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Neurosci Lett. 1995 Mar 10;187(3):157-60.

Effects of menthol and cold on histamine-induced itch and skin reactions in man.

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Institute of Physiology, University Hospital Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany.


The effects of cooling and topical application of menthol on histamine-induced itch, wheal and flare reactions of the left lower arm were investigated in a threefold cross-over design with 15 healthy male volunteers. Lowering skin temperature by cooling from 32.8 +/- 0.3 degrees C to 29.7 +/- 0.5 degrees C reduced itch intensity from 260 +/- 47 units to 55 +/- 12 units (visual analogue scale) and flare diameters from 39.0 +/- 2.0 mm to 30.2 +/- 1.8 mm; wheal reactions were not affected. A similar reduction in itch was found under menthol (42 +/- 14 units) although skin temperature was not decreased. These findings suggest a central inhibitory effect of cold sensitive A-delta fibre activation on itch.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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