Collection: Itching

Itching Online

Itching is sometimes referred to as pruritus, and it is a generalized sensation brought on by the excitability of skin cells or nerve cells attached to the skin. Pruritus is a self-defense and sensory mechanism that can be annoying, just like other skin sensations, including touch, pain, vibration, cold, and heat. It can become intolerable if not treated, yet it can also alert us to potentially harmful outside forces.

Pruritus is a common symptom of many diseases that affect the skin, as well as other illnesses that affect the entire body. When mechanical, heat, or chemical mediators stimulate the proprioceptors—itch-sensing nerve endings—on the skin, an itching sensation develops. These consist of:

  • Chemicals that boost the immune system (histamines) and reduce pain (opioids)
  • Neuropeptides, which comprise endorphins and other brain-released mediators that regulate pain
  • The neurotransmitters serotonin and acetylcholine
  • Prostaglandins are lipids that, among other things, cause spinal nerve cells to experience pain.

Any of these chemicals that stimulate the body can cause irritation, dryness, or other harm to the skin, mucous membranes, or conjunctiva of the eyes.