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Itching is a distressing symptom. A survey of people with eczema showed that they minded more about the itching than about the appearance of their skin. There are lots of possible causes of itching but, quite often, no cause can be identified.

Written by: Dr Margaret Stearn
Edited by: Dr Margaret Stearn
Last updated: Thursday, May 17th 2012


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Comments on this article

Posted by Jas on 30/08/2017 at 03:22

Not only fungus or bacteria causes itching. Allergy also causes itching. Talking antihistamines is temporary relief. My advise is go for a allergy profile test. And know which foods and another things are allergic for u

Posted by Optional on 20/04/2017 at 04:34

I am suffering from scratching on my scrotum from 2 months. whenever I sweat it starts scratching. my scortum skin gets bulged up due to scratching. Also another problem which I faced was due to fungus on my skin. These are the two skin problems I am facing due to sweat. At last I visited to skin specialist for medicine. this are tips which I got from skin specialist and it works :- 1.bath daily and wash your body if it sweats 2.dont use perfumed soap, use only soap which is made for skin infection. 3.wash your affected area with salt water and keep it for 5 minutes before bathing (IMPORTANT) 4.dont wear underwear stay only in loose cloth trousers 5.dont apply any oil on affected area 6.cut your nails to get less pain when you feel to scratch thank you

Posted by Optional on 05/04/2017 at 10:42

I think it may be just because hairs are growing because nothing has shown up on my skin, is there any way to stop it itching, it isn't allergies because it happens when I am naked too

Posted by shorly on 16/01/2017 at 11:00

my scrotum is ever itching and sometimes it stops whn I apply the cream .sometimes things like dadruff appears on the scrotum .can It be that I have an STI

Posted by iching on 01/12/2016 at 11:50

I had put vagisil on my vaginal area and I'm still iching

Posted by Optional on 26/12/2015 at 09:46

I ve an itch on my penis skin & penis verns.wat wud i do?.

Posted by Optional on 14/12/2015 at 08:53

I has baby 4 months ago I dnt how I got really bad rash I've got it since last three weeks it's really bad please tell me what I can do

Posted by Optional on 28/11/2015 at 01:58

Hello my head is really itchy and I have seen some blackish brownish bugs in my hair when I was washing it and I also have a little dandruff... I need help ... anybody know what it is ?

Posted by Optional on 09/11/2015 at 11:04

I tried everything from jock itch cream zinc anti fungus cream, bacterial soap natural creams I bought online alcohol everyday wash 3 times a day. But this problem still persist very irritating. Itching between my thighs my drawings and my anus. I don't know if it's because I had a heart attack in 07 and my immune system is not as strong as they used to be but I sure could use some help. I also had at least one time at the same time that this was happening and I used to drive my feet and my body with it so I could have went to a different stage. I will check back to see if there's anybody that can give me some information cuz I am tired of it. I have no rash or bumps.

Posted by raj on 29/10/2015 at 08:01

My ball sac is allways itchy at night please help...

Posted by Optional on 13/09/2015 at 09:37

about 6mon. ago i noticed my hair fallen out in patches? my girlfriend and i had a very stressful break -up.. Then adding insult to injury i have patches of dry skin on my scalp? please help

Posted by Sam on 26/03/2015 at 06:33

Ok my itching is INTENSE! It started on my thighs and inner thighs around my genitals. Now has spread down to my knees and up to my stomach, sometimes arms and back. There are times throughout the day it doesn't itch. I have no rash or bumps or anything of that show up unless...I soak in a hot bath, then the redness which shows out to be a rash is there. I have done everything under the sun to fix it, oatmeal baths, lotions, benadryl, jock itch sprays, I mean everything. I have even taken bleach baths to see if it was a fungal thing and still no cure. This has gone on for about 6 months now at least and just seems to get worse. I went to my Dr and since there were no visible symptoms he couldn't diagnose anything. If someone has this going on or knows how to cure it please let me know

Posted by Optional on 16/03/2015 at 12:51

I've been having a lot of sex with my boyfriend lately, and just recently last week we had sex & he said the same night after we had sex that his balls started feeling itchy, & it continued on to the next day but then went away. A couple days later I began to feel itchy, it feels like a yeast infection however, now that I know he also was itchy could it be something else that we both have? we mostly use condoms and only have slept with eachother in the last year or so. im using Monistat right now to treat what I would think is a yeast infection. His itch is completely gone just want to see what could be other possibilities. please help, worried!

