Archive for the 'pruritus' Category

Pruritus

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

Pruritus, itch, is an unpleasant sensation that causes the desire or reflex to scratch. Itch has resisted many attempts to classify it as any one type of sensory experience. Modern science has shown that itch has many similarities to pain, and while both are unpleasant sensory experiences, their behavioral response patterns are different. Pain creates a withdrawal reflex while itch leads to a scratch reflex. Unmyelinated nerve fibers for itch and pain both originate in the skin; however, information for them is conveyed centrally in two distinct systems that both use the same peripheral nerve bundle and spinothalamic tract.