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Itching of unknown cause

Itching is skin tingling or irritation that makes you want to scratch the itchy area. It's a symptom of many health conditions. Common causes are

To soothe itchy skin, you can try cold compresses, lotions and lukewarm baths. Avoid scratching, wearing irritating fabrics and high heat and humidity. Most itching is not serious. However, if you itch all over, have hives that keep coming back or have itching without an apparent cause, you might require medical attention.

Source: MedlinePlus

What are the symptoms?

Within all the people who go to their doctor with itching of unknown cause, 86% report having itching of skin, 78% report having skin rash, and 32% report having allergic reaction. The symptoms that are highly suggestive of itching of unknown cause are itching of skin, skin rash, skin dryness, peeling, scaliness, or roughness, and itchy scalp, although you may still have itching of unknown cause without those symptoms.


What might my doctor prescribe?

Common Tests and Procedures

Patients with itching of unknown cause often receive complete physical skin exam performed (ml), lipid panel, hemoglobin a1c measurement, excision, biopsy, excision of skin lesion, other therapeutic procedures and prostate specific antigen measurement .

Common Medications

The most commonly prescribed drugs for patients with itching of unknown cause include diphenhydramine (benadryl), hydroxyzine, triamcinolone, hydrocortisone topical, clobetasol topical, triamcinolone topical product, doxepin, permethrin topical, betamethasone topical product, colloidal oatmeal topical, ketoconazole, hydrocortisone-pramoxine topical and fluocinolone topical .

Who is at risk?

Groups of people at highest risk for itching of unknown cause include race/ethnicity = other.

Age

< 1 years
0.4x
1-4 years
0.9x
5-14 years
1.0x
15-29 years
0.9x
30-44 years
0.9x
45-59 years
1.2x
60-74 years
1.0x
75+ years
1.4x

Sex

Male
0.9x
Female
1.1x

Race/Ethnicity

Black
1.2x
Hispanic
1.1x
White
0.8x
Other
1.8x
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