Complementary integrative approach for treating pruritus

Authors

  • F. Pfab,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Prevention and Sports Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Charlestown, Massachusetts, USA
    2. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Charlestown, Massachusetts, USA
    • Department of Dermatology and Allergy, Technische Universität München, Munich, Germany
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  • P. C. Schalock,

    1. Department of Dermatology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
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  • V. Napadow,

    1. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Charlestown, Massachusetts, USA
    2. Department of Radiology, Logan College of Chiropractic, Chesterfield, Missouri, USA
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  • G. I. Athanasiadis,

    1. Department of Dermatology and Allergy, Technische Universität München, Munich, Germany
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  • G. Yosipovitch,

    1. Department of Dermatology, Neurobiology & Anatomy, Regenerative Medicine Wake Forest University Health Sciences, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA
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  • J. Ring

    1. Department of Dermatology and Allergy, Technische Universität München, Munich, Germany
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  • Conflicts of Interest: none.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Florian Pfab, MD, Department of Dermatology and Allergy, Technische Universität München, Munich, Germany, or email: florian.pfab@lrz.tum.de.

Abstract

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is a conservative and increasingly popular approach to treat pruritus for both patients and medical providers. CAM includes natural products, mind–body medicine, and manipulative and body-based practices. In this overview, we summarize current evidence, possible mechanisms and clinical approaches for treating pruritus with CAM techniques. We focus on pruritus associated with atopic dermatitis, herpes zoster, chronic urticaria, burns, and postoperative contexts where the evidence for CAM approaches is promising.

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