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. Nonprescription medicated creams or gels may ease itching.

When to seek immediate medical care

See a healthcare professional right away for:

  • Trouble breathing or swallowing.
  • Itchy skin that involves most of the body.
  • Swelling and pain.

When to make a doctor's appointment

Make an appointment to see a healthcare professional if:

  • Cause of itching is unknown.
  • Self-care doesn't ease the itching.
  • Itching that lasts a long time.
  • Itching affects your sleep or daily activities.