There are an inordinate number of possible causes for itchy skin. Skin itching is known in scientific terms as "pruritus", and can affect a specific area of the skin, or be spread over a large part of the body, and is potentially associated with visible skin lesions, which are indicative of different underlying causes. Very localized itching can therefore be due to an insect sting, contact with a stinging plant, such as nettles, or eczema. If the pruritus is more widely-spread, it can be caused by an allergy, a parasite such as scabies, or even a disease of any degree of severity affecting the skin, liver, kidneys, and so on. Whilst awaiting identification of the cause and treatment, it is advised to not scratch the area, as this will only worsen the symptoms.