Posted by Optional on 01/02/2015 at 02:35

HI i have had the problem of itching since two weeks. I have traveled from USA to India for a month when it started. It is near my legs and thighs. It is started to itch on my penis as well. kindly help

Posted by Optional on 26/01/2015 at 12:52

I have notice over the past couple of weeks that my penis has become very itchy when i get hot it is from the head all the way down the shaft. Any help would be grateful.

Posted by Optional on 20/01/2015 at 03:13

Im in deed of help , im itching in my vagina i have got tested for std & im negative with everything, i apply cream down there and its like it irritated more, im not gonna lie ive looked to see why it was itching it looks clear to me like a little cut right by my vagina hole and when i squeeze it little blood comes out please help me and i know its not a mind thing

Posted by Optional on 19/01/2015 at 05:23

Hi, well recently (about a week or so ago) I woke up in the morning and noticed my left nipple/areola was itchy. On my areola there were what looks like three or four small red bumps (like swollen glands-but not huge) and that was the source of the itch. They are not scaly or flaky, I do not have any discharge but the bumps run in somewhat of a line from the outer areola to my nipple. They are red compared to the color of my areola. I have put neosporin on them but it has not gone away. The itching will come and go and it is not that bad that i have to itch it like crazy or it wakes me up but its a mild itch but still itchy. And its only on my left breast! Please help.

Posted by crystal on 28/12/2014 at 12:40

For the past two years I've had an itch that won't stop it itches during the day and gets worse at night. I have days and weeks where it doesn't itch, then it starts. Its on my arms, stomach, and back of legs. It turns red After itching it then burns sometimes what is this on my skin. It stays red and then gets dry and dry skin falls off but no scales. What is it i can not get any relief. I'm laying here itchy now. Please help i feel like ripping my skin off.

Posted by Optional on 25/12/2014 at 07:48

hello,well my problem is annoying is especially worse around the head and shaft of my penis,and also on the buttocks,armpits and inner has also appeared on my neck.and now i have this discomfort,not very painful,radiating from my left testicle to my left kidney.what is wrong?

Posted by Optional on 22/12/2014 at 09:17

First i see a dark spot on my leg and it itche so bad i scratches it then it bleed and turn into black spot now it taking all over my body what could that be?

Posted by Optional on 16/12/2014 at 07:04

I had my sons pet rat walking across my chest ((uncovered) a few weeks ago now got a nasty rash itchy & very red & sore I have used eurax lotion itsq helping but how do I get rid of lots of try flaking skin their is a lot of it .lesson learnt I won't do that again

Posted by Optional on 02/11/2014 at 06:12

I am 62, and identical twin, and have had urinary difficulties since I was in high school. Our family life was a horror story, total dysfunction, so I figure I began to drip out of trauma. It continued for thirty years, then stopped for a while after having two prostate operations for enlargement about 15 to 18 years ago. The dryness lasted a couple of years, then came right with a vengeance, some days worse than others. My prostate is moderately large, my Urologist says, so he discounts the cause as being my prostate. I have fibromyalgia, IBS-C, and have never been able to hold a lot of water without the dripping. These days, I wear pads. Now, for my first time, ever, I have developed jock itch, so I wash with Selsen Blue and apply lotrimin, as well as powder. It feels more like intense sweat more than dripping, although I know I do drip. I had operations for double hernia as a boy, have hypogonadism and I'm sterile.

Posted by Gary on 14/10/2014 at 10:48

Left side of scrotum itches with no rash that is visible. Have tried antifungal products such as Lotrimin an Ketconozole without any relief. Am now trying Hydrocortisone cream to see if that helps

Posted by beth on 07/10/2014 at 08:36

I have a dry and itchy circle on my nippel what can it be..

Posted by Optional on 21/09/2014 at 09:59

Hello I have extremely itchy spot on my wrist last night and non stop itches the spots are quite red and white lumps 3 to 4 of them and now I have a sore throat and a runny nose whats happening?

Posted by arjun on 19/09/2014 at 03:03

My stroctum is itchy. The skin becomes dry & cracky. If I apply any antifungal cream; it gives temporary relief & again becomes itchy. I find dry white scaling and white heads. I am diabetic.what can be the reason?

