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G Ital Dermatol Venereol. 2012 Apr;147(2):161-9.

Chronic pruritus.

Author information

  • 1Department of Dermatology, Competence Center Chronic Pruritus, University Hospital Münster, Münster, Germany. sonja.staender@uni-muenster.de


Chronic pruritus is one of the most frequent complaints of the skin associated with a high disease burden and markedly impaired quality of life. Chronic pruritus (>6 weeks of duration) may occur in a broad variety of diseases including dermatological, systemic, neurological, psychosomatic/psychiatric and gynaecological ones and in every age group (children, adults, pregnant women, elderly patients). The medical care of patients with chronic pruritus has improved significantly in the past few years (14). Though research into the neurobiology of chronic pruritus has failed to resolve the mechanisms underlying this disease, it has led to the awareness that management of patients with chronic pruritus needs a separate strategy that is different from therapy of the underlying disease. The antipruritic therapy is still based on symptomatic regimens and target-specific therapies urgently needed.

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