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Urinary Disorders

Itchy skin a condition of kidney malfunction?

11/06/2008

Question:

My skin is very itchy in parts. I`m not sure if I have scabies or not because I`ve had that before and I don`t think this is the same. Could it be a symptom of kidney problem as my urine is very strong and fishy smelling. I do have a history of kidney problems in the past.

Answer:

As you know, there are many causes of itchy skin, and kidney failure is only one of them. 

Scabies may cause itchy bumps and sometimes lines (burrows) in the skin, especially in the groins, armpits, under the breasts, and between fingers and toes. 

Kidney failure itching is a sign of fairly advanced disease and may be accompanied by other symptoms of kidney failure, such as loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, metallic taste in the mouth, muscle twitching, extreme fatigue, difficulty concentrating, swelling of legs and face, and frequent urination at night.  If you are worried about having kidney failure, your doctor can order blood and urine tests and make (or rule out) the diagnosis quickly and simply.

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Response by:

Mildred   Lam, MD Mildred Lam, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University