Health Conditions

Acid Reflux

Acne

Age Spots

Allergies

Alopecia Areata

Anemia

Antibiotics & Antiseptics (Natural)

Asthma

Athlete's Foot (Tinea Pedis)

Bad Breath

Baldness

Bedbugs

Blood Clots

Blood Pressure

Body Odor

Boils

BPH - Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia

Bronchitis

Brown Spots (Liver Spots)

Bruises

Bruxism

Burning Mouth Syndrome

Burns

Bursitis

Candida

Canker Sores

Celiac Disease

Cellulite

Cellulitis

Chemotherapy & Radiation Aids

Cholesterol

Colds and Flu

Cold Sores (Herpes)

Colitis

Conjunctivitis

Constipation

COPD

Corns

Coughs

Cramps (Muscle)

Cuts & Wounds

Dandruff

Dermatitis (Contact & Irritant)

Diabetes

Diarrhea

Digestion

Dry Eyes Syndrome

Dry Skin

Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis)
Estrogen Dominance

Fever

Fibrocystic Breasts

Flesh Eating Bacteria (Necrotizing Fasciitis)

Flu

Food Poisoning

Foot & Heel Problems

Foot Odor

Frostbite

Fungal Nail Infections

Gas

GERD

Gingivitis (Periodontal Disease)

Gluten Intolerance

Gout

Grave's Disease

Hair, Damaged (Split Ends)

Hair Loss

Hands (Cold)

Hands (Sweaty)

Hangover

Headache

Head Lice

Heartburn

Hemorrhoids

Herpes (Cold Sores)

Hiccups

Hirsutism (Excess Hair)

Hives (Urticaria)

Hoarseness

Hyperhidrosis (Increased Sweating)

Hypertension

Hyperthyroidism

Hypothyroidism

Impetigo

Insect Stings & Bites

Intertrigo

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Irritated Eyes

Itchy Skin (Pruritus)

Jet Lag

Jock Itch (tinea cruris)

Laryngitis

Leg Cramps

Lice

Liver Spots

Lyme Disease

Melasma

Menstruation

Moles

Molluscum Contagiosum

Morning Sickness (Nausea & Motion)

Motion Sickness (Nausea & Morning)

MRSA

Nail Health

Nail Infections

Nail Inflammation (Paronychia)

Nausea, Morning & Motion Sickness

Night Sweats

Nosebleeds

Otitis Media (Ear Infection)

Pelvic Pain

Periodontal Disease (Gingivitis)

Perioral Dermatitis

Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis)

Pityriasis Rosea

Poison Ivy & Poison Oak

Prostate - BPH

Psoriasis

Radiation

Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS)

Ringworm (Tinea)

Rosacea

Scabies

Shingles (Herpes Zoster)

Sinusitis

Skin (Dry)

Skin (Losing Pigment)

Smell & Taste (Loss)

Sore Throat

Spider Veins

Sprains

Stretch Marks (Striae)

Sunburn

Swimmer's Ear

Tendinitis

Thyroid

Tinea (Ringworm)

Tinea Versicolor

Tongue Health

Toothache

Tremor

Upset Stomach

Varicose Veins

Vitiligo

Warts

Weight Loss

Wounds & Cuts

Yeast Infections (Candida)


Health Categories
Health Products
Health Articles
Health911 Dermatology

 

Online eNewsletter

Click here to sign-up for the Health911 eNewsletter that includes information about seasonal health conditions, links to our latest articles, alerts to our monthly product specials, health tips, and wellness programs. Sign-up today!


Make a Suggestion!
Share your health and wellness suggestions.  We want to build the Health911 community around the interests of our viewers and customers. Click here

General Description

Itching (medically termed pruritus) is a sensation that produces a desire to scratch. Itching may be localized to a specific area (for example, the site of a mosquito bite), or it may be generalized over the entire skin surface. People respond to an itch in different ways, the response in large part depending upon the personality of the affected individual. A mosquito bite, for example, may be violently scratched until it bleeds, gently rubbed, or simply ignored.

Causes

A wide range of factors can produce itching. These include inflammations of the skin caused by external irritants such as harsh soaps, infections (especially those caused by yeast and fungi), infestations such as scabies and lice, allergic reactions including contact dermatitis and hives, and specific skin disorders such as eczema.

On occasion generalized itchiness may be associated with certain abnormal systemic conditions. Diabetes, liver disease, kidney failure, and even cancer are at times accompanied by diffuse itching. Itchy skin may also occur during pregnancy.

A very common cause of itching is dry skin (xerosis). Too frequent bathing with hot water and strong soaps, advancing age, and cold weather all contribute to skin dryness. The legs are the most commonly involved sites. The condition may be improved through the use of moisturizing creams and bath oils.

One of the most important sources of itching is psychological, that is, a reaction to stress and strain. An anxious male tends to scratch his scrotum, whereas an uptight female frequently concentrates on the back of her neck.

People suffering from mental illness (psychosis) may become convinced that their skin has been invaded by parasites. These deluded individuals pick and dig until sores develop, and they are obviously in dire need of psychiatric care.

Anal itching (pruritus ani) is a very common, annoying problem. The condition may be engendered by numerous factors including anxiety and nervous tension, hemorrhoids, contact with irritating chemicals and soaps, parasites (crabs, lice, and pinworms), and fungal and yeast infections. Circumstances that worsen the itching include excess perspiration, obesity, tight clothing, frequent bowel movements, inadequate cleansing, and occupations that require long periods of sitting (for example, truck driving, office work).

Medical Treatments

Itching can be a very distressing symptom. Any itch is made worse by wool clothing, friction, excess warmth and sweating, reduction of body oils by frequent washing, and the use of harsh soaps. Inactivity and relaxation tend to make one more aware of an itch (hence itching is usually most severe at night).

A self-limited itch, such as an insect bite or a mild case of poison ivy, may be lessened by cool compresses and/or application of an over-the-counter anti‑itch treatment. Persons with itching associated with visible skin lesions such as solid bumps or water blisters should visit a dermatologist. Those who have persistent, generalized itching with no apparent skin disorder may require a medical examination and laboratory tests to make certain that no serious medical problem exists.

Recommended Products

Recommended Products

©1998-2012 Health911 Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Disclaimer: Health911 Media, Inc., Health911.com, and any emails you receive from this website, provides health, fitness and nutritional information. This information is designed for educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosing or treating a health problem, condition or disease, or use it as a substitute for any medication or other treatment therapy. The statements provided with any product on this web site have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional. Some of the health imagery courtesy of Wikipedia.