Current Dermatology Reports

, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp 20–29 | Cite as

Epidemiology of Chronic Pruritus: Where Have We Been and Where Are We Going?

  • Nicholas K. Mollanazar
  • Savannah Dean Koch
  • Gil YosipovitchEmail author
Epidemiology (JI Silverberg, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Epidemiology


Between 23 and 44 million Americans are estimated to suffer from chronic pruritus in the setting of both cutaneous and systemic conditions. Patients with chronic pruritus suffer extreme detriment to their ability to function, including but not limited to deranged sleep patterns, mood disturbances, increased levels of anxiety and depression, and reduced levels of overall quality of life. Indeed, chronic pruritus is now known to be as debilitating as chronic pain. For these reasons, chronic pruritus represents a serious public health concern that must be adequately addressed by clinicians. We present an up-to-date summary of the epidemiology of chronic itch in different cutaneous and systemic conditions. While we have endeavored to discuss some of the most common causes of chronic pruritus, this review does not encompass all of the myriad different diseases in which chronic pruritus can occur.


Chronic pruritus Epidemiology Prevalence Psoriasis Atopic dermatitis Geriatric 


Compliance with Ethics Guidelines

Conflict of Interest

NK Mollanazar, SD Koch, and G Yosipovitch all declare no conflicts of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

All studies by the authors involving animal and/or human subjects were performed after approval by the appropriate institutional review boards. When required, written informed consent was obtained from all participants.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicholas K. Mollanazar
    • 1
  • Savannah Dean Koch
    • 1
  • Gil Yosipovitch
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Dermatology and Itch CenterTemple University School of MedicinePhiladelphiaUSA

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