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J Am Acad Dermatol. 2006 Dec;55(6):996-1002. Epub 2006 Oct 6.

Neuroselective transcutaneous electric stimulation reveals body area-specific differences in itch perception.

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  • 1Department of Dermatology, Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine, Sendai, Japan.



Electrically evoked itch has been reported, although the electrodes, the frequency, and the pulse duration used were not standardized.


To examine whether a neuroselective transcutaneous electrical stimulator (NTES; Neurometer; Neurotron, Inc, Baltimore, Md) can evoke itch and whether it can provoke itch on any body area.


Twelve healthy subjects were stimulated on 30 body sites by 5 Hz alternating current produced by the NTES. We classified the evoked perceptions into two sensations (with and without itch) and divided the examined sites into 7 groups: G1, head and neck; G2, arm; G3, palm; G4, the dorsal surface of the hand; G5, knee and leg; G6, dorsal foot; and G7, ankle. The data were then statistically analyzed.


The NTES preferentially evoked itch at the G4 and G7 sites, and a sensation without itch at the G1 site.


Tests were performed on limited body areas.


The NTES can provoke itch, it was discovered that there are body area-specific differences in itch sensation.

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