Conflict of interest: none declared.
Pruritus measurement and treatment
Article first published online: 12 MAR 2009
© 2009 The Author(s). Journal compilation © 2009 British Association of Dermatologists
Clinical and Experimental Dermatology
Volume 34, Issue 3, pages 285–288, April 2009
How to Cite
Langner, M. D. and Maibach, H. I. (2009), Pruritus measurement and treatment. Clinical and Experimental Dermatology, 34: 285–288. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2230.2009.03218.x
- Issue published online: 12 MAR 2009
- Article first published online: 12 MAR 2009
- Accepted for publication 6 October 2008
Pruritus measurement is problematic, because of its subjective nature and poor localization. Ratio scales enhance the usefulness of the visual analogue scale (VAS) by reducing variation; other scales such as the generalized labelled magnitude scale may also be useful. Pruritus neuroanatomy includes peripheral receptors, peripheral and central nerves, ascending and descending spinal pathways, and several brain regions. Pruritus receptors include Merkel discs and free nerve endings, and itch receptors have fast or slow adaptation. In this review, we discuss the pathophysiology of pruritus in atopic dermatitis, psoriasis and scabies. Pruritus treatment is reviewed for topical agents and antihistamines. Future research directions are suggested.