Depending on the cause of pruritus, it may appear normal, red, rough or bumpy. Repeated scratching can cause raised thick areas of skin that might bleed or become infected. Many people find relief with self-care measures such as moisturising daily, using gentle cleansers and bathing with lukewarm water. Long-term relief requires identifying and treating the cause of itchy skin.

Chronic pruritus, which lasts more than six weeks, can affect the quality of life, by interrupting sleep or causing anxiety or depression. Prolonged itching and scratching may increase the intensity of the itch, possibly leading to skin injury, infection and scarring.

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