An uncomfortable, irritating sensation that creates an urge to scratch that can involve any part of the body.


Resist the urge to scratch, keep skin clean, use moisturizer on dry skin, and avoid known allergens. Over-the-counter antihistamine or corticosteroid creams may ease itching.

When to seek immediate medical care

See a doctor immediately if:

  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • Involves most of body
  • Significant swelling and discomfort

When to make a doctor's appointment

Make an appointment to see a doctor if:

  • Cause of itching is unknown
  • Self-treatment doesn't decrease the itching
  • Persistent itching
  • Interferes with sleep or daily activities

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