Itching Without Rash

Welcome to this symptom guide about itching. We're sorry to hear you have this problem!

Itching is a common symptom and it can be caused by a number of different conditions. This guide will cover some of the most common, but it is not exhaustive -- rarer causes will not be covered. Itching, also called pruritus, is often associated with a rash, as with poison ivy. But this guide is about itching without a rash.

This guide is not intended to replace a face-to-face meeting with your doctor about these symptoms. In fact, many causes of itching require an in-person examination and testing. However, this guide may be particularly helpful while awaiting a visit to your doctor or after your initial evaluation.

Okay, let's get started.

Along with itching, do you have any of the following?

- Trouble breathing

- Unintentional weight loss

- Enlarging lumps (or "glands") under the skin

- Reduced urination

- Yellow tinge to the eyes or skin

Yes, I have one or more of those.

Nope, I have none of those.

Good, that makes some of the more serious causes of itching less likely. For example, people with severe allergic reactions or kidney disease can have itching without rash along with one or more of those symptoms.

Okay, the next question deals with the possibility of a mild allergic reaction.

Have you recently started a new medicine or had exposure to something new on your skin (such as a new soap, perfume, or lotion)?

Yes, I have.

No, I haven't.

Okay. Although most people with itching do not have serious conditions, these are symptoms that could be related to a serious condition. For example,

- Trouble breathing could be associated with a severe allergic reaction

- Enlarging lumps (or "glands") under the skin, unintentional weight loss, and itching may accompany certain types of cancer, especially Hodgkin's disease

- Reduced urination may be a symptom of chronic kidney disease (also called renal failure, renal insufficiency, or uremia). This may cause prominent itching, fatigue, and nausea as well

- Yellow tinge to the eyes or skin may indicate a liver problem or a blocked duct near the liver. The yellow discoloration is also called jaundice. Itching, even without jaundice, can be a symptom of liver disease

Given these possibilities, it's important to see your doctor right away for evaluation.

Do you want to stop the guide now? Or, would you prefer to continue to learn about other possible causes of itching without rash?

I'd like to stop now.

I'd like to continue.

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