Itchy skin is usually just an annoying but temporary problem, and rarely indicates a serious underlying cause.
But you should see your GP if your itch:
Find your local GP .
The medical name for itching is pruritus.
Your GP will ask you about your symptoms for example, if anything makes your itch worse, or if your itch comes and goes. They'll also examine your skin to look for visible symptoms.
In some cases, they may take a skin scraping or a swab so it can be tested to help identify the cause of your itching.
A blood test may also be carried out to look for underlying problems, such as thyroid or kidney disease.
Depending on the cause of your itch, you may be referred to a hospital specialist for a further assessment and specific treatment.
Itching can be caused by a number of different conditions, including:
Read aboutthe possible causes of itching .
If you experience troublesome itching, the following advice may help:
Over-the-counter medicines, such as antihistamines and steroid creams , may help relieve itching caused by certain skin conditions.
Itching (pruritus) is an unpleasant sensation that compels a person to scratch the affected area. Itchy skin is usually just an annoying but temporary problem, and rarely indicates a serious underlying cause.
An itch is often caused by a condition affecting the skin, but it can be a sign of a more serious underlying problem. In some cases, it may not be possible to identify a specific cause. Itching is sometimes caused by an allergen, irritant or another environmental factors.
The best treatment for itching depends on the cause. Some lotions, creams and medications available over the counter from pharmacies or on a prescription from your GP can help reduce itchiness.