How is a systematic disease etiology of pruritus diagnosed?

Updated: Mar 03, 2020
  • Author: David F Butler, MD; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
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Answer

A review of systems is needed to uncover signs and symptoms associated with systemic disease and to direct the physical examination and laboratory evaluation. A detailed drug history is required to exclude medications that can cause itching. A history of alcohol abuse may indicate chronic liver disease. A review of potential emotional stresses and mental health history may reveal a psychiatric cause.

Clues supporting a systemic cause include the insidious onset of generalized pruritus rather than an acute presentation.


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