun exposure, and dry skin are among the numerous causes of itching.
- Anti-itch creams and lotions containing camphor, menthol, phenol, pramoxine (Caladryl, Tronolane), diphenhydramine (Benadryl), or benzocaine can bring relief.
- Some cases of itching will respond to corticosteroid medications.
- It is best to avoid scratching when possible to avoid worsening of the condition and disruption of the skin that could lead to bacterial infection.
- If itching persists, worsens, or is associated with skin lesions, consulting a health-care professional is advisable. Continue Reading
Butler, David F. "Pruritus and Systemic Disease." Medscape.com. Aug. 21, 2014. <http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1098029-overview>.
Mann, Julianne. "Brachioradial Pruritus." Medscape.com. May 15, 2014. <http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1355312-overview>.
United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Cercarial Dermatitis." Jan. 10, 2012.<http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/swimmersitch/faqs.html>.
United States. National Cancer Institute. "Pruritus." Feb. 5, 2014. <http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/supportivecare/pruritus/Patient/page1>.
Subscribe to MedicineNet's Skin Care & Conditions Newsletter