Background Pruritus in psoriasis patients has not been regarded as a major symptom.
Objective To study the pattern of pruritus in chronic plaque psoriasis.
Methods A questionnaire was sent out to 109 patients with a diagnosis of chronic plaque psoriasis, who attended our outpatient departments during the period of January 2006 to January 2007.
Results Out of 109 patients, 80 patients (74%) answered the questionnaire. Pruritus was found in 80% of the patients, with an intensity of 5.2 ± 2.6 (±SD) using a visual analogue scale (0–10). The frequency and intensity of pruritus were higher in women. Lower leg and scalp were reported to be the most commonly affected sites. Major aggravating factors for pruritus were stress and dryness of skin. Sun, sleep and vacation could relieve pruritus. The most common antipruritic treatments used by the patients were topical steroids, topical vitamin D, emollients and ultraviolet light therapy, whereas antihistamines were used by a small number of patients. Mood, concentration and sleep were negatively affected by pruritus.
Conclusion Pruritus is a common symptom in patients with chronic plaque psoriasis.