Itching, or pruritus, is an unpleasant sensation which most individuals have undoubtedly experienced at some time, and yet which it is difficult to describe, any more than pain can be described. But all recognize and know that as a sensation in the skin it may be very disquieting, and that it is one often urgently calling for relief; at times also it may be so distressing that the sufferer will submit to almost anything in order to be freed from it, and will frequently claim that any amount of pain would be preferable.
Nature's treatment of itching is by scratching, and in the effort to get relief from intolerable itching animals and human beings, the latter especially, will often indulge in this, even until great injury, followed by much pain, is inflicted on the delicate tissues of the skin, as is especially seen in infants with eczema. But this alleviation
BULKLEY LD. SIGNIFICANCE AND TREATMENT OF ITCHING.. JAMA. 1907;XLIX(4):321-326. doi:10.1001/jama.1907.25320040033002i