Posted by Optional on 05/08/2014 at 09:53

My brother has had eczema ever since he was born, it's always been quite bad, but recently its gotten so much worse, it used to just be mainly on his legs and face but now it has spread from head to toe! I've noticed that his skin is very red and his bed is covered in a lot of blood and is very flaky, it is starting to affect him mentally and physically. I feel so upset when I watch him scratch and I don't know what to do. Please heeelp!!

Posted by Optional on 12/06/2014 at 02:48

The skin on my left testicle is tight, painful and itchy. Does anyone know what it is or what causes it?

Posted by Optional on 04/02/2014 at 07:49

just i moved to uk from india before , 4 weeks. in my all over boady like hands , thigh leg,back ,stomach . there is tiny samll pimple , which cause irritation. pls suggest me what is that , n what to do for curing it

Posted by IM CONFUSED! on 21/07/2013 at 05:51

I think i have lice and my head has been very itchy for the past 2 weeks and its becoming an issue i saw a light brown thing on my scalp and it was movie but i only saw it for a second before i started screaming my head off. if i only saw one what does that mean. and will i have to shave my hair of!?

Posted by Diana on 12/04/2013 at 05:20

I've been suffering from constant itching of my scalp and my vaginal area for as long as I can remember. In the case of my scalp I just don't understand what the problem is. I don't have dandruff and I wash my hair regularly yet it still itches. It doesn't flake or peel, it just itches and it does so constantly. I've tried many hair creams and shampooes still the problem persists. As 4 the itching in my vaginal area its more or less the same thing. Its been like that 4 a very long time. I'm not sexually active and on 3 occasions I've gone to the hospital done swab tests and the doctors tell me its just mild bacteria infection. I treat it,the itching stops for a little while then continues. I really don't know what to do. Please your suggestions will be very useful. Thanks

Posted by Optional on 28/12/2012 at 05:32

Its summer I get little bums under my breasts groin area and butt crack, then it starts to itch makes swores and burns like hell when Im in tthe bath. Im using baby powder at bedtime but it only bring relief no cure. I had this before but it passed after a few days but I it more than 3 weeks now and still getting worsee. Please help?

Posted by OUCH on 12/09/2012 at 07:19

for about 5 monthes now, i have been itching really bad. i thought it might have been scabies and so i got tested and did the treatment, but it didnt work. what else could it be? it itches everyyyywhere

Posted by Robyn on 03/09/2012 at 12:44

This doesn't help me I have eczema but that is not why my legs, back, arms and stomach are really really itchy.I feel like ripping my legs off because they are so so itchy & it's really painful. can you give me some really advise on what do I do?. I can't cope it's that painful. my mum tells me not to scratch it but I have to.I just want some advise on what to do.please just HELP me?.

Posted by Optional on 28/08/2012 at 07:42

My ball sac is allways itchy I noticed it after I changed my body wash so I changed back and am. Worried it may be jock itch without a rash to embarrassed to tell my parents or see a doctor what should I do

Posted by Sinead on 24/08/2012 at 11:20

Have a sun allergy which prevents me from going out in the sun come out in spots whick are like blisters which the pain leaves when yhe bubble is burst which then becomes a cut I have cuts all o er my arms and ears if i go out in the sun even to cut the grass or out clothes on the line i can feel my skin burn in hot waeather can do nothing with my children outside unless it is cool and sun out

Posted by Valerin on 08/08/2012 at 01:47

Im really 12 and i feel things in my skin and inches when i try to feel it but hurts sometimes im really scared pls help me

Posted by pips on 15/07/2012 at 06:02

hi one of my breast are itchy and its on the nipple i need help to make sure its nothing to worry about please reply back to me asap thanks you ?

Posted by Embarrassing Problems on 21/06/2012 at 06:22

To nancy (19/06/2012): see our sections on anal itching and piles for more relevant information, and for the best advice talk to your doctor:

Posted by nancy on 19/06/2012 at 04:06

itching in the anus it has cause some of the coming out. Pls help

Posted by Optional on 18/06/2012 at 10:29

I feel as something is constantly crawling on my skin and I dont know what it is. It keeps on crawling to an extent where my body starts itching. Do you know what this might be?

