Diagnosis

Tracking down the cause of your itch can take time and involve a physical exam and a careful history. If your doctor suspects your itchy skin is the result of an underlying medical condition, he or she may perform tests, including:

  • Blood test. A complete blood count can provide evidence of an internal condition causing your itch, such as iron deficiency.
  • Tests of thyroid, liver and kidney function. Liver or kidney disorders and thyroid abnormalities, such as hyperthyroidism, may cause itching.
  • Chest X-rays. Signs of underlying disease that are associated with itchy skin, such as enlarged lymph nodes, can be seen by using X-rays.
Nov. 03, 2016
References
  1. Fazio SB, et al. Pruritis: Overview of management. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Aug. 5, 2016.
  2. Cassano N, et al. Chronic pruritus in the absence of specific skin disease. American Journal of Clinical Dermatology. 2010;11:399.
  3. Goldsmith LA, et al., eds. Pathophysiology and clinical aspects of pruritus. In: Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine. 8th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com. Accessed Aug. 18, 2016.
  4. Yosipovitch G, et al. Chronic pruritis. The New England Journal of Medicine. 2013;368:1625.
  5. Gibson LE (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Sept. 22, 2016.
  6. Fazio SB, et al. Pruritis: Etiology and patient evaluation. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Aug. 23, 2016.
  7. Cunningham FG, et al. Dermatological disorders. In: Williams Obstetrics. 24th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2014. http://www.accessmedicine.com. Accessed Aug. 25, 2016.