Skin Itching is a common problem in acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine clinic. Itches can be localized (limited to one area of the body) or generalized (in which itching occurs all over the body or in several different areas). Generalized itch, for obvious reasons, is more difficult to treat by western medication, but very effective with acupuncture and herbal treatment. Itches can also occur with or without skin lesions (e.g., bumps or blisters). Skin itching might be caused by dermatitis, eczema, acne, scabies, psoriasis, hay weaves, urticaria.
Itching accompanies many conditions. Probably the most common cause of itch is psychological, that is, due to stress, anxiety, etc. Stress also can aggravate itch from other causes. Dry skin is another frequent cause of itch. Other causes include metabolic and endocrine disorders (e.g., liver or kidney disease, hyperthyroidism), cancers (e.g., lymphoma), reactions to drugs, infestations of the skin (e.g., body lice), and diseases of the blood (e.g., polycythemia vera). Most people, who itch, however, do not have a serious underlying condition.
Itching usually prompts scratching, which can sometimes lead to a vicious itch-scratch cycle. Scratching can initially feel so satisfying - but prolonged scratching just leaves you with irritated skin that can still itch! Since scratching provides only temporary relief and doesn't promote healing of the underlying problem, it is best to avoid scratching if at all possible. If scratching breaks open the skin, bacterial infection can set in. And if scratching continues for many months or years, the area that is scratched may develop thickened skin (lichenification) or pigmentation that darkens the area.