Itchy skin, pruritis, is a common skin condition, especially in older adults.

While it can be the result of varying factors, the most common cause is dry skin.

Depending upon the cause of your itchy skin, it may appear normal, or it may be red or rough or have bumps or blisters due to scratching. Repeated scratching can cause raised, thickened areas of skin that may bleed or become infected. Too often, the scratching becomes so habitual that patients may begin to believe the redness of their skin is causing the itching, as opposed to being the result of the itching.

Regularly moisturizing, using anti-itch products, and taking cool baths or using cool compresses can help relieve itchy skin. Long-term relief requires identifying and treating the root cause of the itchy skin. Often, lab work is required to rule out rare systemic causes. Possible treatments include medications, wet dressings, and light therapy.