Skip to main contentSkip to accessibility services
Read about

Abdomen Itch: Symptoms & Causes

9 causes that can make your abdomen itch and how to stop it.
Tooltip Icon.
Last updated May 31, 2022

Abdomen itch quiz

Take a quiz to find out what's causing your itch.


9 abdomen itch causes

Shingles (herpes zoster)

Shingles (herpes zoster) is a disease caused by the varicella-zoster virus - the same virus that causes chickenpox. Early signs of shingles include burning or shooting pain and tingling or itching, usually on one side of the body or face. Rashes or blisters appear anywhere from one to 14 days later. If shingles appears on the face, it may affect vision or hearing.

You should go to a retail clinic or your primary care physician to be treated for shingles. Most common treatments involve pain killers and prescription antiviral medicines.

Normal episode of itchy skin

Itchy skin is also called pruritis. There are a number of "normal" causes for itching, meaning the cause is not disease-related and does not result in seriously damaged skin.

The most common causes are:

  • Dry skin, due to bathing in soap or bubble bath that may be too harsh and is stripping the natural oils from the skin.
  • Mild allergies, which may be caused by dust; certain plants and flowers; nickel-containing jewelry; and any sort of soap, detergent, lotion, or perfume.
  • Pregnancy, due to stretching of skin or to a condition called prurigo. Prurigo causes small, itchy bumps which may be due to an autoimmune system dysfunction during pregnancy.
  • Menopause, due to hormonal changes that may leave the skin overly dry.

Diagnosis is made through physical examination and sometimes allergy tests.

Treatment involves bathing only with mild, hypoallergenic soap; regular moisturizing with unscented lotion; wearing soft, loose, non-synthetic clothing; avoiding any substances that seem to provoke the itching; and sometimes prescription medicated creams.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: feeling itchy or tingling all over

Symptoms that always occur with normal episode of itchy skin: feeling itchy or tingling all over

Urgency: Self-treatment

Non-specific abdominal rash

A rash is an area of irritated or swollen skin. Often, rashes are unidentifiable and some variation of normal. For example, scratching one's arm causes it to turn red (which is caused by mast cells releasing chemicals into the local area), but that's completely normal.

At this time, you do not need treatment for this rash. If it worsens, you may need to consult a physician.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: abdominal redness

Symptoms that always occur with non-specific abdominal rash: abdominal redness

Symptoms that never occur with non-specific abdominal rash: fever

Urgency: Wait and watch

Liver failure

Acute liver failure occurs when the liver suddenly struggles to function properly or stop working completely.

Acute liver failure is a very serious disease requiring immediate medical attention. It would be prudent to go to the emergency room immediately.

Hookworm infection

Hookworm infection (sometimes referred to as creeping eruption) is a parasitic infection of the skin. It is most often acquired in tropical climates.

Rarity: Ultra rare

Top Symptoms: itchy and red foot, painful rash, itchy rash, rash

Symptoms that always occur with hookworm infection: itchy and red foot, redness with curvy lines

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Eczema (atopic dermatitis)

Atopic dermatitis, also called eczema, dermatitis, atopic eczema, or AD, is a chronic skin condition with an itchy rash.

AD is not contagious. It is caused by a genetic condition that affects the skin's ability to protect itself from bacteria and allergens.

AD is most often seen in infants and young children. Most susceptible are those with a family history of AD, asthma, or hay fever.

Infants will have a dry, scaly, itchy rash on the scalp, forehead, and cheeks. Older children will have the rash in the creases of elbows, knees, and buttocks.

Without treatment, a child may have trouble sleeping due to the intense itching. Constant scratching may cause skin infections and the skin may turn thickened and leathery.

Diagnosis is made through physical examination, patient history, and allergen skin tests.

AD cannot be cured, but can be controlled through prescribed medications, skin care, stress management, and treatment of food allergies. Those with AD often have allergies to milk, nuts, and shellfish. Keeping the skin clean and moisturized helps prevent flareups.