Posted by Optional on 13/05/2012 at 09:16

I have a rash over my torso. It is slowly spreading and is itchy. I went to my GP but he was unsure of the cause and unable to offer me any medication. I have had it for over 2 weeks now and it is affecting my sleep too. It is blotchy red patches that grow and then become flaky. My whole back feels prickly and it becomes worst if i get hot. Please help Thanks Sue

Posted by shelly on 08/05/2012 at 03:38

i have itchy scalp and my hair has stoped growing,ave been to my GP bt what he prescribed seem nt to work for me.It's really bothering me cos my scalp itches alot

Posted by Optional on 13/04/2012 at 06:13

A few weeks ago my left nipple was always itchy. It went away but today I woke up with severe pain on my left nipple. What is it? Every movement I make that involves my left side makes the nipple sensitive and it would hurt. It is only the left nipple. When I took a shower this morning I had to make sure that the water from the shower did not touch the left nipple directly becuase it hurt. Please help

Posted by Optional on 29/03/2012 at 11:28

pls im having itcthing all over my body for the pass one year pls help me.

Posted by Optional on 09/02/2012 at 12:14

I have a terrible , raw itch around my neck. Any solutions / ideas

Posted by Monney on 03/01/2012 at 05:46

My legs itches bad after sex.

Posted by EVANDER on 23/12/2011 at 11:06

here is gonna to do : 1. if you have sulfur soap use a sulfur soap and gently soap the affected area and then if you continue itching on your scalp use a anti-dandruff shampoo then wash and clean the affected dandruff for 3-5 mins and then rinse it throughly

Posted by Optional on 17/08/2011 at 01:19

hi it has been more the 4 month my nipples are hard as hell and itchn the itch kind of stopped but they still hard especially the right one ... my skin was ithcing like hell approx 6 months ago it was so terrible i couldnt stop itching day and night evenyually my legs were wounded of corse it been 6 month but i have the scars which r healing very slow.. but my nipples are still hard i dont know what to do and what is it please help

Posted by Hus120c on 31/05/2011 at 05:34

Since last so many days i have itching on my nipples. The dark area around the nipples is also irritating me. The only way i get relief is through squeezing or rubbing them... please tell me what to do? I have never experienced this before.

Posted by Optional on 26/05/2011 at 03:36

hi, for the pastr 2 months i have been getting what i think is thrush..i dont know if i have extra discharge as it always comes the day after i get my period and for that reason i cant use tampons which makes it feel a lot worse specially at night..i use the cream to ease the itching, also..a few days after the thrush i get these white spots under my tongue..could that be thrush aswell is it possible to get it in 2 places at the same tongue gets very painful to the point wer i cant eat solid food coz i cnt really move my tongue without being in paid..its horrible..i dont know what to do..

Posted by Optional on 02/05/2011 at 07:52

Right now I'm suffering from itching in my vaginal area on the excess skin and it hurts to walk, sit, or do anything at all. I don't know what caused it. My boyfriend and I have not been totally sexually active only a few things and this has been going on for 3 or 4 days. Is there hope that this pain will go away? :(

Posted by Optional on 28/04/2011 at 01:20

I have two children my last in 2007since having her every month two weeks before getting my period I get really itchy nipples and The only relife I can get is if I squeeze them and a discharge of either clear or dark green substance comes out canyou tellme what you think is causing this and is it a common thing

Posted by Optional on 26/04/2011 at 05:38

I am twelve years old and have severly dry skin. I have used tones of different calming creams and nithing seams to work. It's really embarrassing when all my friends have nice tan legs and mine are red and flaky looking.

Posted by Itchy in Ohio on 31/03/2011 at 03:04

Hello, I have been suffering from itchy nipple for over two months now, I do not have any dry skin or anything in the area it just itches really bad what can cause this?

Posted by Optional on 17/03/2011 at 06:36

iam 41yr old woman. ihave 2 children both of C-section, last one in 2000.after my last periods on feb18.from the 7th day onward i started having itching at the this happens at times, i applied oil,but the skin color had changed to black till the thighs as a patch and itching continued. i then started applying vaseline, but this also did not help,as itching still continued,i did not even wear panties for almost these 20 days. now with this itching and patch still on i have had my next cycle today. please help me as i feel very uncomfortable

Posted by Malibu Matt on 13/03/2011 at 06:58

my circle around the nipples have swollen and become a yellowish in color, andare itching like crazy. what gives?

