Pruritus is a condition that produces an itch and a need to scratch. The most common cause of pruritus is dry skin. However, it can be due to other skin diseases, pregnancy, medications, and-- on very rare occasions--cancer.

Who gets pruritus?

Certain groups of people are more susceptible to pruritus, including:

  • The elderly
  • Atopic patients (seasonal allergies, hay fever, asthma, and eczema)
  • Diabetics
  • People with diseases, including HIV infection/AIDS and various types of cancer
  • Pregnant women
  • Patients with kidney failure on dialysis