Dermatofibroma

A dermatofibroma is a fairly common skin growth that usually appears on the lower legs, but may appear anywhere on the body. These mole-like growths are benign (noncancerous.)

The cause is not known, though a dermatofibroma may appear after a minor injury. The growths are not contagious.

Dermatofibromas are most common in adults and are rarely found in children.

Symptoms include a hard, raised growth that is red, pink, or brown and less than half an inch across. They are usually painless but may be tender or itchy, and may appear alone or in groups.

Any new growth on the skin should be seen by a medical provider, especially if the growth is very dark in color or changes its shape or appearance quickly.

Diagnosis is made through physical examination and sometimes biopsy.

A dermatofibroma does not require treatment unless it is interfering with clothing or is unsightly. They can be surgically removed, though this will leave a scar and the growth may eventually return.

Chronic kidney disease

Chronic kidney disease is a general term for kidney damage caused over time by other illnesses, especially high blood pressure and diabetes. Eventually kidney function becomes impaired and wastes are no longer properly filtered from the blood, leading to serious illness.

Most susceptible are those over age 50 with high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and/or a family history of kidney disease.

Symptoms include fatigue; difficulty concentrating; poor appetite; muscle cramps at night; dry, itchy skin; swollen eyes, feet, and ankles; and increased urination.

Left untreated, chronic kidney disease results in serious illness, kidney failure, and death. It is important to see a medical provider as soon as symptoms begin.

Diagnosis is made through physical examination; a blood test called Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR;) ultrasound or CT scan of the kidneys; and sometimes a kidney biopsy.

Treatment includes medications for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and fluid retention, and a low-protein diet to reduce the work the kidneys must do. Dialysis and kidney transplant are only done if there is kidney failure.

Allergic contact dermatitis of the abdomen

Allergic contact dermatitis means the skin has touched something that provoked an allergic reaction, causing inflammation and irritation.

"Contact" means the allergic reaction came from touching something, not from consuming something. The first exposure to the substance sensitizes the immune system, and then the second exposure actually causes the symptoms.

The most common causes of allergic contact dermatitis are:

  • Nickel, a metal often used in belt buckles, the buttons on pants, and jewelry, including piercing jewelry.
  • Poison ivy.
  • Various types of perfumes, including those founds in soaps, fabric softeners, and detergents.
  • Of course, there are many more.

Symptoms include red, itching, scaling, flaking skin that may be painful due to the irritation and inflammation.

Diagnosis is made through first avoiding contact with any suspected substance, to see if the dermatitis clears. Patch testing can be done if the results are not certain.

Treatment involves fully avoiding the allergy-provoking substance and using topical steroid cream as prescribed. Cool compresses and calamine lotion can help to ease the discomfort.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: abdominal redness, abdomen itch, scabbed area of the abdomen

Symptoms that always occur with allergic contact dermatitis of the abdomen: abdominal redness

Urgency: Self-treatment

Questions your doctor may ask about abdomen itch

  • Is the red area flaky and rough to the touch?
  • Did your symptoms start after you were exposed to nickel (commonly found in jean snaps, metal pens, paper clips, cigarettes, etc.)?
  • Did your symptoms start after you were exposed to glues, fragrances, preservatives, hair dyes, soaps, detergents, or other common household chemicals?
  • Are you allergic to anything?

Self-diagnose with our free Buoy Assistant if you answer yes on any of these questions.

Abdomen itch symptom checker statistics

People who have experienced abdomen itch have also experienced:

  • 5% Abdominal Pain (Stomach Ache)
  • 3% Nausea
  • 3% Fatigue

People who have experienced abdomen itch were most often matched with:

  • 57% Hookworm Infection
  • 28% Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis)
  • 14% Allergic Contact Dermatitis Of The Abdomen

People who have experienced abdomen itch had symptoms persist for:

  • 29% Less than a week
  • 23% Over a month
  • 23% Less than a day

Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from Buoy Assistant.

Share your story

Was this article helpful?

14 people found this helpful
Tooltip Icon.
Read this next
Slide 1 of 3