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What is itch?

Itch, also known as pruritus, is a feeling of uncomfortability, only momentarily relieved by contact such as scratching. It is a common dermatological complaint, although can occasionally be a sign of something more serious.

Skin causes

However, almost all skin conditions can present with itching

Systemic causes

There are others, including anaemia and thyroid and neurological problems.


  • Look for a rash
  • Look for signs of liver failure
  • Hepatosplenomegaly
  • Enlarged lymph nodes


You would usually do these to exclude the more serious causes