Posted by Optional on 10/03/2011 at 05:17

been itching for about 6 yrs now. One Benadryl a day seems to ease it. Doctor has no clue. No rash, not allergic too anything. I do know it's driving me nuts.

Posted by Sean sheard on 08/03/2011 at 12:22

my fiancee can't stop itching and is complaining of her skin burning up. we have used camomile lotion and sudocrem but nothing has worked.

Posted by slimz 22 on 07/03/2011 at 11:57

well i does have itching on my i does say dat it is a infection but every time i get cured it reoccurs so i foud oud that f i get cured n my partner doesnt n we have un protected sex i be continuously be catchig it bk ok!!!!

Posted by Optional on 21/02/2011 at 09:35

i cant stop itching every night i dont no why?

Posted by tiffany on 08/02/2011 at 11:36

my head is iching but it is not behide my ear or nack it is on the top

Posted by Optional on 24/01/2011 at 04:27

Hi, I have itching near my thighs and my gets worst after I bath with hot water which cream should I apply I'm facing this problem from couple of months and I have been to doctor as well but it didn't work .please suggest me something thanks.

Posted by jane on 17/01/2011 at 07:44

i have had very itchy arms for the the only10 years it only seems to be in the winter months it happens had numerous creams and tablets doctors call it puritus due to sun damage i always use suncream the only thing that seems to help is ice packs or freezing cold water is there anyone with same problem out there

Posted by Optional on 08/12/2010 at 09:11

clearly informative but even more helpful in giving suggestive ways to deal with it.

Posted by Optiona on 19/11/2010 at 07:54

I saw your video on anal itching which I suffer from for the last one month without any other symptoms. It had occurred a few yrs ago but went away with 1% steroid cream from Target.Your suggestion on the video about keeping a cotton ball in place does give relief. I dust it with medicated anti fungal powder . It gives a few hours relieve. but what will make the itch go away? Also the fact that itching is can be a symtpom of anal cancer SCARES ME! What should I look out for ?? Thanks

Posted by Optional on 09/11/2010 at 11:28

I have itchy legs. When i shave, wax and use hair removal creams as soon as the hair starts growing back my legs itch terribly. I scratch the skin off my legs, and sometimes i even use a hard brush to scratch my legs and then i spray deoderant on my legs... it burns like hell when i do that but it feels much better than the horrible itch... any advice?

Posted by Optional on 24/10/2010 at 11:28

Hi, I have itching on my hands and legs and it seems to be eczema. But this problem increases when i do masturbation. i want to know whether this eczema is related to masturbation?

Posted by Optional on 11/10/2010 at 10:30

im 36 weeks pregnant andhave a horrible rash thats appeared on my buttocks and down my right leg .it is also around my groin area i have had antibiotics and have had dacktarcort and timodine and now im using hydocorisone but nothing is working it is causing me a lot of distress what else can i use that is safe whilst in pregnant?

Posted by confused on 16/09/2010 at 09:37

i have itched every night and its not just in one spot it itches on my side and around my breast what can it be? it usually happened at night and it bugs me because icant get my mind off of it when im going to bed!!!! please help me !!!!i need advise

Posted by carrie on 08/09/2010 at 12:12

hi i have red round rash. thats about the size of quarters all over my arms and legs. they itche and there spreading. i notice more all the time. they start out small and grow to about a quarter size.n i have been to the doc twice. one said it was scabies. the cream they gave me didnt work. the next time they said it was a skin fungas. they gave me steroid cream that didnt work. im about to go crazy. anyone have any idea. they itch really bad

Posted by babygirl on 16/07/2010 at 09:03

i am wonderin why i have bumps on my pubic hair i use a new razor every time i shave but it leaves bumps and they itch and i wanna know if something is wrong.

Posted by Optional on 05/06/2010 at 04:18

On the lining of my vaginal lips and the whole area down there! It itchess alot till sometimes find i broke my skin and wen taking a bath the water stings me really badly!it hurts and i want it to stop,please help am stil a virgin

Posted by Noddy on 06/05/2010 at 10:11

I keep getting what looks likes bites or wheals on the inside of my thighs, creases of my bottom and top of my bottom/lower back. It starts with the feeling that something is crawling on my skin then quickly changes to hot angry bites/wheals. This always happens when I am fully clothed. Please advise as am getting paranoid I have a creature or bug living in my skin.

