The fall color is pretty nice so it's a shame we can't use it as an ornamental. I'm told that there is a variegated form that has been developed in Japan. I'm not sure I'd want it here even though I'm a sucker for any new variegated plant.
I'll skip all of the things you can find about the plant with a web search. I'll just add the best solution to the itch that I've ever found. Forget all of the pink stuff and expensive ointments. The best thing to get rid of the itch is hot water. Hard to believe, but it works. And older woman (well, she seemed older when I was in my 20s) told me this trick. It's best on hands or feet where you can just put the affected part into water that is as hot as you can stand - the hotter the better, even if you can only just dip into the water for a second at a time at first. On other parts of the body, a hot washcloth will work. Just keep the itchy part in the hot water for a little while past when the itch stops. This usually works for me for at least 12 hours. I find that if I just do dishes in really hot water twice a day, I have no problems with the itch. It just dries up and goes away in a couple of days. Really easy, cheap and effective.