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Causes of Itching Without Rash

author image Nicki Wolf
Nicki Wolf has been writing health and human interest articles since 1986. Her work has been published at various cooking and nutrition websites. Wolf has an extensive background in medical/nutrition writing and online content development in the nonprofit arena. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English from Temple University.
Causes of Itching Without Rash
Causes of Itching Without Rash Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images

Itchy skin, also called pruritus, may result from a rash or other condition. According to MayoClinic.com, itching commonly occurs in small patches on the body, although sometimes the entire body can become affected. In many cases, skin that itches is accompanied by redness, dryness, roughness, blisters or bumps. A variety of conditions not involving a rash may cause the skin to itch.

Kidney Failure

The Merck Manuals Online Medical Library indicates that kidney failure may cause itchy skin without an accompanying rash. Kidney failure usually results from a medical condition that damages the kidneys, most often diabetes mellitus or high blood pressure. Later stages of kidney failure lead to acidosis, a condition where the blood becomes acidic. In addition to causing an itch, symptoms of kidney failure include fatigue, weakness, decreased immune function, an increased need to urinate, confusion and seizures.


The American Pregnancy Association indicates that cholestasis is a liver disease that occurs only in later stages of pregnancy. When cholestasis develops, the typical bile flow into the gallbladder from the kidney alters due to high levels of pregnancy hormones. This disturbance results in an overabundance of bile acids in the liver, which then overflow into the bloodstream. An itch without an accompanying rash is a common symptom of cholestasis, especially in the hands and feet.


Lymphoma may cause body itching that does not involve a rash, according to MayoClinic.com. Lymphoma is a cancer of the blood that begins in the lymphatic system; it occurs either as Hodgkin or non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Approximately 12 percent of lymphoma sufferers have Hodgkin lymphoma, according to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Signs and symptoms for this type of lymphoma include itchy skin without a rash, swollen lymph nodes, fever, fatigue and weight loss.

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