Language purists are frequently itching at the need to make it clear you are scratching an itch, but such verbal usage of itching is fairly widespread. An itch is a sensation of irritation to your skin, usually causing you to scratch . An itchy feeling is a irritating feeling that makes you want to scratch the skin. It typically presents itself as a feeling of numbness, itching, or tingling on your legs, but can be painful, too. Reactions to drugs or medications may also cause widespread itchiness, which can be accompanied by rashes or hives. Irritation to the skin caused by contact with fabrics, makeup, or other substances may lead to itchiness that can be accompanied by rashes, known as contact dermatitis. When you get itchiness in the skin, you might get a rash; however, you might get extremely itchy skin without seeing anything on the skin. When you are bit by mosquitoes, the reason for the itchy skin is often apparent, and itching usually goes away fairly quickly. If the itch has been intense, you may even get scratches or reddened skin. Itching may be your main concern, or it may be a symptom of another condition. If the itching is caused by a underlying condition, that condition should be treated. If your cause of the itching is a medical disorder or infection, your healthcare provider will recommend the best treatment for the underlying issue. When or if your doctor has identified the cause of your itchiness, he can then treat the causes of your itchiness. If you cannot find what is causing your itching, a dermatologist who is board-certified in dermatology may be able to help. If the doctor cannot identify what is causing your itching based on your answers and a physical examination, he or she might need to do additional tests. If you do have itching, your doctor can provide you with tips to reduce itching and follow up with treatment. Try different fabrics, care for your skin, and avoid anything that seems to be trigger itch. Avoid some fabrics, like wool and synthetics, which may itch your skin. If itchiness is caused by dry skin, your dermatologist might suggest making a few changes in skin care and using generous amounts of moisturiser. Excessive dry skin caused by pregnancy, aging, or the weather usually causes the itch. Itching can be caused by a number of different things, including allergies, insect bites, dry skin, or sickness. A dermatologist is often crucial to diagnosing liver diseases, as itching may be the only symptom. Generalized itching without skin lesions may occur with systemic diseases, such as those occurring with metabolic and endocrine conditions, malignant tumors, drug reactions, and renal, blood, and liver diseases. Itching associated with skin lesions usually indicates a dermatologic disorder. Long-standing itching disrupts sleep, makes it hard to focus, and causes you to scratch until the skin bleeds. When bugs live on your skin or feed off of you each night, itchiness can be prolonged and difficult to control. Bugs that can cause a long-lasting itch include bed bugs, lice, and ticks . Research conducted over the past decade has shown that itching can be suppressed by a variety of other forms of painful stimuli, such as toxic heat, physical rubbing/scratching, toxic chemicals, and electric shocks. However, scratching usually offers only temporary relief, and may exacerbate itchiness, and may even inflict additional damage on skin, known as a "itch-scratch cycle. For instance, responding to localized itching is an effective way of flushing insects off the body. Itching is a sensation that causes the urge or reflex to scratch. Itches originating on the skin are known as pruritoceptives, which can be caused by various stimuli including mechanical, chemical, thermal, and electric stimuli. Itching produces stimuli about a foreign object under or on the skin, and the impulse to remove it. Irrit, by contrast, generates the scratch reflex, drawing the person toward the site of the irritation. Itching and pain are a protective response developed to aid animals to eliminate parasites from the skin. Unmyelinated nerve fibers of itch and pain both originate from the skin; however, the messages to these are relayed centrally by two different systems, which both share a single nerve tract and the spinothalamic tract. In general, the sensation of itch is mediated by A-delta and C-nociceptors located at the topmost layer of skin. The cause and severity of the itching dictates the course of treatment. When the cause is more superficial, you might get a prescription for a cream to relieve itching. Otherwise, with hives, usually you can ease swelling and itchiness with an antihistamine. You can find lots of pictures of hives triggered by itchiness here, which will help you to understand what to look out for. Even discussing the subject of itching may evoke itchiness in people. His internist introduced me, with her permission, as an example of a person who had intense itchiness due to a central, not peripheral, cause. The visor had also provided the first effective therapy that had been used on him to control his periodic bouts of itchiness and pain. An itch that creeps up and down along that same stripe, and which no scratching will alleviate. I did not get all the way down to the bottom of my block before the itch started in my chest. Wingerter did not have time to get a handle on the joke, and the enigma was itching like a sore thumb during their two-hour porch visit with friends. Perhaps with her intellect, she knew the chains she had made would merely stir his destruction instincts, like plate-glass windows that itch for a half-brick; but her heart, incapable of reasoning, made her carry on the course that she knew was fatal. For me, the scuffling was a scratching itch, which pleaded, and then demanded, that it be scratched. When done right, good, twisted drama can be especially satisfying, like solving a puzzle by scratching an itch. While most itchiness is just annoying or uncomfortable, scratching it too much damages the skins protective barrier and opens up the body to germs and infections.