Table 7

 Causes of isolated itching

Senile itchOccurs without an obvious cause in more than 50% of those aged >70 years and is thought to be linked to drying of the skin with age1
CholestasisCommon symptom in jaundiced patients
UraemiaAssociated with chronic renal failure and affects about 25% of those on haemodialysis. It may be limited to the site of a haemodialysis shunt.
Solid tumoursSpecific tumours are associated with localised itching—
• Scrotal itch with prostate cancer
• Itchy nostrils with brain tumours
• Vulval itch with cervical cancer
Itch may also complicate chemotherapy
Blood disordersItch is frequently associated with disorders such as Hodgkin’s lymphoma, leukaemia, myeloma, and polycythaemia. It may also occur with iron deficiency anaemia
HIVItch is sometimes the first symptom of HIV related disease