Management and Treatment of Pruritus

P. Lovell, RN, BScN; R. B. Vender, MD, FRCPC


Skin Therapy Letter. 2007;12(1) 

In This Article


Pruritus, or itch, is a common sensation that causes a person to want to scratch. It is a complex process that may negatively impact quality of life and commonly occurs with skin disorders such as atopic dermatitis and urticaria. It could also be a symptom related to an underlying disease process such as cholestasis or hyperthyroidism, or simply be caused by dry skin, especially in the cold, winter months. Therapy is often aimed at eliminating the underlying cause first, followed by the management of the itchy sensation. Treatment may include prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medications, herbal remedies, hydrotherapy, phototherapy, and ultraviolet therapy. This overview provides information regarding the various management and treatment options for pruritus.


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