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Acta Derm Venereol. 2010;90(1):39-45. doi: 10.2340/00015555-0764.

Skin pain and discomfort in psoriasis: an exploratory study of symptom prevalence and characteristics.

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Department of Health Sciences, Buskerud University College, Drammen, Norway.


Few studies have investigated subjective sensory skin symptoms in patients with psoriasis. The aim of this study was to investigate prevalence and characteristics of psoriasis-related skin pain and discomfort, and evaluate differences in demographic/clinical characteristics among patients with or without skin symptoms. A total of 139 patients was recruited for this exploratory, descriptive, cross-sectional study. Data were obtained through interviews and questionnaires. While 42.6% reported skin pain, 36.7% reported skin discomfort. Mean average symptom intensity score (0-10 numeric rating scale) was 4.4 for pain and 3.5 for discomfort. Unpleasant, surface, sensitive, itchy, and hot/burning were the most common symptom qualities. Sleep was the most severely affected function. No differences were found in demographic characteristics. However, larger proportions of patients with skin symptoms had more severe psoriasis (p < 0.05). In conclusion, pain and discomfort are more common and more severe in patients with psoriasis than previously estimated.

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