Itchy skin, or also known as pruritus, is an irritating condition, an uncomfortable sensation that makes a person to scratch the skin. It can be a result of a rash, psoriasis or dermatitis. It can also be a symptom of a disease like kidney failure or liver disease.

The signs on the skin can appear normal, or the skin can be red or rough or it can even have bumps or blisters.

The solution for itchy skin comes after identification and treatment of the cause. Treatments include: medications, dressings or light therapy., as well as self-care with anti-itch products, cool baths, antiallergenic clothes, or whatever help the patient may need.



A person can have itchy skin on one part, or on the whole body. It may appear without any other accompanying visible changes on the skin, or it may be connected with some of the following symotoms:

  • Reddish skin
  • Spots
  • Bumps
  • Blisters
  • Dry or cracked skin
  • Rubbery or crusty texture of the skin

You may have itchy skin over certain small areas, such as on an arm or leg, or your whole body may itch. Itchy skin can occur without any other noticeable changes of the skin. Or it may be associated with:

  • Redness
  • Bumps, spots or blisters
  • Dry, cracked skin
  • Leathery or scaly texture to the skin

The itchiness can be temporarily or long-term. If the itchy feeling lasts for a long period of time, it is recommendable to visit a specialist because excessive scratching can damage the skin or cause infection.



The cause for itchy skin can be:

  • Having dry skin
  • Rashes (red skin, irritated skin, bumps, blisters)
  • Skin conditions such as: eczema or dermatitis, psoriasis, scabies, lice, chickenpox and hives
  • Internal disease (liver disease, kidney failure, iron deficiency anemia, thyroid problems, cancers, leukemia and lymphoma)
  • Conditions that affect the nervous system such as: multiple sclerosis, diabetes mellitus, pinched nerves and shingles
  • Substances such as: wool, chemicals, soaps, cosmetics or some food can irritate the skin or provoke allergic reaction
  • Some pills, antibiotics or narcotic pain medications
  • Pregnancy (some women especially at the abdominal area, thighs, breasts and arms)



Exaggerated rubbing or scratching of the skin can intensify the itchiness and it can lead to skin injury, infection or scarring.



When the cause of itchy skin is known, the treatments for the conditions can include medications, treatment for certain underlying disease or phototherapy.


  • Corticosteroid creams
  • Calcineurin inhibitors
  • Oral antihistamines
  • Antidepressants

Treatment of the underlying disease: no matter which disease should be treated, whether it is a liver disease, kidney failure, iron deficiency or a problem with the thyroid, the treatment relives form the itchy feeling and the itchiness disappears when the disease is cured.

Phototherapy or light therapy: the skin is exposed to multiple sessions of certain wavelengths of ultraviolet light what brings the itchiness under control.



Some of the preventative measures that can be taken in order to diminish the risk of having an itchy skin are:

  • To avoid scratching
  • To reduce stress
  • To avoid substances that irritate the patient’s skin
  • To use a high-quality moisturizing cream
  • To wear loose cotton clothes
  • To use mild laundry detergent