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Author: A/Prof Amanda Oakley, Dermatologist, Hamilton, New Zealand, February 2016.
Itch is defined by a desire to scratch.
An acute or chronic itchy rash is most often due to dermatitis/eczema. Dermatitis can be primary, or secondary to scratching.
Stages of dermatitis
General treatments for itchy skin conditions may include:
Atopic dermatitis (eczema)
Transient acantholytic dermatosis
Xerosis (dry skin)
May have secondary lesions due to scratching: erosions, purpura, lichen simplex and secondary infection. Localised itch is often neuropathic/neurogenic. If scalp itchy, look carefully for head lice and their egg cases.
Localised neuropathic itch
Examine carefully for scabietic burrows.
Systemic associations with generalised pruritus
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