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October 12, 1935

Current Comment

JAMA. 1935;105(15):1194. doi:10.1001/jama.1935.02760410038017

PRURITUS  Itching, which is usually considered almost the private domain of the dermatologist, has recently been discussed by Lord Horder1 as a general medical problem. Both the local and the general factors that cause pruritus to reach a stage of pathologic discomfort are exceedingly numerous. As he points out, all the world itches but for different reasons in different persons. Thus, for example, the two extremes of personal cleanliness as well as excessive or deficient perspiration generally produce itching of more than physiologic proportions. Without in any way attempting to list all the general causes of pruritus, Horder mentions several that might easily be overlooked if the observer's attention is too sharply focused on the offending part. Diabetes, uremia, leukemia and jaundice are well known. The itching that occurs in Hodgkin's disease is less well known but is sometimes severe and may even help in diagnosis. There are numerous