Itching

Symptom Checker: Symptoms & Signs Index

Medical Author:

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.

Patients may experience the related symptoms of Dry Skin, Flaky Scalp, and/or Rash.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/27/2014

Health concern on your mind? Visit the Symptom Checker.

REFERENCE:

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

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      • Who is at risk for STDs?
      • What causes STDs?
      • What are the signs and symptoms of STDs?
      • List of STDs in men
      • Chlamydia
      • Gonorrhea
      • Trichomoniasis
      • HIV
      • Genital herpes
      • Genital warts (HPV)
      • Hepatitis
      • Syphilis
      • How are STDs diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for STDs?
      • What is the prognosis for STDs?
      • Can STDs be prevented?
    • Ticks Ticks are known transmitters of disease to humans and animals. Tick-borne diseases include Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted...learn more »
      In This Article
      Ticks Article
      • Tick facts
      • What are ticks?
      • What are tick bite symptoms and signs?
      • What diseases do ticks transmit (act as vectors) to humans?
      • How is a tick bite diagnosed?
      • What are the symptoms and signs of diseases transmitted by ticks?
      • What is the treatment for a tick bite?
      • How is a tick removed from the skin?
      • What is the prognosis (outlook) for people who get a tick bite?
      • What are the risk factors for tick bites?
      • How are bites from ticks prevented?
      • Where can I find more information about ticks?
    • Yeast Infection (in Women and Men) Vaginal yeast infections in women are caused by an organism called Candida albicans. Symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection...learn more »
      In This Article
      Yeast Infection (in Women and Men) Article
      • Vaginal yeast infection facts
      • What is a vaginal yeast infection?
      • What causes a vaginal yeast infection?
      • What are the signs and symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection?
      • How is a vaginal yeast infection diagnosed?
      • Are there home remedies to treat a vaginal yeast infection?
      • What over-the-counter medications are available to treat a vaginal yeast infection?
      • When are prescription medications used for a vaginal yeast infection?
      • Can a man get a yeast infection from his sexual partner?
      • What are the symptoms of a yeast infection in men?
      • What is the treatment for yeast infection in men?
      • How can vaginal yeast infections be prevented?
      • How can a man protect himself from contracting a yeast infection from his partner?
Other Causes of Itch

Diffuse (Generalized) Itching:




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