Posted by Optional on 07/04/2010 at 02:04

I have itchy spots at the side of my face which go even itchier at night. I do have psoriasis on my neck but these spots do not look the same. They are driving me mad! Anyone have any idea what they might be?

Posted by Optional on 03/04/2010 at 08:20

I have an enlarged prostate and dribble after urinating. I have an itchy scrotum and I have finally decided it is not caused by a fungis but might be caused from urine. I have been unsuccesful in getting rid of this itch with the use of fungal creams from my doctor, as well as non-prescriptive. I bathe daily and use clean boxer shorts and pj's daily. I am now trying "not" using soap in the genital area, as I thought soap might be the irritant. I have changed laundry detergents also.

Posted by Optional on 01/03/2010 at 09:06

i got a bite in spain Oct 2009 on face still ichy been to docs had creams and anti bio still got a small lump on my face Could you please advise

Posted by Optional on 21/02/2010 at 05:20

Went to spain got a bite when cleaning the bed think it was a flea bite very ichy at times been to doc had anti bio and creams hc45 still ichy this was oct 2009 anything to worry about? thank you

Posted by Aaron on 06/12/2009 at 02:27

I have had a very bad skin problem, for the last 5 months, that has left me with sleepless nights, and very sore itchy skin. the symptoms are: pin sized blisters on my hands, and then big red rashes all over my body, and masses of itchy bumps all over my belly right down to my ankles. i am very sensitive to any creams, or lotions and my doctor doesn't have a clue, can anyone help, its like living hell.

Posted by scooby29 on 22/08/2009 at 09:05

I recently had a bad case of itchy on my arms and legs, after trying over the counter anti histamines i went to the doc who gave me prescription strength 18 x stronger than over the counter ones and also a anti itch tablet to help me sleep when the itching started driving me nad at night, well it wasn't going away taking all these so in the end i stopped them and found a body moisturiser in the shops calle Simple Derma Intensive for excema and dermatitus{can't spell them} i used this morning and night for about 4 days and the itching seems to be gone now might be worth trying.

Posted by Anonymous on 15/07/2009 at 07:43

Blotchy, itchy, sore to touch balding scalp. Bruises and bleeds very easily. Otherwise very handsome!

Posted by Anonymous on 04/07/2009 at 06:07

I have suffered from itchy skin for the past 10yrs. My family dr hasn't been too proactive in assisting me with this condition, but my method of treatment has been taking an antihistamine once a day. This works very well to keep the itching under control. Problem now is I am pregnant and thus unable to take my Reactine. This itching is so uncomfortable I am unable to sleep and am now keeping my husband awake from all the scratching. I have no rash, no scales, not even especially dry skin. Itching may start on my torso then jump to my back, then to my arms and so forth. The only thing I have found that gives me some relief (and I have tried everything) is to put pressure on the area that is itching. Any suggestions would b helpfulundercontol. Problem now is I am pregnant thus unable to take my reactine. This itchy is so uncomfortable I am unable to sleep and and now keeping my husband awake from all the scratching. I have no rash, no scales, not even especially dry skin. Itching may start on my torso then jump to my back, then to my arms and so forth. The only thing I have found that gives me some relife (and I have tried everything) is to put pressure on the area that is itching. Any suggetions would b helpful

Posted by Anonymous on 27/04/2009 at 02:42

i have had thrush simptons for a while which i have been treating myself with caneston cream ihave now developed a rash on my stomach and in the morning i need to go to the toilet as soon as i get up but it is really loose is this all conected

Posted by harry oliver on 11/04/2009 at 11:50

i get itchy skin on my forearms and shins on my legs


View what people have said about itching

Fascinating facts

3% of people seeing their family doctor do so because of itching

In Roman times, hot sulphur baths were taken to get rid of scabies

A few days after the euro was introduced in Spain, 20 people needed hospital treatment for itching of their hands. Nickel in the euro coins was responsible. A spokesman for the European Central Bank said people were so excited by the new coins that they were handling them excessively (Independent)

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