What is this article about?
Pruritus can be defined as an unpleasant sensation that evokes the feeling of wanting to scratch. The reason we itch is to protect the skin against noxious stimuli, as scratching or rubbing disrupts the irritant. However, too much scratching can inflame the skin and sometimes, the cause of pruritus is not an external stimulus at all. Accompanying many dermatologic conditions due to peripheral stimuli, pruritus also arises from systemic disease (renal, hepatic, endocrine), malignancy and medicines – all of which may present as skin disorders, but actually originate in the central nervous system. Pruritus without obvious primary skin lesions should be investigated for an underlying cause.