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Acta Derm Venereol. 1997 Jan;77(1):46-8.

Topically applied aspirin rapidly decreases histamine-induced itch.

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Department of Dermatology, UCSF Medical Center, San Francisco, USA.


The effect of topical aspirin and its model vehicle dichloromethane on itch experimentally induced with histamine was studied in 16 subjects, using a visual analogue scale and computerized aspirin, but not its vehicle, significantly reduced itch duration (p = 0.001) and decreased itch magnitude as measured with a visual analogue scale (p < 0.04). Histamine injection caused elevation of warmth sensation threshold (p = 10(-8)) but did not affect cold and heat pain thresholds. Aspirin and vehicle application did not affect thermal and pain thresholds during histamine-induced itch. The current data suggest that topical application of aspirin may be beneficial for the treatment of histamine-mediated itch. Its therapeutic role in the management of clinical itch remains to be determined.

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