Pruritus

Learn about pruritus, also called itching.

Pruritus causes

Pruritus can be brought on by various medical causes. While this list is not exhaustive, it does contain many possible reasons that a person may itch. Some of the following causes have additional information that you can read about them. The severity of medical reasons may vary from insignificant situations to potentially fatal illnesses.

Athlete's foot
Body lice
Chickenpox
Cholestasis
Cirrhosis
Cutaneous larva migrans
Dandruff
Diabetes
Dry skin
Eczema
Gestational pemphigoid
Head lice
Herpes simplex
Herpes zoster
Hidradenitis suppurativa
Hodgkin's lymphoma
Hyperparathyroidism
Ingrown hair
Insect bites
Intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy
Iron deficiency anemia
Jaundice
Lyme disease
Melanoma
Menopause
Mole
Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
Photodermatitis
Pimple
Polycythemia
Psoriasis
Psychiatric disease
Pubic lice
Punctate palmoplantar keratoderma
PUPPP
Scabies
Scabs and growth of scars
Shaving
Skin conditions
Some medications
Sunburn
Thyroid disease
Uremia
Urticaria (hives)
Urushiol contact

Please keep in mind that we can't diagnose a medical condition for you. Please talk with someone who is qualified, such as a doctor, if you need professional advice.


Particular types

There are also certain forms of itching, which describe things like where they appear and what leads to them. The following are some of these classifications:

Aquagenic pruritus - via contact with water
Brachioradial pruritus - generally appears between the elbow and shoulder
Pruritus ani - itching near the rectum
Pruritus vulvae - itching involving the vulva


Contagious itching

Sometimes, people get what is known as "contagious" itching. In this sense, pruritus is similar to yawning, which can also be contagious. Having a discussion about itching or seeing something that is associated with it are two situations that might cause a person to start itching. Simply reading this website might lead you to want to start scratching somewhere! However, you may have already been experiencing pruritus, which could be the reason why you are visiting this site.