Assessment of Pruritus
Key Points for This Section
The following tests and procedures may be done to find the problem that is causing the itching:
- Physical exam and history : An exam of the body to check general signs of health, including checking for signs of disease, such as lumps or anything else that seems unusual. The doctor will check your skin for the following:
- Signs of infection.
- Signs of a drug reaction.
- Redness, dryness, scratches, or lesions.
- Swelling or stiffness.
- Abnormal color, texture, or temperature.
A history of your health habits and past illnesses and treatments will also be taken, including the following information:
- When the pruritus started, how long it lasts, how bad it is, and where on your body it's felt.
- Whether you have had pruritus before.
- What relieves the itching or makes it worse.
- Diseases you have now or had in the past.
- Treatments you are receiving and have received in the past.
- Pain medicines, antibiotics, or other drugs you are taking.
- Whether your diet is healthy and you drink enough fluids.
- How you care for your skin.
- Complete blood count (CBC) : A procedure in which a sample of blood is drawn and checked for the following:
- The number of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.
- The amount of hemoglobin (the protein that carries oxygen) in the red blood cells.
- The portion of the blood sample made up of red blood cells.